Welcome to the most complete collection of betting site reviews in the USA. We monitor and report on developments in online gaming and add new reviews on a regular basis. The United States is undergoing a massive expansion in online sports betting and gambling, and new sites are launching all the time. We move quickly to study, research, and review legal betting sites as they come online.
When we say “legal,” we mean that in the strictest sense of the word. Longstanding federal laws and more recent developments on the legislative front have opened new opportunities for online gaming and sports betting. All betting sites reviewed or recommended here at BettingUSA.com are licensed and legal right here in the United States.
Today, we have much more legal clarity when it comes to which betting sites are legal and which are not. The one area in which there is still some confusion is the fact that each state in the USA has its own set of laws. A patchwork of federal and state laws results in some US betting sites being legal in some states but not in others.
The good news on that end is two of our other key missions here at BettingUSA.com are to explain the gaming laws of every US state in plain English and then to recommend betting sites that are legal where you live.
You can see which betting sites are legal in your state by clicking here and choosing your state or by visiting any of the following reviews for a list of states from which they accept customers.
Online Sports Betting Reviews
Online sports betting is the newest form of online gaming to receive legal status in the United States thanks to a May 2018 Supreme Court decision that ended the federal sports betting prohibition.
The first legal sports betting sites came online in New Jersey several months later. As additional states pass similar sports betting laws, we expect to see many more join the fray over coming weeks, months and years.
Operators Who Either Haven’t Launched, No Longer Operational, Or We Cannot Endorse.
- Mount Airy Casino Review (pending launch in summer 2019)
- BetLucky Review (closed indefinitely as parent company seeks new software provider)
Betting Site Comparisons
Online Casino and Poker Site Reviews
The first legal online casinos and poker sites launched in 2013 in New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada. A number of other states have shown interest in legalizing casino games and poker since then, but Pennsylvania is the only one to move on the opportunity since with legislation passed in 2017.
New Jersey Casino Reviews
Delaware Casino Reviews
Online Horse Racing Betting Reviews
Off-track betting (OTB) was first legalized in 1978 with the passage of the Interstate Horseracing Act (full text PDF). The act made it legal for horse racing venues to accept wagers at off-track locations provided that all wagers taken at OTB locations went directly to the prize pools of the tracks actually hosting races. Back then, the Interstate Horseracing Act made no mention of the internet.
The act was amended by Congress in 2000 to specifically legalize wagers made over the telephone or “other electronic media.” This paved the way for the first legal horse betting sites to open for business. There are now a number of legitimate online racebooks that operate right here on US soil in full compliance of the law.
These sites cover hundreds of racetracks across the US and other parts of the world. Betting at any of these sites is the same as placing your wagers in person. You have access to all the same types of wagers and you get full payouts, but you don’t have to visit the track to place your bet. Best of all, your winnings can be sent straight to your bank account at the conclusion of the races.
Individual states still have the option to restrict online horseracing. A handful of states have taken this option and implement a complete ban on all online horse wagering. To further complicate matters, each state may opt to license some sites but not others. This is why sometimes you’ll find one site accepts customers from one state, but the next site does not. It all depends on who is licensed where.
States Where All Online Horse Racing Betting is Prohibited
|New Jersey||North Carolina||South Carolina||Utah||Virginia|
Fantasy Sports Sites
Fantasy sports betting is legal in the United States thanks to a piece of text that was included in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). In short, the exemption stated that online fantasy leagues are legal as long as they meet two key requirements:
- The outcome of a fantasy league is dependent upon more than one game
- Prizes are made known in advance and are not dependent upon fees or number of entries
This carve-out not only made season-long leagues legal, but also short term leagues as long as they cover 2 or more games. Daily fantasy leagues are now the most popular format because they allow players to draft new teams every day or week. Instead of being stuck with the same team all season long, you can now try different teams and players as the season progresses.
Daily fantasy underwent a major boom phase from about 2014-2015 and things have stabilized for the most part since then. Still, the biggest fantasy sites attraction hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of entry fees every year and regularly host contests that award top prizes in excess of $1 million.
Choosing the Best DFS Site for You
Choosing the best fantasy site isn’t a terribly difficult decision. Sure, there are a few things to consider but it’s hard to get it completely wrong as long as you stick with the well-known names in the industry. If all else fails, it’s always a safe bet to just go with DraftKings or FanDuel. You won’t go wrong with either of those sites.
