Where Is It Possible to Bet on Sports (And Why It Matters)

Sports betting is an entertaining activity and definitely not a sustainable way of earning money. As is the case with any form of entertainment, it needs to be used responsibly. Because of this, many states in the US have completely outlawed it, while some, like our very own Illinois, are working towards passing legislation that will make this activity legal and available to the general public.

On a personal note, I can’t tell you how many times I had to stop myself from betting before making sure I was located somewhere where betting on sports is legal – it is very difficult to keep up with the regulations. So, where can you bet on sports?


A handful of states in the US allow sports betting in real-life and, even then, it is usually limited to horse racing. Sadly, Illinois is not one of them, so unless you are planning a trip to Nevada or Delaware, for example, it is best to forget the whole thing.

There are no betting houses and parlors like you would find in the UK and other countries. It is for this reason that people often turn to the other option – online betting.

Betting Online

As opposed to being allowed to do something, online rules usually deal with what you are not allowed to do. For instance, in most states, you are not allowed to be a bookie, but there is no rule against placing a bet with an online bookie that operates outside your state. This is why most pundits rely on online betting to unwind – it is much simpler and more casual than finding a casino or track that is legally allowed to take bets. Mississippi, on the other hand, decided to do the whole thing backwards – yes to sports betting, but no online wagers. If you want to place a bet, you have to do so in person.

Anyway, back to loopholes. You may have heard the term offshore, usually used in the context of hiding the money from the IRS. This word actually covers a plethora of activities, events, and arrangements that are not in the jurisdiction of the US government. This is why offshore betting, for example, is a very popular hobby for pundits who can’t get some action in their own state. However, there are several drawbacks. One problem with the system is that you can’t take legal action against a bookie if you get cheated and another is the fact that individual states sometimes have regulation specifically preventing their residents from this method of betting.

In the End

Where to begin? The issue of gambling has been discussed time and time again. Some think it is dangerous or immoral, while others see it as harmless fun, provided it’s done responsibly, of course. Luckily, more and more states have been passing legislation to allow sports wagers in one form or another. It is simply a matter of time.