Best Legal Sports Betting Sites in 2021

Top 3 Legal Sportsbooks

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Esports Background
If you are new to the online betting world, you may not be aware that not all betting sites operate legally. Many bookmakers use a premium site facade to take your personal information and sell it to the highest bidder. So, what makes a betting site legal? Continue reading this breakdown of legal online sports betting sites to find out the following information:
  • What legalized sports betting means.
  • What an operator needs to do to ensure the legalization of sports gambling on their site.
  • The best legal sports betting sites currently on the market.
  • How to bet on sports legally when online.

It should be immediately stated at the top of this article that not every bookmaker is illegal. Only a tiny minority operate illegally. There are countless quality legal betting sites currently available on the market. A few of the best ones include 888 Sport, SportNation, BetVictor, William Hill, Paddy Power, Mansion Bet, Bet365, Mr. Green, etc. These are just a few of the best legal bookies around. There are plenty of quality options to choose from in this 2021 market.

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Bet £10 Get £30 in free bets

New 18+ UK customers. 1st bet on sports of £10+ in one transaction at evens (2.0)+ settled within 7 days of registering (exc. 10/04/21). £30 paid in free bets within 10 hours of bet settlement, 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. Full T&C's apply.

The best legal online betting sites will give their customers plenty of promotional offers to keep players invested and to attract new players to the site. Welcome bonuses, free bets, no deposit bonuses, and casino bonuses are all forms of popular promotions hosted on the top legit betting sites. These promo codes can usually be found under the “Promotions” or “Offers” tab on a legal sports gambling companies’ website.

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Welcome Bonuses

The welcome bonus is a common staple of the legal betting world. These new customer offers to entice new players, encouraging them to try the site for the first time. These proposals usually take the form of free bets, matched deposit bonuses, and no deposit bonuses and are typically given to new customers regularly by online sites. A new user can then claim one of these welcome bonuses to use on their first bet on the site. The best bookies will have a consistent and plentiful supply of welcome offers.

Free Bets

Many legal sports betting websites give their customer-based free bet promotional offers. These offers reward players with a free bet of a certain amount when they make an initial deposit or bet of a specified amount. For example, a standard free bet offer in the UK gives players a £20 free stake when they deposit £10, therefore doubling the money in their account. These free bet offers change and varies quite frequently between online operators, making sure you keep an eye out for the best ones.

Betting Legality across the World

The legality of online sports betting is a particularly tumultuous thing. As is the case with a great deal of the legal system, the laws surrounding online gambling have changed on an almost constant basis for the last few years. Many parts of the world still consider online gambling completely illegal, regardless of an online operator’s legitimacy. So, what does your country think about gambling?

Betting Legally in the USA

The legalization of sports gambling is somewhat complicated in the USA. While gambling, in general, is legal under US Federal Law, each state can have its views on the industry and can decide how to best regulate and restrict it within their borders. It is particularly relevant to online betting. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006 almost shut down online gambling in its entirety within the USA. This Act restricted the use of financial transactions on online gambling sites. Since 2006, some legit sportsbooks have continued to operate throughout the US and have found ways to circumvent this Act. A whole range of US legal betting sites can be found today.

As mentioned above, each state has its laws regarding online betting practices. The following states allow at least some form of online gambling: California, Indiana, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey (NJ), Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. Generally speaking, if a state has not been mentioned in that list, then online betting is not permitted there. It should also be noted that just because a state allows online gambling does not mean that sports betting is also permitted in that state. The current legal betting sites in the USA can be found relatively easily online.

Will Other States Support Online Betting in the Future?

The legalization of sports gambling is becoming more openly discussed in the Supreme Court. Many states have decided to legalize online gambling forms as recently as 2019, with many more being expected to follow suit in the next few years. It is projected that around 9 states will legalize some form of online sports betting by 2021. These include Florida, Michigan, Maryland, New York (NY), and Texas.

Betting Legally in Canada

While the actual betting laws in Canada may appear a little murky, especially in the modern world, generally speaking, online betting is completely legal in Canada. This legality is mainly subject to each province within Canada, but online gambling is not illegal across Canada. All bookmakers need to do to operate within Canada is have a license to work in the country.

