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US States That Allow Offshore Betting

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With the massive new interest in US sports wagering, gamblers all across the country are looking into the states where online sports betting is legal. Along with that, gamblers are looking for online casino and poker play, as well. However, domestic online gambling operators remain few and far between, so the legality of offshore betting sites is always the next avenue of consideration.

Fortunately, offshore sports betting is legal in the US with very few exceptions (more on that later), and even as more states that allow sports betting and casino gaming over the Internet are cropping up, none of them has made wagering at overseas venues an actual crime. You can learn about which states offer domestic online gambling options – as well as learn about your options where you live using the information on this page.

The Best Offshore Betting Sites For USA Players

When looking for the best online betting website, you’re going to have to paddle through a lot of flotsam and jetsam. That’s what you get when you go offshore, after all! Of course, it can also be smooth sailing, but only if you stick with the top offshore gambling sites we review and recommend here. With a few exceptions, every player in America can freely use the following services to wager real money online!

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What Are The Primary Gambling Laws In America?

There are two major gambling laws in the United States: The Interstate Wire Act (1961) and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA, 2006). A third law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA, 1992) was overturned by the US Supreme Court in 2018, paving the way for each state to enact its own sports wagering laws.

The two existing federal restrictions are briefly described below to show how they affect gambling at the state level. Remember, both of these laws go after gaming operators or related financial institutions, not the individual bettor:

  • Wire Act – The Wire Act was established in 1961 as a way to prevent the New York mafia families from “running numbers” in other states. The overarching long-term effect of the law is that a sports gambler in one state cannot place a wager in another state via telephone, Internet, or other means. However, since this is a domestic law and the US has no jurisdiction in other countries, US gamblers can easily and legally place wagers with reputable gambling sites located in other countries. In 2018, the US DOJ expanded the Wire Act’s interpretation to bar interstate gambling of all types, though this is being challenged.
  • UIGEA – The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 is an attempt to ban domestic US financial institutions from knowingly processing payments to or from unauthorized or “unregulated” casino, sports betting, and poker sites. However, the only actual result of this law in the grand scheme has been to cause a few credit cards to be declined on occasion. Further, the advent of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has made the UIGEA almost completely irrelevant. The UIGEA specifically places regulatory oversight on how gambling-related transactions are processed.  The law is not directed at those doing the gambling, but rather the owners and operates of gambling businesses.

Is Offshore Gambling Legal In Each State?

Offshore online gambling is legal in 48 of 50 US states, as well as in Washington, DC. The two states where online wagering (regardless of the source) is considered against the law are Connecticut and Washington. However, these bans do not appear to be enforced, and there is no record that we could find of any CT or WA resident being fined or arrested for betting over the Internet. (However, if you live in either of these states, you are advised to proceed at your own risk if you choose to sign up and gamble at offshore betting sites).

It should also be noted that New Jersey residents are not able to sign up at most reputable offshore betting sites, as these operators have temporarily withdrawn from the NJ marketplace. However, it is not actually illegal for NJ bettors to wager offshore, and they can do so once they’re outside of state borders.

States That Allow Offshore Gambling

Almost all states allow their residents to enjoy offshore gambling. In fact, only two states have specific laws against online gambling: Washington and Connecticut. If you live anywhere else, it is legal and safe to use overseas online casinos, poker rooms, sportsbooks, bingo halls, and racetracks.

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California
Colorado Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii
Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas
Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts
Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana
Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Mexico New York
North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon
Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee
Texas Utah Vermont Virginia West Virginia
Wisconsin Wyoming

US States With Legal Gambling Online

Technically, most states allow legal online gambling. However, when gamblers look for states with sports betting, casino gaming, horse betting, and poker, they’re usually searching for those few states that have formally legalized these markets at the state level and have domestic wagering options available. Therefore, it is important to differentiate between states with legal online gambling at domestically regulated venues and those where residents are free to access offshore betting sites.

States With Domestic Gambling

If you’re looking for which states have legalized online sports betting and other forms of gambling, the list is still pretty short, despite PASPA being overturned in May 2018. To date, the states listed below have authorized in-state wagering over the Internet:

States With Online Casinos

  • Delaware
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia (TBA)

States With Online Poker

  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Delaware
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia

States With Online Sportsbooks

  • Indiana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • West Virginia
  • +More (TBA)

States With Online Bingo

  • Delaware
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia (TBA)

States With Online Horse Racing Betting

Alabama Arizona Arkansas California Colorado
Connecticut Delaware Florida Idaho Illinois
Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana
Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota
Montana New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania
Rhode Island South Dakota Tennessee Vermont Virginia
Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Is Offshore Gambling Better Than Domestic Gambling?

If you’re looking for the best betting experience, there are a number of things to consider, and most of them depend on your own personal needs as a bettor. For most users, due to sheer availability, offshore gambling is a much better, more convenient proposition. However, if you live in a state that has online domestic options (or live near brick-and-mortar gambling venues and enjoy making the occasional evening out of your gambling hobby), these might be more compelling. Each route has its own pros and cons.

