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Best Legal Sportsbooks


Sadonna Price

Updated: Sep 2, 2023

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Online sportsbooks have become the default way that most sports bettors place bets. Retail sportsbooks used to rule the industry, but the growth of technology paved the way for online sports betting sites to slowly become the norm.

This is quite understandable. Many industries have gone the online route, and sports betting was always bound to be one of the industries that would follow suit.

Since 2018, more than a dozen states have legalized online sports betting, and plenty of online sportsbooks operate legally within these states. So there are more than enough legal avenues for you to access an online sportsbook in the US.

Read on to find out all you need to know concerning online sportsbooks.

Pros & Cons Of Betting At Online Sportsbooks

The following are some of the pros of betting at online sportsbooks:

  • Legal online sportsbooks are private and secure.
  • You have the convenience of betting at any moment that you wish.
  • Online sportsbooks have bonuses and promos, something that most retail sportsbooks lack.
  • It’s easier to keep track of all your bets since there is a section that shows you your betting history.
  • You have access to a wide variety of sports and casino games, which are all just a click away.

Online sportsbooks, sadly, do have their downsides as well. Some of the cons of playing at online sportsbooks include the following:

  • Online betting makes it easier for one to be addicted to gambling.
  • Online sportsbooks strip away the social interaction that retail sportsbooks have.
  • Many rogue operators try to take advantage of online loopholes, making it easier for oblivious bettors to get scammed.
  • Withdrawals can sometimes take too long. Additionally, some limits can be placed on withdrawals.
  • Regulatory issues can occur since online betting is not legal in many states. Sometimes the law can be murky on what is accepted and what is prohibited regarding online betting.

Would We Place Sports Bets At Online Sportsbooks?

It’s almost impossible to dismiss online sportsbooks. They have so many advantages over retail sportsbooks and are so common nowadays that most bettors will use the online sites to bet.

Since they are here to stay, you should opt for an online sportsbook whenever possible. Of course, you can still use retail sportsbooks occasionally, but for a 21st-century betting experience, online sportsbooks are the ones to go for.

Where Can I Bet Online In The US?

Most states with legal online sportsbooks legalized online betting after 2018—this is the year that the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the ban on sports betting after judging that the ban was unconstitutional.

All legal online sportsbooks are safe since they are legal and regulated, and they also try to promote fair gaming at all times.

These sportsbooks also adhere to strict security standards enforced by regulatory bodies; this ensures that your information and money are always safe in their hands. If you have a complaint about a sportsbook, you can always reach out to their dedicated customer service.

The status of online sports betting in the following states:

  • Colorado – Sports betting in Colorado officially went live on May 1, 2020. Both in-person and online betting is available, and bettors can also register online. The state’s top operators are DraftKings, BetMGM, and FanDuel.
  • Indiana – Indiana legalized sports betting in 2019, and betting officially went live on September 1, 2019. The state has both in-person and online betting. Remote registration is also available in the state. Top operators in the state include DraftKings, FanDuel, and Unibet.
  • Illinois Bettors in Illinois got the opportunity to place sports wagers after the first legal bet was placed on 3/9/2020. In-person and online betting is also available, though the state has constantly changed online registration rules. Currently, users have to register for Illinois online sports betting at a retail sportsbook. Top operators in the state include BetRivers, DraftKings, and FanDuel.
  • New Hampshire – Sports betting was legalized in NH in July 2019 and launched at the end of the year. Bettors within the state can place bets in retail and online sportsbooks, and bettors can register for online sports betting online. Interestingly, DraftKings is the state’s sole online betting operator.
  • Michigan – Michigan online sports betting went live on January 22, 2021, though in-person sports betting debuted a year earlier in March 2020. Wagers can be placed at either online or retail sportsbooks, and remote registration is allowed. Top operators in the state include FanDuel, BetMGM, and BetRivers.
  • Nevada – Nevada has always had sports betting since the mid-1900s. Both retail and online sports betting is available in the state, though, surprisingly, retail sports betting continues to be a favored choice, mostly because the state doesn’t allow remote registration. Top operators in the state include BetMGM, William Hill, and Caesars Sportsbook.
  • New Jersey – New Jersey is probably the best state for access to online services. Sports betting in NJ has been legal since 2018 and is available in both retail and online sportsbooks. Eligible bettors in the Garden State can register online. Top operators in the state include DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM.
  • Oregon – Oregon legalized sports betting in August 2019. Both online and retail sports betting is available in the state. However, the only online sportsbook is the state-run sportsbook called the Scoreboard, but bettors can register on the sportsbook online without visiting a physical casino.
  • PennsylvaniaPA sports betting launched in November 2018. Retail and online sportsbooks are available, and remote registration is allowed. Top operators in the state include DraftKings, BetRivers, and FOX Bet.
  • IowaIowa legalized sports betting in May 2019, and the market launched in August 2019. Retail and online sportsbooks are available. In-person registration for online sports betting used to be required, but the state allowed online registration from January 2021. Top operators in the state include DraftKings, William Hill, and PointsBet.
  • Tennessee – Sports betting was legalized in the Volunteer State in spring 2019 and went live on Nov. 1, 2020. Online betting is the only form of wagering allowed, so users have to register remotely. Top operators in the state include DraftKings, FanDuel, and Action 24/7.
  • Virginia – Virginia made sports betting legal in April 2020, and the market went live on January 22, 2021. Online and retail sports betting is allowed, and users can easily register for mobile sports betting online. Top operators in the state include FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetRivers.
  • Washington, DC – Sports betting was legalized in the capital in late 2018, and the market went live in May 2020. Online and retail sports betting is allowed, though GamBetDC is the only legal online sportsbook. Users can, however, register on the sportsbook online.
  • West Virginia – West Virginia legalized sports betting in 2018, and the market went live that same year. Bettors have the option of online or retail sportsbooks. Remote registration for online sports betting is also allowed. Top operators in the state include William Hill, DraftKings, and FanDuel.
  • New YorkSports betting in New York was legalized in January 2022. Available online sportsbooks include FanDuel, FOX Bet, BetRivers, and DraftKings.
  • Florida – Sports betting is not yet legal in Florida. However, there is potential to legalize it by 2022.

