For most of the United States’ history, most states legalized gambling, and most states legalized at least some form of recreational gambling. Gambling has always been an integral part of the American experience, from its earliest days of gambling as a way for Native Americans to exchange stories and information, to its universal appeal as an online gaming phenomenon today. Gambling in the United States has always relied on a confluence of factors: physical land and willing participants or opponents, state regulation and the laws of probability.
Today, the Internet has provided an even greater outlet for those interested in betting on professional sporting events. Online gambling has been illegal in most U.S. states for several years and is illegal in all but two states – Connecticut and Delaware. However, a number of companies have established operations in the U.S. that are considered “sole proprietors” of the law and are thus allowed to run sports betting exchanges and handle money on behalf of their clients. Most of these companies are based out of overseas countries – the Caribbean, Mexico and China, among others. In recent years, however, many of these companies have begun to operate licensed casinos and online sports books in the U.S., operating both in states that have legalized sports betting and in the states that do not.
While the laws on online gambling vary by state, there are some general things that apply across the board. Gambling is against the law in most states, although some places, such as New Jersey and Delaware, allow it in their casinos. State gambling laws usually include a ban on gaming reels (although some allow spinning reels), whether the machine actually spins or if it is a mechanical device (e.g. electronic slot machines). Online sports betting is a gray area; some states (such as Montana) recognize wagering on sports games as being between licensed gamblers and sponsors, while others (such as California) view online sports betting as subject to the existing gambling laws.
So, why do the states allow sports betting? The most popular explanation is that it generates revenue for the state. In the last decade, casino gambling in the United States has generated over $70 billion. The amount is nearly double the annual revenue generated from the sales of liquor in the state. Because state governments like to see gambling income going into the state coffers, they generally support legalized sports gambling.
But how do you find out if a particular state allows legalized sports betting? The easiest way is to look at the website of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. At the NCAA’s home page, you can find a list of schools that currently offer regulated gambling programs. Some of the universities on the list include the Alabama A&M University, the University of Florida, the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Villanova University and the University of Oregon.
If a particular school on the list offers regulated sports betting, then you are good to go ahead and place your bet. Of course, since there is no legal tender for college basketball, football or baseball, you will have to rely on your wagering account to place your bets. That said, many experts recommend that you start small before getting a full understanding of the ins and outs of the sports betting world. Start with smaller bets until you are able to hold your own in a real sports betting environment.
Once you are familiar with the betting process and betting systems, then you can gradually increase your bets. Of course, some experts warn that it is best not to ever bet on a sport that you have no knowledge of. For example, if you don’t know how college basketball handicapping works, it would be impossible for you to make a living by placing sports bets on college games. To help you get a better understanding of the sports betting world, you may want to get yourself a sports book that can explain the process to you.
As soon as you are familiar with the betting system and betting games, it is time to move on to finding out whether a given team is really good enough to win. In this regard, one of the safest bets is still to stick with reputable sports books. Since there is no actual money involved, many sports books have opened their doors to allow people like you and me to place our bets without any form of investment. While there are many sites that offer you the chance to place your bets in a sports book, there are also those which do not. So, it would be in your best interest to thoroughly check a sportsbook’s background before you use its services. Lastly, if all else fails, you can always consult a lawyer who specializes in sports law to help you understand how you can go about making legitimate sports bets while avoiding getting into trouble with the law.