Offshore Betting Benefits

  • Convenient and accessible to vast majority of gamblers
  • Available to residents of 48 US states (excluding CT, WA)
  • Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency support
  • iPhone/Android mobile support with no app downloads required
  • Secure SSL and TLS encryption technology
  • No geo-fencing restrictions
  • RNG technology guaranteeing fair play for all casino games
  • 24/7 live poker including cash games and tournaments
  • Multiple sportsbook sites to shop lines for the best prices
  • No NCAA or eSports betting restrictions
  • No skewed “home team” pricing on local clubs
  • Live betting support for most major sports
  • Multiple valuable bonus offers
  • International selection of horse tracks with dozens of daily races

Local Betting Benefits

  • Native apps for iPhone and Android (via App Store and Google Play) in states with legal mobile betting
  • Wide credit/debit deposit support
  • Same-day payouts
  • Betting lounges offer gameday/tailgate social experience
  • Casinos often offer comped drinks and meals
  • Nothing beats a night at the racetrack

Top 11 Questions About Offshore Gambling Sites

offshore star1. Be honest: Are offshore betting sites legal for real?

Yes! Unless you live in Washington or Connecticut, offshore betting sites are safe and legal to use, as they operate outside of US legal jurisdiction.

2. Don’t states consider offshore betting to be “black market” gambling?

No. Offshore betting is not considered to be “black market” betting, as that designation is reserved for local underground casinos and bookies operating on US soil without proper licensing. Offshore gambling sites are not part of the black market, and until states explicitly outlaw them, they will remain safe to use.

3. Has any state ever arrested a resident for betting over the Internet at an offshore site?

Millions of American bettors have been patronizing offshore gambling sites for over a generation, and we’ve never heard of anyone getting fined or arrested for hitting the digital felts or wagering on sports over the Internet with these operators.

4. Is it safe to bet at offshore sites?

Provided you use a reputable, licensed offshore operator, it is safe to gamble over the Internet. These sites all use state-of-the-art encryption (SSL, TLS) and never give out user information to third parties, keeping all your betting action confidential and secure. Additionally, the best gambling sites all use regularly audited and notarized RNG technology that ensure fair odds to win, whatever your game.

Just pay attention to the terms and conditions of your membership, make sure you’re the legal age to gamble in your area (typically 18+), and you should be good to go. You can even join several sites to shop lines for the best deals and find unique table games and variants!

5. Is a domestically regulated casino safer to use than an offshore casino?

Both types of betting sites are completely safe to use. Some bettors will certainly feel more confident using a state-regulated casino, and that peace of mind can be important, but you have no reason to feel unsafe when using any offshore gambling site recommended here.  

6. Is the legal age to bet at offshore sites different in each state?

The legal betting age in your state depends on whether or not your state has gambling laws on its books. If your state has legalized casino sports betting within its borders, it will usually have an age minimum set, and this is almost always 21 and up. However, if your state has yet to pass any gambling legislation, you can defer to your offshore site’s age minimum, which is usually 18 and older.

Technically speaking, all major offshore casinos and sportsbooks will accept bettors at just 18 years old, but you should always defer to your state’s mandates just to stay on the safe side.

7. Will all US states legalize sports betting and gambling domestically?

Most industry analysts believe that most US states will have legal sports betting available within their borders sometime in the next three to five years. However, it is unlikely that the pastime will be legalized in all 50 states, as some local governments – like those of Utah and Hawaii – are notoriously antagonistic towards gambling across the board.

One of the side effects of this increase in sports betting is that it is encouraging a more mainstream acceptance of casino gaming as well. Currently, commercial and tribal casinos are only available in 30 states. As sports betting states grow in number, more states should also introduce other local gambling options.

8. How much money is bet on sports in each state?

There are lots of different estimates about how much money is wagered on sports by residents of each state. Obviously, states with more professional teams and richer sporting cultures (like New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and California) will see more wagers per capita, but sports betting turns a handle of at least $1 billion annually in each and every state in the US.

  • Money bet offshore by US bettors – The American Gaming Association states that US gamblers turn an annual sports betting handle of roughly $165 billion. However, some lawmakers have suggested that this number is as high as $450 billion.
  • Money bet domestically by US bettors – While only a few states have legalized sports betting, those have combined for a handle of roughly $14 billion in the first year post-PASPA. This figure is only going to go up as more states come on board and more people bet at domestic books.

9. Do states with legal sports betting and gambling have their own casino apps?

Most states that have legalized land-based sports betting have also legalized online sports betting. In such states, the sportsbooks that open tend to offer their own official sportsbook apps for iPhone and Android, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. However, these apps are all geo-fenced, meaning that you can only use them in the states where they are licensed and registered.

That said, most states with legal casino gaming do not also offer online domestic gambling, which is why so many residents opt for the convenient offshore option. Only the residents of  New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware can play casino games on state-regulated iPhone and Android casino apps.

10. Do overseas operators offer offshore casino betting apps?

Offshore sports betting sites and casino operators do not offer traditional apps for iPhone or Android, as Apple and Google corporate policies do not allow overseas gambling products in their US-facing storefronts (i.e. the App Store and Google Play).

However, all the most reputable operators have developed mobile-optimized browser-based web portals for their sportsbooks, poker rooms, casinos, and racebooks, giving users a native app-like experience without requiring any downloads or updates.

11. Why can’t states simply criminalize bettors for using offshore betting sites?

As more state-based sportsbooks and casinos open, many bettors wonder why states don’t just ban offshore betting sites altogether. Well, New Jersey has considered this approach, opting instead to threaten legal action against offshore operators who do business in the state. And while Washington and Connecticut residents are nominally barred from all online gambling, the laws in those states are historically unenforced.

Ultimately, the reason most states won’t go this route is that such laws would be logistically impossible to enforce, would require all residents’ Internet traffic to be monitored, and would require various international trade agreements to be amended. It is easier for states to simply offer local domestic alternatives for resident bettors, which is what most are currently considering.

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