How To Sign Up At Online Sportsbooks

If your state permits remote registration, you can easily sign up at an online casino online without having to visit any land-based sportsbook. Just follow the steps below for a simplified registration process:

  • Choose the sportsbook that you wish to sign up at and go to its website or download the app.
  • Look for a ‘Join,’ ‘Register,’ or ‘Sign-up’ button. If you’re on the site’s homepage, you should be able to see the button because it’s a large one.
  • You’ll be required to enter and confirm your email. You’ll also need to input a password.
  • The sportsbook may require the following details from you: home address, legal name, sex, phone number, birth date, last four digits of your Social Security number, legal documents such as your ID card, and a username.
  • Input a security question and submit an answer for added account security.
  • If you have a promo code for a welcome bonus, you’ll see a space where you’re supposed to type in the code.
  • When done, confirm and agree to everything. Finally, register to complete the process.

Verification these days is often automatic because of the use of e-verification. However, some sportsbooks might have a KYC (Know Your Customer) process where you’ll be required to provide supplementary details to verify your identity.

In such a case, verification usually takes around one day. This can be longer or shorter depending on the urgency of the online casino’s customer service.

You should note that you have access to all of the site’s sections when you sign up at an online casino. This means that you don’t need to create another account for casino gaming or horse racing.

In fact, trying to create another account might lead to some trouble because each sportsbook states that a bettor can have a maximum of 1 account on their site. So if you try to create another account, you may end up getting locked out of both.


Almost all legal sportsbooks partner with GeoComply. GeoComply is an advanced location software that basically verifies your location to make sure that you are accessing the sportsbook from a territory that the sportsbook is allowed to serve.

This is usually because many bettors hide their locations using virtual private networks (VPNs).

Most sportsbooks will tell users to download the GeoComply app after signing up. Bettors usually can’t place bets unless GeoComply is turned on. To turn on the app after downloading it, open the app and permit it to access your accurate location data. When you do so, the app runs in the background and gives any relevant location data to supported sites.

Sports Betting Apps

In our digital age, you’ll find that every major online casino has an app of its own. This is great because such apps provide an extra way of placing wagers. The best thing about sports betting apps is that they simplify the betting process by packaging everything into a mobile-friendly app; this gives you the ability to bet while you’re on the move.

If you’re worried about limited options, the good thing is that sports betting apps often have everything that the PC site boasts, so you do not miss out on any betting choice if you choose to bet via an app.

Pros & Cons Of Sports Betting Apps

Pros of casino apps include:

  • Convenience, as bets can be placed any time.
  • If your sportsbook allows you to live stream sports, you can do so through the app conveniently.
  • Notifications will always keep you updated on the latest bets and events.
  • You can deposit and withdraw at any time through the app.
  • There’s no need to schedule your time around your betting since you always have the app with you and can use it to bet at any moment.

As expected, casino apps do have their downsides as well. A few of their cons include:

  • Gambling addiction is made easier because of the convenience that sports betting apps give users.
  • One may need a high-end device for proper functionality.
  • Smaller screens can be restrictive, especially for older bettors who prefer big screens from sportsbooks.
  • Betting at any time that you wish can easily lead to mismanagement of funds.
  • Casino apps can make you multitask at the wrong time.

How To Fund Your Betting Account

Funding your account is as easy as placing a bet. Both depositing and withdrawing are extremely straightforward, especially since there’s a common procedure to follow if you want to access your funds.

