In terms of online sports betting in the United States, things have not always been clear in terms of the laws and regulations. Up until May 14, 2018, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act banned states from authorizing sports betting. This included both the licensing and participation in sports betting. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was in place for 25 years, having first been introduced in 1993.
During the years where the PASPA was in place, only three states were permitted to take sports bets. Nevada, where it has been possible to legally participate in all forms of gambling since 1949; Oregon, where the state lottery was allowed to operate its parlay card system; and Montana, where betting square contests could be created in licensed alcoholic beverage establishments.
However, the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018 and each state now has the power to introduce legal sports betting. Since the announcement in 2018, we have witnessed a flurry of activity as several states across the country have moved to legalize sports betting. Therefore, it is now in the hands of each individual state to create the laws and regulations surrounding online sports betting and keep US sports fans safe online when betting, giving resident of the states peace of mind if they wanted to bet online in Michigan for example.
Safety when gambling online is paramount and one of the first states to successfully introduce online sports betting was West Virginia. Their online sports betting launched December 2018 and gamblers in the region now have access to both the FanDuel and DraftKings mobile sportsbook. Sports gamblers in West Virginia are safe when using either of these online sportsbooks because they have been checked and verified by the West Virginia Lottery. Any online sports betting company wanting to offer their services to the people of West Virginia must obtain a verified licence from the West Virginia Lottery.
In terms of the most prominent state to offer online sports betting in the US, New Jersey lead the way. The Garden State was largely responsible for the downfall of PASPA and presented their case strongly to the Supreme Court. Therefore, it came as no surprise to see New Jersey introduce a huge range of online sportsbooks, including William Hill, BetMGM, PointsBet, FanDuel, DraftKings, Sugarhouse, Unibet, and 888Sport. Each of these online betting websites are legal and safe because they are licensed and regulated by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
When accessing a sports betting website in the United States, you should always head to the footer of the website where you will find the licensing details. If you cannot find any licensing information, you should use the sportsbook with caution. In addition, when gambling online in the US, check for the padlock symbol in the left corner of the address bar. If this is present, the website holds a valid SSL certificate, which is what helps to keep your personal and financial information safe when using the sports betting website or mobile application.