Best Sports Betting Sites for 2023
That’s right – we’re strictly talking about the desktop website accessible through your laptop or PC. Despite a heavy focus on wagering on-the-go by most bookmakers, the best online sportsbook brands also step up to the plate with a quality desktop offering.
Follow along with the rest of this page, where we’ll break down the Top 10 best sports betting sites currently live in the United States, along with a slew of other important information in regards to placing action on your desktop or laptop computer.
Top 10 US sports betting sites
Now it’s time for the moment we’ve all been waiting for… the top sports betting sites in the United States! Each of the sportsbook operators listed below cracked our ranking due to their stellar desktop client. An industry-standard sportsbook website typically contains little to no clutter, displays information in an orderly fashion, and is extremely easy to navigate while you bet on your computer. Here are our Top 10 sportsbook sites that fit the bill:
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- BetMGM Sportsbook
- Caesars Sportsbook
- WynnBET Sportsbook
- BetRivers Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- PointsBet Sportsbook
- Fanatics Sportsbook
- bet365 Sportsbook
- Barstool Sportsbook
1. FanDuel Sportsbook
FanDuel Sportsbook is highly regarded as the king of sports betting operators in the United States, so it should come as no surprise that the brand’s website is in fact our top betting site, especially for the NFL. FanDuel’s desktop platform is an exact replica of its world-class mobile platform, from its aesthetics all the way down to its functionality… whether you like to bet on your laptop or desktop, the FanDuel client is nearly peerless.
The middle of the homepage showcases the biggest sporting events for that day, while players can sift through other trending sports markets using menus at the top of the page and over to the left side of the screen. The right side of the website is reserved for your bet slip, which is extremely simple to use. Adding and removing selections is a breeze, as is creating a parlay or teaser using said selections. It can all be done using the bet slip feature on FanDuel’s website.
|FanDuel Sportsbook Welcome Bonus|
|⭐ FanDuel Promo Code||Just click this link|
|💵 Welcome Bonus||Bet $5, Get $200 in Bonus Bets!|
|🗓️ Bonus Valid||October 2023|
|📜 Legal FanDuel States||AZ, CO, IL, TN, CT, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, PA, OH, VA, WV, WY|
|📝 Terms & Conditions||Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. Hope is here. Gamblinghelplinema.org or call (800)-327-5050 for 24/7 support (MA). Call 1-877-8HOPE-NY or Text HOPENY (467369) (NY). 21+ and present in AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA (permitted parishes only), MA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, or WY.|
FanDuel Sportsbook Daily Promotions for 10/04:
- 30% 3+ Leg SGP on 10/04 MLB Wild Card matchups: Max wager ranging anywhere from $5 to $25. (10/04)
- No Sweat Same Game Parlay for 10/05 Thursday Night Football between the Washington Commanders vs. Chicago Bears: In the event of a loss, FanDuel will refund you in your lost stake in bonus bets. Refund in bonus bets ranging anywhere from $5 to $25. (10/04)
In addition to its usability on the wagering side of things, FanDuel’s website topped our list for numerous other reasons, including:
- Integrated casino, racebook, and DFS: Similar to opening tabs within your browser, FanDuel’s website contains tabs with links to its online casino, racebook, and Daily Fantasy Sports sites. All of FanDuel’s properties are synced, so feel free to give them a shot using the same login as your sportsbook account!
- Easy access to My Bets & Promotions: There’s hardly anything worse than not being able to find your existing, upcoming, or settled action on a sports betting website. This is not an issue with FanDuel’s site, as the My Bets tab is easily accessible at all times using a tab in the middle of the screen. Also found one tab over is the Promotions tab, another useful area of the site that players will often turn to.
- Fast, Responsive Technology: Perhaps the best part of using a FanDuel product is the tech backing the operation. Players who use FanDuel’s website will find very short load times (if any), zero lag, and should never have any trouble establishing their location.
2. BetMGM Sportsbook
BetMGM Sportsbook was one of the first online sports betting brands to take off in the United States post-PASPA, and its improvement over the years really shows. Simply put, no list of top betting sites would be complete without BetMGM. BetMGM has undergone numerous changes since its initial launch, allowing the company to fine-tune and strengthen its product.
BetMGM’s latest desktop website is built similarly to many other top online sportsbook sites: the games are listed smack dab in the middle of the screen, sports markets are listed over to the left, and the player’s bet slip resides on the right.
