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Human Activity on the Right Side of Sports Betting Laws

Online sports betting is growing rapidly in popularity across the United States. With more states legalizing sports gambling, millions of bettors are flocking to new sportsbooks. However, the legal landscape remains complex. Betting laws differ significantly between states and even within states.

As an online sports bettor at Sisal Matchpoint, it’s your responsibility to understand the local laws where you live and play. Breaking sports betting laws can result in fines, account suspension, and even criminal charges. By learning the legal dos and don’ts, you can avoid unnecessary risks and bet more safely.

Research Your State’s Betting Laws

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The first step is understanding your state’s sports betting laws. Here are some key questions to answer:

  • Is online sports betting legal in your state?
  • If so, which operators and platforms are licensed?
  • Do you need to register in-person at a casino reviews before betting online?
  • Are there any restrictions around college sports betting?
  • What about prop bets, live betting, and other specialty wagers?

Resources like provide updated sports betting law summaries for all 50 states. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the rules in your area. States are constantly updating gaming laws, so it’s wise to check back periodically for changes.

Only Use Legal Sports Betting Sites

If your state has legalized online sports betting, you must use a licensed, regulated operator. Most states publish lists of approved sportsbook brands you can bet with. Examples include:

  • New Jersey: FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, PointsBet
  • Pennsylvania: Unibet, BetRivers, FOX Bet, BetAmerica

Avoid unlicensed offshore sites or illegal local bookies. These unregulated operators have no oversight and can refuse to pay winnings or outright steal deposits. Plus, you risk legal penalties for using prohibited platforms.

Don’t Try to Circumvent Geoblocking

Licensed sportsbooks use geolocation services to confirm you are within state lines when betting online. Trying to trick these services is both unethical and illegal. Common circumvention methods include:

  • VPNs masking your location
  • Spoofing GPS coordinates
  • Traveling across state borders to bet

Avoid the temptation to get around geoblocking, even if a bordering state has preferable sports betting laws. Operators will permanently ban any bettors caught deceiving their geolocation checks.

Understand College Sports Betting Bans

Certain states like New Jersey and Colorado allow wagering on college contests. However, others have strict bans, especially around in-state college athletics.

For example, despite allowing pro sports bets, California, Florida, Illinois, and Washington prohibit all betting on college games. Other states only ban wagering on local college teams.

Carefully research if any college betting restrictions apply within your state. Placing a prohibited college sports bet can still get you into legal hot water.

Don’t Bet as an Underage or Self-Excluded Person

Licensed sportsbooks have strict rules around underage gambling and self-exclusion lists. Betting illegally as one of the following can mean facing criminal charges:

  • Anyone younger than 21 years old
  • A person on a self-exclusion list for problem gambling
  • Someone outside state borders attempting to circumvent geoblocking (as mentioned above)

Avoid engaging in any kind of illegal sports betting that violates these rules. The consequences simply aren’t worth the risk, especially when legal betting options are now widely available.

What to Do If You Suspect Illegal Betting

If you witness any concerning betting activities that may be breaking state laws, here are some reporting options:

  • Contact sportsbook customer service: Licensed operators take legal compliance seriously. Alert them to any potential issues.
  • Report to gaming control authorities: Each state with legal wagering has a dedicated regulatory body you can contact.
  • Notify law enforcement if you witness a crime: Particularly serious infractions may warrant police involvement.

Although mistakes happen, deliberately and knowingly breaking the core rules around legal sports betting can get you into serious trouble. By following best practices and betting through safe, regulated channels only, you can enjoy online wagering without any worries. Just remember to gamble responsibly and never bet more than you can afford.

The published material expresses the position of the author, which may not coincide with the opinion of the editor.

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