Is It Legal To Bet On Major League Baseball In The US?

The most important thing to take away from this page is that yes, it is completely legal to bet on baseball in the US. Like everything else in life, though, it’s all about location. In the US, land-based sports betting has been restricted to just a few states. Fortunately, online sports betting sites that accept American players are completely legal to use in all 50 states, so long as they are offshore sites. This legal betting preview page will give you an in-depth look at all of the federal laws that you’ll want to know in order to legally bet on MLB. We’ll also go over some alternative methods for funding your account and give you a couple of recommendations for some great sports betting sites so that you can get to the fun part – betting on baseball.

What Federal Sports Betting Laws Affect Betting On MLB?

To date, there are three federal laws which affect sports betting in the US that we will go over in this legal betting preview. The first is the Wire Act, which was passed in the sixties and targeted the source of income for organized crime rings. The second was PASPA, which was passed in the nineties. This law targeted land-based sportsbooks. The final law we’ll go over on this legal betting preview page is the UIGEA. This is a law that tries to expand the Wire Act to include business owners in other countries by targeting how Americans can fund their sportsbook. It is important to remember that even though there are laws that restrict sports betting in the United States, there aren’t any laws that make it illegal to use a sports betting site to bet on Major League Baseball.

What Is The Wire Act?

In the 1960’s, Robert F. Kennedy – the US Attorney General at the time – suggested to Congress that legislation be passed in order to stem the flow of income to Organized Crime rings. In 1961, the Wire Act was passed. This law makes it illegal for anyone to take a wager over a line, or wire, of communication. Effectively, it was supposed to help states be able to regulate their own laws on sports betting, which at the time were being circumvented by people calling their friends in Vegas. The Wire Act was the first big piece of legislation put into place with the intent to stop sports betting.

The Wire Act was written in a way that was meant to stop an activity by taking away people’s means of participating. Its intention was to stop sports betting, but it didn’t actually outlaw betting on sports. It just said that people in the United States couldn’t take your bet if you weren’t standing right in front of them. So despite the fact that the Wire Act has been extended over the years to cover new forms of communication, like the internet, it still doesn’t apply to online, overseas sportsbooks. This is because US Federal law cannot be enforced on people who aren’t US citizens. This is why using an online sports betting site located in another country is the best and most legal way for you to bet on sports in the United States.

Does PASPA Make Betting On Sports Illegal?

The really important thing to take away from this legal sports betting preview page is that none of these laws actually make betting on sports illegal. PASPA, or the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, was suggested to Congress in the early 90’s, after several of the commissioners from professional and college sports got together and petitioned congress. The commissioners were concerned with the growing popularity of sports betting and the supposed risks it posed to the teams, players, and the bettors themselves. They brought up several gambling scandals that had taken place throughout the years, including the infamous black sox, who threw the World Series in 1919, and the Pete Rose Scandal, in which Rose had placed wagers on his team while serving as player-manager.

Congress was convinced of the risk, and in 1992, signed PASPA into law. PASPA makes it unlawful for states to regulate their own sportsbooks. There are four exceptions to the law, as Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon had already legalized forms of sports betting prior to the passage of the act. Only Nevada, though, had legalized betting on all sports. Delaware, Montana, and Oregon had only legalized limited gambling on NBA and NFL. So what PASPA effectively did to betting on baseball in the US was limit it down to one state. What PASPA didn’t do was make it illegal to use an online sportsbook located outside of the US. So while it’s incredibly inconvenient to fly to Nevada just to bet in person, it’s incredibly easy to log on to your computer, smartphone, or tablet and use any one of the sports betting sites that accept American players. Besides being easy to use and having incredible perks, they’re also completely legal to use.

How Does The UIGEA Affect Banking With Sportsbooks?

The UIGEA, also known as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, was a piece of legislature that sought to increase the reach of the 1961 Wire Act by stating that it was unlawful for owners of online gaming sites to take wagers from US players and by going after the financial aspect of online sports betting. This law was outlined and guided by the National Gambling Impact Study of 1999. This study went over a number of different issues in regards to all sorts of gambling, not just sports betting. Based on the results of this study, congress decided to write the UIGEA, but they didn’t do it through conventional means. This act was written hastily and snuck through Congress on the coattails of an entirely unrelated piece of legislature. Because of this, it can get a little hard to understand, so we’ve broken down the sections of the UIGEA in order to relay all of the pertinent information to you in this legal betting preview page.

The predominant aim of this act was to expand the Wire Act, by outlawing online gaming sites from accepting fund from US residents and by targeting the financials directly. In section 5361 of the UIGEA, lawmakers claim that banks and credit card companies were facing growing problems due to internet gambling. They used this claim to make it unlawful for banks to process transactions that are tied to known gambling sites. In section 5363 and 5364, The UIGEA gave the Federal Reserve Board and the US Attorney General the ability to create regulations that would “prevent the processing of restricted transactions”. These entities created a list of payment systems covered by the act, including credit cards and wire transfers. It is these sections that make it hard for gaming sites to process your payment.