One of the best features of the BetMGM website is its extensive menu bar at the top of the screen, which is featured at all times. This menu not only contains each of the tabs used to navigate the brand’s mobile set up (Home, A-Z Menu, My Bets, Promotions) but also links to each and every popular sports market currently available at BetMGM.
|BetMGM Sportsbook Welcome Bonus|
|Welcome Bonus||Get Your First Deposit Matched up to $1,500 in Bonus Bets!|
BetMGM Sportsbook Daily Promotions for 10/04:
- Twins, Brewers, & Rays all to win: Boosted to +450 odds. (10/04)
Here’s a few more of our favorite aspects of BetMGM’s site:
- Simple, Smooth Layout: BetMGM may not have the best technology in the industry backing its website, but the brand certainly knows how to organize a webpage. Every function is clearly labeled throughout the site for easy access, creating a stress-free wagering experience.
- Stream Media for Free: Located directly above the bet slip on desktop, BetMGM offers its players free streaming of lesser-known events such as tennis, table tennis, and snooker. Just log in, scroll through the list for your preferred event and watch for free on BetMGM’s website!
- Online casino & poker just a click away: In states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania that have access to online casino gaming, BetMGM makes switching between its offerings as easy as ever. A small tab featuring a window of popular casino games is readily available just below your bet slip, while tabs linked to the brand’s casino and poker sites are also available at the top of the page.
3. Caesars Sportsbook
Following the brand’s 2021 merger with William Hill, Caesars Sportsbook took a step back and decided to start from scratch. A rebranded mobile structure and website were revealed shortly after, and thus the incredible Caesars product that we know and love today was born.
Caesars Sportsbook has risen to the top of the online sports betting industry rather quickly since the rebrand, mostly due to its barrage of advertisements, quality rewards and bonuses, and, of course, its new-and-improved platform.
We found that Caesars’ desktop website was extremely easy to use – and that’s a good thing. Between the site’s clever use of space, strong responsiveness, and ease of finding what you’re looking for, the Caesars Sportsbook website is the total package.
|Caesars Sportsbook Welcome Bonus|
|Caesars Sportsbook Promo Code||HANDLE1000|
|Caesars Sportsbook KY Offer||HANDLEGET - Bet $50, Get $250 in Bonus Bets|
|Deposit Bonus||Get up to $1000 back in Bonus Bets if your first bet loses|
Caesars Sportsbook Daily Promotions for 10/04:
- No Run in 1st Inning of Blue Jays @ Twins, Diamondbacks @ Brewers, & Marlins @ Phillies: Odds boosted to +475. (10/04)
Here are some of the site’s best features:
- Change Location with Ease: Most online sportsbook websites will geolocate a player based on their current whereabouts, automatically directing them to the brand’s website tailored to their state. As a result, it can be both difficult and frustrating to switch over to a different state’s website – but not at Caesars Sportsbook! Caesars’ website features a dropdown location menu at the top of the page, allowing players to choose from its list of active states and immediately jump right into that state’s specific website!
- One-Stop-Shop Bet Slip: While other sportsbooks require their players to run around like a chicken without a head to find their open bets or settled action, Caesars’ desktop website puts everything into one place. Players can access the Bet Slip on the right side of their screen to view any pending selections, upcoming open bets, or scroll through previously settled wagers.
- Promotions Readily Available: Another major issue at many competing online sportsbooks is their lack of promotions and how difficult it can be to locate them. Caesars’ desktop site showcases all of its active promos on a scrolling menu right in the middle of its homepage. Players can quickly view the brand’s offers here or open the promotions page for additional details.
4. WynnBET Sportsbook
Note: WynnBET announced on August 11 that it would be shutting down in eight states: AZ, CO, IN, LA, NJ, TN, VA and WV. With this in mind, we will be re-evaluating their current position on this list in the coming days.
A big-time sleeper among the best online sportsbook websites in the United States is none other than WynnBET, the mobile gambling arm of the luxurious Wynn Resorts brand hailing from Las Vegas.
WynnBET’s desktop client is calm, cool, and loaded with all of the necessary functions to wager on sports with ease. The site’s homepage is separated into two halves labeled ‘Popular’ and ‘Soon’. The former is the default WynnBET homepage, showcasing all of the available live games to bet on along with any upcoming action for later that day. The latter displays any highly-anticipated games or events taking place on a later date.
