In the United States, where sports betting is not officially legal yet, the landscape can be a bit overwhelming as far as alternatives go. As the country slowly begins to reintegrate itself into sports after months and even years of being in lockdown, there are a few options available to the average person who wants to place a wager on the upcoming game. Luckily, the demand for legal sports betting in the U.S. is outstripping the supply, and with good reason. Here are some of the best places to start your search for an offshore sportsbook if you live in the United States. Keep reading for more information on each location.
Legalizing Sports Betting in Mississippi
Mississippi became the 36th state in the country to legalize sports betting. On June 25th, 2020, Governor Andy Beshear signed House Bill 1747 into law. This new law will allow licensed sportsbooks to open in the state and will remove all restrictions on who can and cannot participate in sports wagering. The law will also require operators to be licensed and to meet certain net worth requirements.
New York Football Betting
On January 19th, 2020, the Federal government of the United States of America announced plans to legalize sports betting for the entire country. As of yet, no formal announcement has been made regarding specific regulations or standards for sports betting, but many expect that this year’s NBA season will be the first to allow for large-scale competitive betting. While there will be no official opening date for online and mobile sportsbooks in New York, the state-regulated business will hopefully emerge as a safe and convenient way for people in the U.S. to place bets on their favorite sporting events.
Tennessee Sports Betting
Tennessee became the 35th state in the country to legalize sports betting. On March 21st, 2020, Governor Bill Lee signed House Bill 1084 into law. This new law will allow licensed sportsbooks to open in the state, but only in counties that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. In most instances, online and mobile sportsbooks in Tennessee will be available only to residents of the state.
Arkansas Online Betting
On March 17th, 2020, the State of Arkansas legalized sports betting and made it available only in licensed establishments. Mobile and online sportsbooks in the state will be regulated by the Arkansas Racing Commission. The law also allows for charitable gambling on sporting events in both the regular and pari-mutuel forms. While the landscape in Arkansas is still largely unregulated, it is, at least, officially welcoming to the wagering industry.
Louisiana Sports Betting
Louisiana is yet another state that has legalized sports betting. On February 19th, 2020, Governor John Bel Edwards signed House Bill 7 into law. This new law will establish regulated sportsbooks in the state and allow only residents who are 21 years of age or older to participate. Mobile phones and digital devices will be barred from being used in sportsbooks under this law. Online sportsbooks in Louisiana will have to be opened by companies that are registered with the state.
Maine Sports Betting
Maine has also legalized sports betting. On January 15th, 2020, Governor Janet Mills signed House Bill 57 into law. This new law will establish regulated sportsbooks in the state and allow only residents who are 21 years of age or older to participate. Mobile phones and digital devices will be barred from being used in sportsbooks under this law. Online sportsbooks in Maine will have to be opened by companies that are registered with the state.
Hawaii Sports Betting
Hawaii was the 22nd state in the country to legalize sports betting. On April 2nd, 2020, Governor David Ige signed House Bill 2044 into law. This new law will allow licensed sportsbooks to open in the state and will make it legal for residents to engage in sports wagering. As before, only residents who are 21 years of age or older will be able to participate in regulated sports betting in Hawaii. Mobile phones and digital devices will be barred from being used in sportsbooks under this law. It should be noted that the U.S. Department of the Interior has, as of yet, not taken any official position on whether or not it will enforce the state’s prohibition on online and mobile sports betting.
Gambling Addiction And Social Responsibility
You might also be wondering how gambling fits within the framework of social responsibility. According to the American Psychiatric Association, gambling is defined as a “behavioral syndrome characterized by patterns of behavior that are recurrent, time-consuming, and lead to personal and social impairment.” This syndrome can cause “significant impairments in both social and occupational functioning.”
In general, states that have legalized sports betting do not perceive it as being a problem. In some cases, problem gambling is even addressed specifically in the state’s legislation. For example, in Massachusetts, House Bill 2044 defines and regulates sports betting as follows:
- “Problem Gambling” shall mean gambling that involves significant impairs or damages the ability to function in society, such as social impairment, functional impairment, financial problems, or illegal activities. Problem gambling shall also include but not be limited to: compulsive betting; lying to cover up gambling; and, repeating gambling behaviors in order to relieve anxiety or relieve tension.
- “Problem Gambling” shall not include instances where: (i) an individual gambles for fun, enjoyment, or skill; (ii) an individual gambles to temporarily feel better or relieve psychological pain; (iii) an individual gambles to assist another person in betting or donating money to charity; (iv) an individual gambles to raise money for a good cause; or (v) an individual gambles responsibly.
The answer to the question of whether or not sports betting is a problem largely depends on the individual and the situation. However, in general, states that have legalized sports betting do not perceive it as being a problem. In some cases, problem gambling is even addressed specifically in the state’s legislation.
Where Can I Bet?
Once you have found a state or territory that you would like to bet on, you will need to determine where you can actually place your wager. For the convenience of the casual bettor, offshore sportsbooks can be found in almost every major city. However, states and localities may also have specific regulations regarding where you can and cannot engage in wagering, so be sure to check with the appropriate government agencies before you make any plans to open a sportsbooking account.