Betting Legally in the UK

Online betting is prevalent in the UK. Most of the best legit online sports betting sites are situated within the UK. Online gambling has been, and continues to be, closely monitored by the UK Gambling Commission, an official government agency that aims to keep the world of online betting within the UK regulated. It is easy to bet on sports online legally within the UK because of this.

Betting Legally in India

There are absolutely no federal laws that act against online betting within India. However, each state within India can decide to put their regulations and restrictions on online gambling if they see fit, but this is relatively rare. Only a few states have made some form of law against online betting. Some great legitimate sports betting sites are situated within India. You can easily find a list of legal bookmakers that operate within India by searching our website.

Betting Legally in Australia

Australia has a fascinating history with regards to its legality of online sports betting. The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 made it illegal for betting companies situated inside and outside of the country to offer any form of online gambling services to an Australian market. Despite this, online sports betting is still completely legal in Australia, exempt from this particular law. All an operator needs to do is obtain the necessary licenses from the Australian government.

Betting Legally in New Zealand

New Zealand legislation dictates that all forms of gambling are illegal within the country unless strictly authorized by government officials. However, New Zealand bettors can still use online betting sites just as long as they are offshore. New Zealand players need to find a platform situated somewhere in the UK or USA and use it for their online betting.

Betting Legally in Europe

Online sports betting is prevalent throughout Europe, continuing to be one of its largest business industries today, bringing in over £100 billion a year. Generally, the vast majority of countries situated within Europe allow all online betting types, albeit through some stricter government regulations and laws. Countries include Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands. Some of the best legal sports betting websites operating throughout Europe include Unibet, Karamba, and Mr. Play.

Betting Legally in Asia

The legalization of online betting varies quite heavily throughout Asia. Countries like South Korea, China, Thailand, and Cambodia have completely outlawed and online gambling forms. Many other countries have firm laws against any form of betting, mainly through an online platform. Some horse racing events can be bet on, but this is rare.

Betting Legally in the Rest of America

Countries in the rest of America (primarily the South) tend to have quite firm laws prohibiting online gambling forms. For example, Colombia is the first and only Latin American country so far to have a fully regulated licensing scheme. It only came into being in 2016, so other Latin American countries will likely follow suit shortly.

Betting Legally in Africa

Betting legality in Africa is an unclear one. In South Africa, gambling has been heavily restricted for centuries, but South African players can still use some online gambling sites. Horse racing is a common form of South African betting. Bookmakers can operate legally within South Africa if they hold the necessary legal licenses and documentation. Central Africa seems to allow online betting worldwide, with regions like Kenya allowing certain online betting practices.

Choosing the best legal betting site for you is not always an easy task. The 2021 market is flooded with online sportsbooks, all offering relatively similar things. So how can you tell the quality options from the terrible? An excellent online betting site will have several key defining traits, which we will discuss now.

A Wide Range of Betting Markets

The best online legal bookie sites will give you plenty of betting options. It should cover a whole range of betting markets. These markets often include sports gambling options, casino betting options, and, sometimes, novelty betting options. The sportsbook aspect of a site should give you an extensive selection of sports to choose from, while the site’s casino aspect should have plenty of traditional and new casino experiences on offer. Novelty betting often includes political, TV, movie, and award show betting options.

Live Betting Options

The best online bookmaker operators usually feature a live betting area on their site. This section will let players bet on several in-play sports. A live betting area is usually a sign that the operator is a quality one. These sites may also offer a cash-out feature. Bookies with cash out tend to be some of the best operators on the market.

Having the Best Odds

A leading online operator will give their player-base the best possible odds on any sports betting option featured on their site. These odds will often be researched thoroughly before posting and will be kept up to date at all times. It is essential to research an online site’s odds before registering with that company. These can be checked via reviews of the site.

A Good Selection of Payment Methods

The best online operators will give their players a whole range of possible payment methods to choose from on their site. In doing this, a betting company ensures that all of its possible player-base is catered for. Everyone has their financial situation, so offering a range of payment options allows everyone to use the site regardless of their current financial situation. Popular payment options on leading sites often include card payment options, E-wallets, bank transfers, and more.

