Where can I place a wager on sports? In the U.S., you can bet on any professional or collegiate sports team in the country. Bookmakers, casinos, and racetracks have been offering sports betting for centuries, but the law got in the way.
The legalization of sports betting in the U.S. was a hot topic in 2016. Several states and territories, as well as the District of Columbia, passed laws allowing for sports betting. But before you place your next wager, you need to know where and how to place bets legally.
Where Can I bet?
You can bet on most any sporting event in the U.S., from the World Series to the Super Bowl. More importantly, you can also enter into written agreements with bookmakers to place bets on an extensive list of sporting events, from the New York Yankees to the Los Angeles Lakers. In addition, you can bet on the annual college football and basketball championships (i.e., the College Football Playoff and the NCAA Basketball Tournament), as well as the horse racing events at the racetracks.
Which States Allow For Legal Sports Betting?
So, which states have legalized sports betting? The U.S. is divided into four major regions, called the “conferences,” that are overseen by the Football Associations of America (4A’s) and the American Professional Football Clubs (4L’s).
The states in the Atlantic Coast Conferences—Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina—all allow for legal sports betting. Similarly, the states in the Big 12 Conference —Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming— allow for legal sports betting.
The Western Conference consists of the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah, as well as the U.S. territories of American Samoa and Guam. Finally, the states in the Midwest Conference, which includes Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota, have legalized sports betting as well.
How Do Bookmakers Operate In These States?
The states that have legalized sports betting operate under a system of licensed sportsbooks. These sportsbooks must adhere to the laws in place in the state, as well as the regulations set by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), the American Advertising Federation (AAF), and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).
The sportsbooks must also ensure that all the sports betting activities take place within the confines of the law. For example, in most parts of the country, it is illegal to book bets on a game that is being played out in the street or at a park. Bookmakers will ensure that all their customers are aware of these restrictions and follow them.
How Do I Place A Legal Bet?
To place a legal bet in one of the states where sports betting is legal, first you will need to contact a reputable sportsbook. The American Bookie Association, which oversees all the state-licensed bookmakers, will then give you a list of accepted bookmakers for that state. If you live in one of the states where sports betting is legal, you can use any of the bookmakers on that list.
You can also visit the websites of trusted, reputable sportsbooks and bookmark them for future use. When you find a site that you like, be sure to click on the “sign up” button to get to the point where you can confirm your email address. From there, you will be able to place your first bet.
The sportsbooks that are licensed in the various states operate under different rules and regulations, so it is important to familiarize yourself with all the terms and conditions before you start betting. Knowing what to expect is half the battle when it comes to enjoying sports gambling. If you keep all of this in mind, you will be able to place a legal bet without any trouble at all.
When Does The Season Start?
The season for the majority of professional sports starts in September and ends in June. However, there are exceptions to the rule. For instance, the New York Yankees play their home games in April and May. Similarly, the Los Angeles Lakers play some of their home games in October.
The NFL season is considered to be from early September to mid-June. College football and basketball seasons also start in September and end in June. As a result, you will often find that bookmakers and casinos are closed for the summer. The NCAA hosts its championship events in the spring, so that’s when the action is at its peak. The same goes for the NFL and the NBA.
Are There Any Blackouts?
Yes, in fact, there are several instances where a game is either postponed or canceled due to bad weather, strikes, or riots. Sometimes, teams from one conference will not play another conference, meaning that there are games that are not available to be bet on. This is called a “blackout” and can occur during the NFL, NBA, and NCAA football seasons.
To avoid any problems, make sure you are aware of any blackouts before you start making wagers. You should also familiarize yourself with the methods used by online sportsbooks, as many of these sites will try their best to find games that are eligible for a wager. Luckily, there are usually ways to get around these issues and place bets on the games that you want to see.
Are Regular Season Games Suitable For Betting?
Just because sports are legal doesn’t mean that you can put down bets on them. Just like anything else, there are some instances where betting on regular season games would be inappropriate. Here are some instances where betting on a regular season game would be an issue:
- The NFL has a “No Betting” rule, where you are not supposed to put down bets on games that you are supposed to play in.
- Games that are played in the rain are considered “underwater,” so you can’t place bets on those games (unless you are participating).
- Games that are affected by snow, humidity, or heavy fog are not suitable for betting (many indoor sports are played under these conditions).
- Games that air on television stations in your area are considered “local” and can’t be bet on, because the bookmakers don’t want to risk getting in trouble with the law by taking bets outside of the state.
- Certain games that might be considered “unlucky”, based on historical records, can’t be wagered on. These games include, but are not limited to:
- Horse racing
- Sports that involve bodily harm to the athletes (i.e., fighting, hockey, and wrestling)
- Certain motorcycle races
- Archery (this is a matter of federal law)
- Games where the final score was 42-0
- And the list goes on…
As you can see, there are several instances where betting on regular season games is not advisable. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other cases where it’s perfectly legal and acceptable. The key is finding a reputable sportsbook that is aware of these restrictions and doesn’t take them lightly.
Is It Possible To Place A Bet On A Rescheduled Game?
Yes, it is possible to place a bet on a rescheduled game. In these cases, you will need to contact the bookmaker (or the team) and find out the rules regarding placing bets on rescheduled games. Typically, the majority of bookmakers will allow for this type of wager—it’s just a matter of following the proper procedures.
For example, if the New York Yankees have a game on Tuesday, March 6th at 7:00 p.m. EDT, but the game is postponed because of bad weather, you would need to contact the New York Yankees to find out how to place a wager on the rescheduled game. You would give the bookmaker your name and contact information, along with the information about what happens on March 6th—whether it’s a new date or time, or if the game is canceled.