If you wish to deposit money, here’s what you should do:

  • Go to your sportsbook and log in.
  • Go to the cashier section and press the ‘Deposit’ button.
  • You’ll see a list of deposit methods. Choose the most appropriate one for you.
  • Enter the amount of money that you want to have in your betting account.
  • Card details will be required if you’re depositing via a card.
  • Follow any instructions from a potential prompt.
  • The site should confirm the deposit.
  • When you go back to your betting account, you’ll see the deposited funds.

For bettors looking to withdraw their funds, here are the steps to follow:

  • Go to your sportsbook and log in.
  • Head over to the cashier section and click ‘Withdraw.’
  • From the withdrawal methods listed, choose how you want to receive your funds.
  • Type in the amount you wish to take out.
  • Follow any instructions from a potential prompt.
  • You’ll be notified once the withdrawal takes place.

Online Sportsbooks Payment Process

Top-tier sportsbooks will always have plenty of payment methods listed on their site. So you can rest assured that you’ll be accommodated regardless of the withdrawal or deposit method you like using.

Most sportsbooks list the following deposit options:

  • Credit and debit cards
  • Skrill
  • Prepaid cards
  • PayNearMe
  • PayPal
  • ACH/e-check
  • Play+ cards

Casino withdrawal options are known to be fewer, but the available ones still cover most sports bettors. Most sportsbooks list the following withdrawal options:

  • PayPal
  • Check by mail
  • Cash at the casino cage
  • ACH/e-check
  • Skrill
  • Play+ Prepaid Cards

How Do Online Sportsbooks Sign Up Offers Work?

One of the great perks of online sportsbooks is sign-up offers. If you’re a new bettor, you can easily claim sign-up offers by signing up on books with welcome offers. Once you complete the sign-up process, you’ll be given a bonus after you deposit, though some offers may not even require a deposit at all.

Sportsbooks do this as a way to lure customers to their sites. However, since such offers are legitimate and extremely easy to claim, you’re always advised to jump on them whenever you have a chance to do so.

Bettors will most likely interact with the three following welcome offers:

First Deposit Offer

When you sign up at an online casino and complete registration, you’ll be required to make a deposit to unlock this offer. Whatever amount you deposit will be matched by the sportsbook, though there is always a certain limit that the book will match.

This limit is always stated in the offer’s advertisement or the sportsbook’s terms and conditions. You must also consider any wagering requirements connected to the deal. For this offer, most providers expect you to wager the bonus amount and the deposit a certain number of times before a withdrawal is allowed.

Free Bet Offers

Free bets for sports betting are bonus amounts given to you in the form of a free stake. For example, a $5 free bet means that you can use the $5 given to you by the sportsbook to place a bet instead of using your own money.

All you have to do is select the bets you want to place, add them to your bet slip, and then use the free bet bonus to place that bet. Simple!

Bonus Bet

This offer specifically applies to the first bet that you place at an online casino. If that first bet ends up being a loss, the book will refund the stake used to place that very first wager. This means that you can use this refunded bonus to place another wager.

So, essentially, it’s almost as if you never lost in the first place.

Online sportsbooks aim to have as much variety as possible because bettors are attracted to all types of sports. For this reason, you’ll always find that the top sportsbooks will list as many sports as possible to ensure that they have a wide enough appeal.

Some of the most popular sports to bet at online sportsbooks are discussed below:

NFL Betting

Football is the most popular sport to bet on. Whatever sportsbook you use, you’ll always find bets on every NFL game, from the kickoff game to the Super Bowl. There are many types of bets that you can place, including moneyline bets, point spreads, props, futures, and many more.

NBA Betting

The NBA season is usually a long one with lots of games. So basketball bettors have many games to put their money on. You can bet on any game that you wish. This can be the regular-season games, the playoffs, or the NBA Finals.

MLB Betting

America’s favorite pastime is also a betting favorite for many. Given that each team plays 162 games, it’s safe to say that there is enough action to satisfy your baseball betting needs. There are many distinct MLB bets that you can place. These include run line bets, moneyline bets, series bets, props, etc.

NHL Betting

The NHL is another premier sports league with a passionate fanbase and rich history, which makes the league perfect for sports betting. Bets that you can place on NHL games include the following: moneyline, puck line, totals, futures, and props, same game parlays among many others.

College Football Betting

Intriguingly, bettors also have the option of betting on NCAAF games. College football is revered for its wild unpredictability, which makes betting on such games even more fun. Though some states have restrictions on college betting, so always check what you can and can’t bet on.

College Basketball Betting

The lower leagues are usually great for betting, and many bettors choose to capitalize on college games because of their profitability. NCAAB games perfectly set themselves up for sports betting. You still have all the available basketball betting options—moneyline, point spreads, and totals—plus many more unique player props. And who doesn’t love betting during March Madness?

Although, as mentioned, your college basketball betting options will depend on your state’s laws.


About the author

For almost two decades, Sadonna has remained at the forefront of the gambling industry in the US and abroad, covering the latest news and legal update...

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