The best options available for US sports bettors come via the sites that have been approved for operations in the respective states. Gaining acceptance and approval is not easy, and those who have joined the list of approved operators have invested heavily to do so. Legal sports betting was approved by voters in Colorado in 2019.
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While it’s permitted in all of the legal states, there are some restrictions in place. For example, bettors in New Jersey aren’t allowed to wager on in-state programs or events, but neighboring Pennsylvania has no such restrictions in place. While there remains an active black market for sports betting via illegal offshore sites, there’s no reason to take the risk.
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Arizona legalized sports betting in April 2021 after months of maneuvering in the state legislature and public statements of support from Gov. Doug Ducey. The subsequent launch in September 2021 featured the arrival of both retail and online sportsbooks in the Grand Canyon State. DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Caesars were among the first sportsbook operators to open for business in Arizona.
It was a long march for the Ohio Legislature, but lawmakers passed a sports betting bill in December 2021. There will be as many as 25 online sportsbooks available in the state at maturity. The spread, or line, is a number assigned by the bookmakers which handicaps one team and favors another when two teams play each other and one is perceived as being more likely to win. The favorite “gives” points from the final score, and the underdog “takes” points. This number can also be in increments of half-a-point (.5) even though very few sports have .5 point scoring (i.e., The Ryder Cup), to avoid the possibility of a tie. Other states, such as Colorado, allow pregame wagering on college football and basketball, but player props on those games are prohibited.
This creates a number of other criminal elements, thus furthering their illegality. Sports betting is the activity of predicting sports results and placing a wager on the outcome. Sports betting can also extend to non-athletic events, such as reality show contests and political elections, and non-human contests such as horse racing, greyhound racing, and cockfighting.