Deposit Methods

The deposit methods available on an online betting site vary between each operator. Some standard techniques are prevalent throughout most operators, however. These methods often include card payments, bank transfer options, E-wallet payments, and sometimes even cryptocurrency payments.

Withdrawal Methods

The withdrawal methods accepted on an online site tend to vary between every operator. Some common payment methods include card options from popular providers like VISA and MasterCard, E-wallets like PayPal, and bank transfer options. Sometimes cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are also accepted for payouts on some sites.

In recent years, mobile betting has become increasingly popular. The sheer accessibility and simplicity of using a mobile device make it the perfect platform for online betting operators to work on. That is why many leading operators now offer their players free legal betting apps. These legal betting apps are usually completely free and can be downloaded on both IOS and Android devices within seconds. These apps offer a betting experience that is simple and fast, giving you all of the most popular betting options directly at your fingertips. These apps also provide players with a whole range of useful tips.

Live Streaming Options

The top legal betting sites often feature a live streaming service. This live streaming service is usually entirely free for those who have made an account with the operator and have placed their first deposit. Live streaming allows players to place a bet on an in-play game and watch the match unfold directly from their browser. Sit back and enjoy the game while the scores and results come in live before your eyes.

Responsive Customer Support

Having a fast and responsive customer support team is an absolute must for leading online operators. That is why most of the best sites give their users access to a whole range of communication methods like a live chat service, a contact phone number, and an FAQ forum page. These communication methods will put you in direct contact with a member of the customer support team. From there, the customer support staff will aim to resolve any issue you have or answer any question you have about the site.

Judging from Reviews

As is the case with many industries, customer reviews are essential. These reviews often let potential bettors know which sites are the best, which platforms should be avoided, and what a site has to offer that potential customer. These reviews are often what encourage a customer to check out a site, so operators tend to pay close attention to how they are perceived in user reviews. These reviews can be found across the internet, including this site with a whole range of in-depth rundowns on a significant number of leading online sportsbooks and betting companies.

How Are These Reviews Collected?

On this site, we collect two primary types of customer reviews. We receive a great deal of user-submitted reviews. They may not be officially written by one team, but they still hold an invaluable level of insight into the chosen online betting operator. Expert reviews are also featured on this site. These are written by industry experts who specialize in the online betting market. These informative reviews are sure to give potential customers a good insight into the bookie and what it has to offer.

Put, legal bookmakers will operate only in the regions they are allowed to. Online legal bookies will have all of the necessary licenses and legal documentation required to operate within that region. On the other hand, illegal bookmakers tend to hold none, or a minimal selection, of permits and legal documents. Their operation will be deemed illegal, and they will often work in areas that prohibit online gambling forms. Bettors should always choose a legal bookmaker over an illegal one. There are several reasons for this; the primary one is safety and security. An illegal site will often disregard your online safety and security, meaning that hackers or other online threats may compromise your personal and banking information.

Additionally, if you are found using an illegal online bookmaker, then the consequences may be severe, depending on what country and region you are from. Fines and even jail time can be given to those who use illegal forms of online betting. That is why it is always better to use a trusted, secure, and legal online betting site, no matter what.

Finding the right legal bookie for you is not always a simple and straightforward task. We hope that this detailed article has helped you understand why you should always use a legal online betting site over an illegal option. To summarise, here is a list of just some of the key pieces of information that we discussed in more detail throughout the article:

  • It would help if you kept an eye out for several key features when searching for the best legal betting sites. These include live betting options, a wide selection of betting options, and a wide range of valid payment options.
  • There are many online operators in this industry. Some of the best online bookies that operate worldwide include Unibet, 888 Sport, Bet365, Betfair, William Hill, and Betway.
  • We answered the question, “Where is sports gambling legal?”. Many countries allow online gambling. Europe, the UK, parts of the USA, South Africa, and more greatly benefit from the online gambling industry.
  • Some countries are not fully accepting online betting sites yet, such as many countries in Asia, including Japan, China, and South Korea.
  • Many online operators use E-wallets’ standard payment methods, bank transfers, cryptocurrencies, and card payment options from typical providers like MasterCard and VISA.
  • Some popular sportsbook betting options include football, horse racing, golf, tennis, NBA, martial arts, UFC, baseball, American football (NFL and college football), cricket, and more.

