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Online betting hasn’t always been popular in the USA but it has enjoyed a recent resurgence and there are now more wagering opportunities than ever before. It is a country of sports lovers and they’ve embraced the opportunity to bet on their favourite teams, franchises and players on a weekly basis.
Online Betting in the USA
Each state has different laws regarding online gambling but the landscape is slowly changing and more companies are springing up across the country and offering the chance to wager on a regular basis.
Is Online Gambling Legal in the USA?
At the time of writing, there is no particular national law which prohibits online wagering. Because of this, gambling online is perfectly legal and it is a past-time enjoyed by thousands of residents. As mentioned above, different states have differing stances when it comes to online wagering with Nevada one of many states which actively welcome online gambling.
Only a handful of states have actively banned wagering online but it is very uncommon for anybody engaging in the activity to be prosecuted. Some credit and debit card companies are naturally cautious when it comes to online betting sites and therefore it can occasionally be difficult to place wagers in certain areas of the country.
Visitors to the country will also find it difficult to access their usual betting sites and apps in the USA as the law prohibits the majority of European operators from accepting wagers in their country.
The act of gambling online isn’t fully regulated at this moment in time but the country appears to be slowly coming to terms with the demand for this activity.
What Sports Are Popular in the USA?
With a huge number of sports taking place across the country, it’s unsurprising to learn that there are several different leagues and tournaments which attract significant betting money.
NFL is arguably the most popular and the matches are watched by huge numbers of sports fans on a weekly basis. Most online bookmakers will offer punters the chance to place weekend parlays which cover the large majority of games and this allows the opportunity to win big. There are an ever-increasing number of markets available each week and wagering figures always see a sharp spike pre-Super Bowl.
NBA is another keen interest of many US residents and it is a hugely competitive league which stages fixtures on a regular basis. With a large number of teams facing one another on a regular basis, there are always plenty of wagering opportunities for basketball fans. Every punter will have a pre-match opinion on the game and the rise of in-play betting has allowed supporters to place bets whilst watching the action unfold on the TV.
NHL may have a slightly bigger following in Canada but there are still thousands of passionate hockey fans located throughout the US. Similar to the NBA, there are always plenty of matches taking place during the regular season allowing copious wagering opportunities. It’s a fast-paced game which is easy to understand and therefore appeals to a large majority.
Baseball has been popularised by the MLB which is always very competitive. The season begins with spring training and each match is priced up by bookmakers on a weekly basis. It’s another chance for sports fans to follow the progress of their favourite side(s)
Other sports with a following in the USA include horse racing with tracks such as Churchill Downs, Gulfstream Park and Del Mar hosting top quality races including the Breeders Cup and the Preakness Stakes. Soccer is still growing and the expansion of the MLS is certainly helping attract bettors whilst UFC and Golf continue to attract a strong string of followers who are dedicated to the sport and will place bets on a regular basis.
What Markets Are Popular?
The NFL games boast several different markets including totals (Under/Over), spread and money-line. The latter is the simplest and is just a match prediction. These odds can often be prohibitive and tend to be reserved for bettors assembling a parlay or those with significant budgets.
The Spread – This allows punters the chance to predict the outcome of a game using a pre-determined line which has been set by the bookmaker. For example – the home side may be -8.5 on the spread and this requires them to win the contest by at least nine clear points. The underdog will be given a +8.5 spread and they must stay within nine points of the hosts.
Totals – This is always popular due to the possibility of cashing in without having to predict the outcome of the game itself. The points total will be determined by the bookmaker and it will be based on previous form, previous head-to-heads and league position. Backing overs suggests a high-scoring entertaining game whilst unders backers are envisaging a cagey, tactical affair with little between the pair.
Prop Betting – These are particularly popular for big games such as play-offs in the NFL, NBA and NHL. There can be literally thousands of these and they consist of various outcomes relating to team or player performance. It’s an umbrella term for a collection of different bets. At the Super Bowl, there may even be prop bets relating to the half-time performance or the national anthem. These are extremely popular with casual bettors.
Half Betting – This is predicting the outcome of a game but it is staged over a shorter amount of time. Bettors can also choose to specialise in quarter betting as well. This is easier than predicting the outcome of the entire contest.
Horse Racing – Place/Show Betting – These allow horse racing bettors the opportunity to predict which horses will challenge in the closing stages. These do not necessarily require punters to select the winner but they will be profitable if the horses finishes second or third. These can often be used on bigger priced runners.
Types of Bet Available
Single – This is still the most popular and with good reason. It is incredibly simple to understand and only requires one correct outcome in order to pay-out. These are usually favoured by big-stakes punters. It is a decent way of building up a betting balance.
Parlay – A riskier strategy but one which is extremely popular. These are ideal for those who dream of winning big for small stakes. Parlays can range from three to twenty selections and all of these must win in order to achieve success. Landing one of pay-out millions of dollars.
Double/Treble – Similar to a parlay but less risky. These contain just two of three selections and usually contain at least one short price. All selections must win to secure a pay-out from the online bookmaker.
In-Play Betting –This is a relatively recent addition with punters being able to place wagers on events which have already started. These can be found on the website and allow punters to analyse the flow and momentum of a match before committing.
Popular Payment Methods in the USA
Credit Cards – These remain the most popular way of depositing into a betting account and all online operators will accept the major credit cards. The same applies for debit cards. The advantages include: quick transactions, easy to understand and can also be used for pay-outs.
Bank Transfers/Money Transfers – This will simply skip the credit/debit card part of the transaction and move money straight from bank accounts to betting wallets. This is incredibly quick and simple and is often favoured by those who are moving significant sums around.
Bitcoin – This is a relatively new method of funding a betting account but it has become incredibly popular with younger bettors. Cryptocurrency is an excellent and safe way of funding betting accounts and provides the perfect opportunity to make speedy transactions between online accounts.
Pre-Paid Cards – Most bookmakers accept a number of pre-paid cards and vouchers and these allow bettors to keep a tight grip on finances. These are ideal for those who are setting a wagering budget.
Sign-Up Bonuses in the USA
Most online bookmakers will try and entice new customers to their product with an incentive and this usually comes in the form of a free bet. With the increasing number of operators and competition, it is imperative that punters check the market and take advantage of this generosity.
These bonuses will come in the form of a deposit bonus. It is usually advertised in a percentage (e.g 100% deposit bonus up to $100) and will allow newcomers to immediately boost their betting balance.
Some bookies will also throw in free spins for their casino products as well.