Legal sports betting in the United States is still in its infancy, but it is safe to say it has been a big success so far. New Jersey is at the forefront of this success, with The Garden State generating $300 million in 2019 revenue on a $4.6 billion handle.
There is still some confusion, though amongst many gamblers. One of the big questions they have is if they are allowed to use a state’s online sportsbooks if they’re not physically located there. We will take a look at which states currently offer sports betting and if bettors are OK to bet from anywhere across the country.
States That Offer Legal Online Sports Betting
There is a list of states that are currently considering introducing online legal sports betting. This follows the success of those states that have already done so, which include:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
The majority of the names on this list have established markets, while others, such as Michigan and Illinois, will soon be offering legal sportsbooks. If you don’t see your state on the list, it is likely they will be joining at some point. When exactly is hard to tell, but it is expected that over 40 states are expected to offer regulated sports wagering within the next 5-10 years.
Can you Place Legal Bets from Another State?
Each state has slight differences from each other regarding their sports betting laws. Indiana has excluded esports from its market due to concerns regarding underage pros, whereas this is a booming market in other states. However, there is one rule that is the same across the board. You must be physically located in a state’s borders to gamble at its online sportsbooks.
There are several reasons why this is the case. One of the main ones is the US Supreme Court only repealed a federal ban PASPA on sports gambling—they didn’t legalize betting. So basically, this decision enabled states to choose if they want legal sports gambling individually, it didn’t legalize sports betting across the board. To give a hypothetical example: If New Jersey allowed residents of Florida to gamble with their bookmakers, then there is a potential legal conflict between New Jersey and Florida.
There would then be arguments about who would keep that valuable revenue from the bets. This problem doesn’t exist as long as states maintain their markets within their own borders.
How do States Know if you are in their Borders?
Each state uses geolocation to verify that gamblers are within their borders. Geolocation uses a bettor’s Wi-Fi signal to pinpoint their location. Sportsbooks recognize this when launching their apps, so bettors don’t have to do anything to enable this, it will be built into the app.
If you are not using an app and accessing a sportsbook through a web browser, you may have to download a geolocation app. One of the most popular ones you might want to try is GeoComply.
Can you Be Arrested for Betting in a Different State?
It is enshrined in law that you need to be within a state’s boundaries to bet there legally. So, if you are not, you are breaking the law. Each state may serve out different punishments, and they could arrest you for illegal gambling if they wanted.
It is more likely though that you will receive a warning. If you were to attempt to gamble out of state, you would receive a message on your screen that you can’t legally place bets. If you were to keep trying, you could then be served with legal action.
Signing up for a Sportsbook from Another State
You are free to register and sign up with a sportsbook from any state. You are not placing any bets, so this is completely fine. Registration is a simple process of filling in some mandatory fields such as name, age, address, etc.
As long as you are of legal age and have not been banned, you will be able to create an account very quickly. If you have a trip coming up to one of the states that offer legal sports betting, it would be an ideal time to register with one of their sportsbooks so you can enjoy betting on the go.