The site’s left side is occupied by WynnBET’s long list of available sports markets, along with links to the brand’s online casino, live betting options, and the promotions page. The right side of the screen is where players can find their Betslip, which is arguably WynnBET’s greatest strength. The Betslip tab is as clear cut as it gets – select how much you’d like to risk or win, choose between a straight bet, parlay, teaser, or round robin, and hit submit. It’s that simple.
|WynnBET Promo Code||No Code Required|
|WynnBET Bonus Offer||Bet $20, Get $100 in Bet Credits|
|Bonus Valid||October 2023|
If the Betslip wasn’t enough to win you over, here’s a few more reasons why WynnBET’s desktop client checks all the boxes:
- Daily Boosted Parlay: Each and every day, WynnBET will advertise a boosted parlay on its homepage. Players can select this pre-made bet, add it to their bet slip, and receive higher odds than they would at any other online sportsbook!
- Shared Wallet with Casino: WynnBET users in active online casino states can switch back and forth between the brand’s sportsbook and iCasino at the click of a button. Furthermore, players can place wagers on either platform using the same balance thanks to WynnBET’s shared wallet.
- Bet ‘To Win’: Back to the Betslip. One of the best features on WynnBET is the ability to enter how much you’d like to win on a wager before locking it in, rather than entering the amount you’ll be risking. It’s an extremely minor but helpful feature that isn’t found at a ton of other books – and we appreciate it.
5. BetRivers Sportsbook
Now live and accepting action in more than a dozen states plus Ontario, Canada, BetRivers Sportsbook has become a staple among U.S. online bookmakers. The brand, along with Play SugarHouse, serves as the online betting platform for its parent company, Rush Street Interactive, and is best known for offering one of the best welcome bonuses in the industry.
As far as the product itself goes, BetRivers’ desktop client cracked our list of the best sports betting sites due to its vibrant aesthetics, overload of information, and countless daily specials. In fact, we believe the desktop version of BetRivers is the best way to engage with the product.
The sportsbook portion of the BetRivers desktop site passes the eye test at first glance, with live betting options taking up the majority of the home screen. Two menus littered with different sports markets run along the top and left hand side of the screen, allowing players to jump to a specific league or sport with ease.
One of the coolest features on BetRivers’ desktop website are the promotions and menu options tailored to players based on their location. For example, in New Jersey, the menu on the left hand side has two categories listed as New York Giants Markets 2022/2023 and New York Jets Markets 2022/2023 right above other leagues such as UFC, WNBA, and MLS. It’s a nice touch that could also be advantageous to local players, as many are likely to be in search of markets involving their team.
|BetRivers Sportsbook Welcome Bonus|
|BetRivers Bonus Code||Just click this link|
|First Deposit Bonus||2nd Chance Bet up to $500|
Here are a few more features that we liked in particular:
- Real Winners! Menu: Players can view any recent sports bet wins or casino hits cashed by other players on BetRivers using the menu on the right side of the homepage, labeled ‘Real Winners!’ Casino hits will display the name of the game that was won, while sports bets aren’t specified. And don’t worry – players who choose to remain anonymous can do so by heading over to their account settings.
- iRush Rewards: It’s rare to find a sportsbook website that offers any sort of loyalty program nowadays, so it’s refreshing to see the iRush Rewards system offered by BetRivers. With every wager placed online, players will earn both Loyalty Level Points and Bonus Store Points – the former of which will improve your earning power, while the latter can be exchanged for rewards and other incentives in the Bonus Store!
- Free Live Streams: Very few online sportsbooks also offer free live streaming (or any streaming, for that matter) on their desktop website – but not BetRivers. Players who just wagered on an obscure tennis or snooker match can now head over to the ‘Stream’ tab on the BetRivers desktop site and find just about any event imaginable. Simply log in to your BetRivers account and enjoy the show.
6. DraftKings Sportsbook
DraftKings Sportsbook has been one of the nation’s most popular online sportsbook operators since it first made the jump from daily fantasy sports back in 2018. The brand was one of the first to launch in New Jersey after the abolishment of PASPA and is now accepting action in more than 15 different states. Its product is one of the best in the business, from the technology backing the operation to the number of different ways to play.
Upon opening the DraftKings desktop site, players will find a plethora of information available right off the bat. Live betting options occupy the center of the homepage and players can use the menu bar above to switch to upcoming game odds or even access DK’s ‘Stats Hub.’ The Stats Hub is a unique feature exclusive to DraftKings that allows players to take a deeper dive into a game or prop bet before locking in their action. It’s a really helpful addition for sports bettors of all sorts, so check it out next time you log in!
