Can I Go To Jail For Betting Sports Online?

The only conceivable scenario where one could wind up in jail is if that person chooses to operate an online sports betting site. From the simple perspective of betting sports illegally you will not wind up in jail. What's more likely to happen are fines or probation that can take place.

The most common instances of betting violations are underage bettors. This is taken very seriously both at U.S. sports betting sites and land-based sportsbooks. Even with that though, the likelihood of jail time is very limited, if any at all. Other repercussions are typically sought after.

The reason that underage betting is a serious issue lies not just with the individual, but also with that sportsbook or betting site. It's a penalty on the sportsbook as well, as they can receive penalties for allowing such an occurrence to take place. Penalties from both the sportsbook and the law are possible in this instance.

U.S. Online Sports Betting Statutes + Laws

Betting sports in the United States is not free from the law or legislation that comes along with it, which stipulates what's actually able to be done. American bettors do not have complete reign over what they can bet, where they can bet, and how they can bet. With that being said though, there are easy and safe ways in which it can be done.

But what about the look from the other side… the part of online sports betting in which bettors could get into trouble and wind up breaking the law?

There are situations and scenarios that bettors need to be aware of to ensure that they do not break the sports betting laws installed at both the federal and state levels. Federal laws make up for three betting-related pieces of legislation, while state laws and ordinances at the local level have the potential to be far greater.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed back in 2006, and extends to sports betting among other forms of online gambling. But very specifically, the UIGEA bans the operation of a sports betting site in the U.S. The UIGEA does not ban the act of placing a bet online for sports, meaning that offshore sportsbooks not in the country are legal.

There is another angle to look at this from as well however; land-based sports betting. PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) outlaws land-based sports betting in 46 of 50 states at the federal level. Residents are permitted to place legal wagers on sports in Nevada and Delaware as of 2013 - Oregon and Montana do not have active sports betting.

Placing bets in Nevada or Delaware at licensed sportsbooks will not land you in trouble with the law.

The Federal Wire Act of 1961 can be grouped in the same category as the UIGEA based on the intended target which would be interstate sports gambling. Here is what you need to know: First, the Wire Act primarily applies to land-based sports gambling which means any wagers placed offshore, land-based or online, fall outside of its jurisdiction. Second, the Wire Act only prevents bookmaking operations, licensed or otherwise, from taking wagers via wire communication for those betting from a different state within the U.S. - it only applies to any entity taking money for betting purposes on U.S. soil, American residents are exempt as the end user.

Is It Illegal To Place Online Sports Wagers?

It is legal to bet sports online at offshore sports betting sites, provided that bettors are not in violation of state law. For the most part, states defer to federal laws. This means that U.S. residents can check out these sports betting sites and wager legally without worrying about getting into trouble - click here to read more about this subject.

Top Rated U.S. Sports Betting Websites
New Player Deposit Promotions
Check The Site Out:
Bovada Sportsbook
New $250 Bonus With 50% Match
BetOnline Sportsbook
25% To $900 Match Bonuses On Every Deposit Made
5Dimes Sportsbook
50% To $200 Then Additional 20% To $500
What Will Happen If I Get Caught Betting On Sports Online?

There is not a basic answer here because there are several parts to cover. The extent of whether or not a bettor would get into trouble for wagering is purely situational. The good news is that the federal laws that cover sports betting pertain to betting businesses for the most part, especially when it comes to online sports betting.

While we are familiar with online sports betting, we are not trained lawyers. As a result, we do suggest that if you have other questions or concerns about sports gambling laws in your area to consult a local official or attorney in your state or county. They will be able to provide you with the most recent and accurate information specific to your state.

USA Sportsbook Reviews
More Legal Betting Sites