Responsible Gambling

While it goes without saying, it is essential to remember to gamble responsibly. The most trustworthy legal betting sites will allow you to set your betting limits. These often include a daily deposit limit and a daily bet limit. These help the player to keep their betting practices safe and responsible at all times. The best online sites will also have customer support options for those who feel they are not currently gambling responsibly. The customer support team will help the individual to establish some limits or seek the help they require.

Bottom Line

We hope that this brief yet thorough article has given you all of the information you require about legal betting sites from across the world. The simple takeaway from all this is to make sure you use a legal online bookmaker, one that complies with your country’s specific laws and regulations. Feel free to head to any of the sites recommended in this article; most of them can be accessed globally and are wholly trustworthy and legal.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the best legal betting site?

    The best legal online betting sites will have a few key defining characteristics. An objectively reasonable site will offer a great range of betting options, will have plenty of valid payment methods to choose from, will have a responsive customer support team, and will have an easy-to-use website, amongst other things. While an online operator can be judged based on the factors, it is up to the individual to decide whether or not a site is for them. Individuals will have their own preferences and choose the best platform for them based on their determining factors.

  • How do you bet on sports online legally?

    Before making an account with an online sportsbook or general betting site, you first need to make sure that the site is completely legal. This can usually be found pretty easily by searching for the platform on the internet and doing a little research about it. Customer reviews are an excellent place to start as these first-hand accounts will be able to tell you exactly what the site offers and how safe it is. It will also tell you if the site is legal in your area or not. It can also be determined by searching the site for the operator’s licenses. For an online gambling site to operate legally within a country, it must hold that region’s corresponding permit. Only then can it work legally within the area. If a site is found to be entirely legal for your region, you can use the site as you see fit. You don’t need to do anything at all.

  • Which betting sites are legal in the US?

    While some US areas and states have some fairly strict laws and regulations prohibiting online gambling, many states allow it. Make sure you check your state’s specific laws before venturing online to gamble. If you are situated in a state that will enable online betting, then the following sites are your best options: DraftKings, BetMGM, Fox Bet, FanDuel, Unibet, and PointsBet. These are all leading online operators for the US market that should give US players a top-quality online betting experience.

  • In what states is sports betting legal?

    Not every state within the USA allows online betting or online sports betting of any kind. However, there are still a fair amount of states that do allow it. Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Rhode Island, and West Virginia are all states that currently allow online sports betting. However, more and more states accept new laws that allow online betting, so you needn’t worry if you are not now living in one of these states.

  • Which betting sites are legal in India?

    Generally, online betting is completely legal in India. While some individual states may have some restrictions surrounding online betting, India, on the whole, allows it. Some of India’s best legal bookmakers include Betway, ComeOn, Bet365, Unibet, and Casumo. There are plenty of legal betting sites to choose from for those situated in India.

  • Which betting sites are legal in Kenya?

    Kenya is a region within Africa that largely accepts online gambling. Some of the best online betting sites currently available in Kenya include 1xBet, 22Bet Kenya, Betway, Powerbets Kenya, and Betika. There are many more legal betting options available for Kenyan players, but these are some of the best.

  • Why should sports betting be legal?

    In essence, sports betting is no different from any other type of betting. You place a bet on something, you take a chance, play the odds right, and either win or lose. There is no real reason why sports gambling should be treated any differently than other forms of betting. Similarly, there is no real reason why sports betting should be considered illegal. The vast majority of online sportsbooks promote responsible gambling, ensuring that their player-base always stays completely safe when playing. The vast majority of online bookies do put the player and their safety and wellbeing first.

Betting Guru

Tim is our betting guru. Every gaming site needs one, and Tim’s our guy. He has plenty of experience in betting online and is quite successful at it. Tim’s favorite sports are hockey, baseball, and Esports. Tim believes the latter to be the future of betting.

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