Players can access their bet slip on the right side of the screen, while all available sports markets are listed over on the left side of the screen at all times. Even more menu options can be found at the very top of the homepage, allowing players to switch over to the DraftKings marketplace, the brand’s casino site, or its world-class daily fantasy sports site with ease.
|DraftKings Promo Code||Not available|
|DraftKings Offer||$50 Bonus Bet + 20% Deposit Match up to $1,000|
|DraftKings Terms||21+ New Users Only. Available in AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OR, PA, TN, VA, WV, & WY. Full T&C’s apply|
Players who choose to place their action on DraftKings Sportsbook’s website will also have access to other incredible features, such as the following:
- DraftKings Pools: You will not find any real-money pools or contests offered at other online sportsbooks. DraftKings offers a diverse selection of different ways to play, whether they are completely for free or for a fixed entry rate. Players can set up their own private pool with friends, join a public one, or simply play for fun! The options are endless.
- Missions: On top of any promotions offered, DraftKings also assigns its users various ‘Missions,’ which are basically small tasks that can be completed to earn additional rewards! Missions typically include tasks such as ‘place three $30+ live bets and earn 1250 DK Crowns.’ Simply opt in, complete the task, and DK will compensate you!
- DraftKings Social: Another unique and innovative feature stemming from the brand is their social media hub, DraftKings Social! This one of a kind social network allows DK players to share their picks amongst friends and even tail them if they wish!
7. PointsBet Sportsbook
This Australian bookmaker has quickly become a fan favorite in the digital sports betting realm due to its wild twist on spread betting: Pointsbetting! It’s like a regular spread bet but on steroids – the more your team wins by, the more money you can win, but the same goes for any losses – if your team gets blown out, you’ll lose more. It’s all about taking that risk over at PointsBet!
PointsBet sticks out from the competition thanks to its smooth layout and cool color scheme. The desktop site features red and white detailing on a black background and it works well. PointsBet is also fairly unique in the sense that it is one of the few online sportsbook sites that hasn’t copied the same layout used by nearly every other major operator. PointsBet’s desktop site does not feature its A-Z list of sports markets on the left side of the screen at all times, but rather allows players to view it using a dropdown menu. This leaves a lot more space open and effectively declutters the website.
A massive scrolling menu at the top of the page showcases any ongoing promos, including the brand’s lucrative welcome bonus. Aside from that, PointsBet routinely offers its players daily promotions such as booster tokens and ways to earn bonus bets. The right side of the PointsBet desktop website contains a menu highlighting every upcoming sporting event along with a timer counting down the start of each event. This was yet another small but useful feature that we haven’t really seen elsewhere.
|PointsBet Sportsbook Welcome Bonus|
|Promo Code||No Promo Code Required - Click Here|
|New Player Bonus||Get Up to $1000 in Bonus Bets, Starting With $100 on Any Market!|
|Launch Date||January 2019|
PointsBet’s desktop client definitely passes the test, and here’s a few additional reasons why we consider it one of the best sports betting sites to date:
- Quick Parlay Builder: Creating a multi-leg wager has never been easier thanks to PointsBet’s Quick Parlay feature. Select your sport or league and browse the full slate of games in an easy-to-follow, condensed format which also allows players to sort by point spread, moneyline, or total bets.
- Next Up: Another interesting area of the PointsBet desktop website is its ‘Next Up’ tab, located in the dropdown menu on the left side of the screen. Upon opening this section of the site, players will find a chronological list of every sporting event offered at PointsBet along with a running timer counting down the hours, minutes, and even seconds until the event begins. It’s a great way to keep tabs on which events are starting soon and something you’ll be hard-pressed to find at other books.
- Name A Bet: Ever wish you could request your own bet that isn’t being offered at any sportsbooks? You can with PointsBet! Head over to ‘Name A Bet – Request Now’ in the side menu and send PointsBet a quick message describing your requested bet. If it’s within reason, they’ll do their best to hook you up!
8. Fanatics Sportsbook
The newest addition to our list is none other than Fanatics Sportsbook, the quickly up-and-coming retail giant-turned sports betting powerhouse. Fanatics Sportsbook is currently available in four states after launching in full in August 2023, but after recently acquiring PointsBet, Fanatics’ footprint looks set to grow, and fast.