On the other hand, it never hurts to take your time and find the perfect fantasy website for your needs. Let’s take a look at a few things worth considering when looking for a new place to play.
Big Vs. Small
You can broadly categorize today’s fantasy betting sites as either “big” or “small.” Big sites include the likes of FanDuel and DraftKings. These sites have the largest user bases, greatest selection of leagues and the largest cash prizes. It’s always worth at least keeping an account open at one of the big sites because you’ll always have a large selection of leagues to choose from.
One of the primary advantages offered by big sites apart from volume is the chance to win life-changing amounts of money. For example, last year the two biggest sites each hosted multiple contests that awarded $1,000,000+ prizes to the grand champions. If you manage to pick the perfect team for a major contest, you can actually become a millionaire on the spot. That’s an opportunity that simply isn’t found at smaller sites.
Larger sites provide the largest potential reward for your dollar. The tournaments at major fantasy sites can attract thousands of entrants and potentially return five-figure payouts in tournaments with buyins under $20. Yes, it’s harder to win in large tournaments but big sites also host smaller contests with limited numbers of entrants.
Smaller fantasy sites do have their own advantages though. Here’s something you might not know – federal legislation requires all prizes to be made known before the tournament begins. Furthermore, prizes must not be determined by the number of entrants in a contest. This means every single contest you compete in has a guaranteed prize pool.
The advantage here is that smaller sites sometimes host tournaments in which the total sum of buyins is less than the guaranteed prize pool. All you former poker players out there will recognize this as an “overlay.” It means you’re playing for a bigger prize than what the number of entrants can justify. This results in increased value for your dollar.
Major sports leagues are covered by all major fantasy betting sites. The NFL, MLB and NBA are the big-three that are covered almost universally. If your primary focus will be on one of the major professional North American leagues, you ca play pretty much anywhere you want.
Other leagues might require more looking around. For example, the PGA is covered by DraftKings but not by FanDuel. NASCAR, MMA and other leagues are sometimes covered by smaller sites trying to carve out their own little niche in the already-competitive daily fantasy market. You can check out any of our reviews to see which site covers which leagues or refer to the chart below.
Reputation is always something to consider when looking for a place to participate in real money leagues. Although most daily fantasy sites are legitimate places to play, it never hurts to do a little research and see what you can dig up. The industry is not regulated, and no licenses are issued by any sort of official governing body.
This is one of the reasons I tend to stick with bigger sites for my fantasy needs. Large sites didn’t get large by accident. They got there by giving players a fair game and paying winners quickly. Plus, larger sites are more likely to be financially stable than smaller sites that are just getting started.
It’s amazing what you can find about a site with a few well-executed Google searches. You can also check out our fantasy reviews to read up on what we think about all the major names in online fantasy. We don’t recommend sites that we wouldn’t play at with our own money.
Most states have since passed laws to formally legalize fantasy sports contests. However, some state laws could possibly be interpreted to apply to all forms of online wagering. Customers from the following states are not accepted by most DFS sites.
States Where Online Fantasy May Be Prohibited
Online Lottery Reviews
Amid changing demographics and increased competition from other forms of gaming, a growing number of state lotteries have begun toying with the idea of expanding their reach to the internet. Only a handful of states have gotten around to authorizing online lottery ticket sales, but more are likely to follow suit over the next few years.
There are also a handful of offshore lottery providers that claim to sell tickets online by sending people out to buy tickets on your behalf from official retailers. Such sites are unregulated in the United States and their legality is questionable. Our official position is that it is best to stick with the official lottery in your state to ensure you are paid when you win.
The following online lottery reviews deal with official, state-sanctioned lottery sites only. You can read more about online lotteries and see a list of states with legal online lotteries here.
Games of Skill
No federal law prohibits betting real money on games of skill. The only problem here is that it’s not always clear what is a game of skill and what isn’t. For example, many of us would consider poker a game of skill but the government begs to differ. On the other hand, chess is very clearly a game of skill as there is zero chance involved in the game.
The uncertain legal situation has limited the growth of this potential industry. Only a few sites are willing to face the legal risks associated with offering wagering on games of skill over the internet. The oldest and most well-known skill gaming site is WorldWinner.com.
State laws are notoriously unclear on the legality of online skill game betting. Most states appear to have no laws on the books that prohibit the activity, but it’s a big question mark in some states.
States Where Online Skill Game Betting May Be Prohibited
|Louisiana||Maryland||Montana||South Carolina||South Dakota|