When the UIGEA was passed, it immediately landed the federal government into some hot water, namely with the European Union, Antigua, and the World Trade Organization. That is because these countries felt that the US was trying to impose its laws on citizens of other countries – which it was. They were also extremely angry because the US was violating their free market trade agreement, causing their businesses to lose millions of dollars in revenue. The European Union threatened a lawsuit, but it was the country of Antigua that actually went through with legal action. They sued the US for nearly $400 million, and within months of taking the US to court, the World Trade Organization took the side of Antigua. The US lost the suit and the UIGEA became nothing more than a scary-sounding banking regulation.

It is really important to remember that while the UIGEA sounds like it makes gambling illegal, it doesn’t. The only people that can be targeted under the UIGEA are financial institutions. This is why you may encounter problems when trying to make credit card deposits or with wire transfers taking a long time. Even though the act has basically been nullified after the US lost their case with Antigua, the language regarding how to deal with the financial aspect was never officially repealed. So there is still some lasting effects from this otherwise void act. Fortunately, most sports betting sites that accept American players provide several other funding methods besides wire transfers and credit cards. Below, we’ve come up with a list of the three best ways to legally fund your sports betting account.

3 Best Ways To Fund Your Sportsbook Account

The UIGEA specifically targets financial institutions, making it a nuisance to use credit cards to deposit money into your account. To help offset the inconvenience, many sports betting sites now provide a bevy of funding options for their players. If you’re looking for safe, fast, and easy to use deposit methods, you’ll want to check out what we’ve listed here.

Prepaid Cards

Prepaid cards can be purchased at any local grocery or convenience store. These cards operate exactly like credit cards – except they aren’t processed the same because they aren’t extending a line of credit to anyone. Because the funds are already on the card, it’s a perfectly easy way to fund your account without having to join a digital currency site. Prepaid cards are processed immediately, so it’s also a much faster way than sending a check or money order in the mail. So for those who bet daily on baseball, this is a perfect option.


If you’re looking to deposit more than a prepaid card will allow you but you need to fund your account quickly, you should check out BitCoin. This site is home to a digital currency that operates independently of any one financial institution. The currency itself takes deposits and converts them into bitcoins, which are then reconverted into dollars when you transfer them into your sportsbook. When using Bitcoin as a deposit method, your account is credited within moments of the request being processed.

Checks/Money Orders

If you’re not in a rush or if you just want to deposit a large amount at once, look into sending a paper check or money order. Most sites allow checks to be made up to $10,000 or even up to $24,000. You can check their financial section for the full details. Money Orders are sent through companies like MoneyGram or Western Union and can be sent from UPS locations anywhere. Money Orders are a bit faster than checks and allow you to send large amounts in one deposit, although they aren’t quite as high as checks. Money Orders and paper checks are definitely a very reliable way to fund your account so you can begin betting on baseball without any hassle.

Best Legal Sportsbooks For US Residents

Now that you know all of the laws regarding sports betting in the US, you can start searching for the best book for you. Below, we’ve reviewed a couple of our favorite legal sports betting sites. These books have everything you could want. Their payouts are speedy and reliable, they’ve got the odds on every game, and special features to really help you win as much as you can. Their betting previews are incredibly in-depth and really give you a leg up when betting on baseball.

BetOnline Sportsbook

#1 Legal Sports Betting Site For American Players

Now that you know that betting on sports, and more importantly betting on MLB, is completely legal for US residents, you should sign up at the best sportsbook for US players. That would be BetOnline. This book adheres to the strict gambling laws in Panama and is regulated by a Gaming Commission there. Not only do they employ top of the line security measures, they have the highest standard for speedy payouts and reliable gaming. BetOnline is one of the oldest and most established sportsbooks available to US residents.

Not only is this site reliable and legal to use, it’s also got some of the best features you could ask for in a sportsbook. They offer some of the earliest and most competitive MLB lines. Not only do they have the odds on all 2,430 regular season games, they also have the option to live bet on a majority of those games. Now, you don’t have to stick with a regular straight bet or runline wager; you can bet on pitch counts and runs scored in a single inning. Betting on Major League Baseball is easy, fun, and legal at BetOnline. Head on over to their site to see even more of the great features they have waiting for you. Sportsbook

The Best Banking Options For US Residents

With all the trouble that the UIGEA causes for credit card users, it might be better to just avoid that deposit method altogether. When looking for a great sportsbook that also gives you tons of options to fund your account, look no further than This book has over a dozen options when it comes to funding your account. Every single one of them is quick and easy to use, and none of them come with fees. They offer you the option to choose between paper checks, money orders, digital currency, or even book to book transfers that take funds from one sportsbook to put into your SportsBetting account.

Once you’ve found the deposit method that works for you, check out the deposit bonuses that SportsBetting offers. Not only does this book offer a generous welcome bonus, but also offers to match every single deposit you make for the rest of the time you play at that book. SportsBetting doesn’t just make depositing legal, safe, and easy. They make it profitable. Head on over to their site and check out all of the great promotions this book has in store for you.

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