The first thing we want to address is that Fanatics Sportsbook technically isn’t a sports betting website, at least not yet. At present the brand currently only exists as a premium sports betting mobile app. So be aware that if you’re looking specifically for a sportsbook that you can access through your web browser and bet with from a computer, Fanatics Sportsbook currently would not be for you. With that being said, the Fanatics Sportsbook product is exciting enough that they are worthy of discussion amongst the industries top sportsbooks.
Upon accessing Fanatics Sportsbook users will be instantly drawn to the clean, simple aesthetic. The color scheme is a heavy on blacks and whites, but in ways that compliment each other and remain easy on the eyes. They place their daily “Odds Boosts” front and center, and often provide some useful contextual information about them. Users can flip through the available sports along a bar near the top, while there are four convenient options along the bottom of screen including a home button, a detailed schedule of upcoming events, “My Bets”, and a useful search feature. Overall, the performance was what impressed us the most. Fanatics Sportsbook is extremely responsive.
|🎁Fanatics Sportsbook Promo Code||Just Click Here|
|💲Fanatics Sportsbook Bonus offer||
Get a $1,000 No Sweat First Bet!
|📱Available Platforms||iOS, Android|
|📌Fanatics Sportsbook Legal States||MA, MD, OH, TN, KY|
A few other areas we enjoyed in specific:
- Odds Boosts: We mentioned this briefly above, but we really liked the way that Fanatics Sportsbook handles their odds boosts. They are displayed clearly on the page, and they sometimes include little snippets of context about the wager alongside the clearly displayed odds. It’s easy to see what the odds were, and what the benefit is for the bettor.
- Earn FanCash: The Fanatics retail store has long rewarded its loyal patrons, and so too does Fanatics Sportsbook. The FanCash Rewards program has been ported over to the sports betting side of the business, too, allowing sports bettors to accumulate FanCash as they make bets. Straight Bets (1%), Parlay Bets (3%), and Same Game Parlays (5%) will all yield FanCash rewards. FanCash can be redeemed at any time for bonus bets within the sportsbook, or on the Fanatics website for eligible merchandise.
- Detailed Event Schedule: It seems like such a simple feature, but Fanatics Sportsbook has executed its “Schedule” page brilliantly. It’s exceedingly easy to click on the schedule tab and see every bet-able game, complete with the start time and current odds, sorted by sport.
9. bet365 Sportsbook
Bet365 Sportsbook may be fairly new in the U.S online gambling space, however, this seasoned veteran has been serving sports bettors digitally since it first went live overseas in March 2001. The brand first made its plunge into the United States online wagering market in New Jersey back in August 2019, and followed that up with its second state launch in Colorado in September 2022. bet365 also went live in Ohio on January 1, 2023 and Virginia is likely up next.
Upon entering the bet365 Sportsbook desktop website, players will be greeted by a homepage that features all of the basics. All of the top upcoming events can be found smack in the middle of the bet365 main menu, along with the site’s special ‘Bet Boosts’ on offer for that specific day. A detailed menu of sports markets is located in a column on the left hand side of the homepage, while My Bets, Promotions, and other special Features can be found on the right side. Once players select a specific game to wager on, a floating bet slip will appear in the middle of their screen.
*New players only, 21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. Bet $1 and Get $365 in Bonus Bets at bet365. Available in NJ, CO, VA, OH, IA, and KY. Deposit required. Bonus Bets winnings are added to Bonus Bets balance. Bonus Bet wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply.
bet365 Sportsbook Welcome Bonus
Bonus Code HANDLE
Bonus Offer Bet $1 Get up to $365 in Bonus Bets
*New players only, 21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. Bet $1 and Get $365 in Bonus Bets at bet365. Available in NJ, CO, VA, OH, IA, and KY. Deposit required. Bonus Bets winnings are added to Bonus Bets balance. Bonus Bet wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply.
bet365’s desktop website definitely runs smoothly and offers everything a sports bettor could desire, from Same Game Parlays to a loaded live betting menu. As mentioned above, bet365 is always offering some sort of ‘Bet Boost’ or other form of promotion, which is key if a brand wants to keep active users coming back. Here were a few of our favorite aspects of the bet365 desktop client:
- Casino Integration: Players can click on the Casino tab at the top of bet365’s desktop site to switch over to the brand’s online casino platform at any time. Place a sports bet or hit on a hand of blackjack with bet365 using the same shared wallet!
- Strong Promotional Department: In addition to bet365’s daily Bet Boost, the site is always coming up with creative new ways to entice active users to keep placing bets. One of the more clever promotions offered by bet365 Sportsbook that we’ve seen is its ‘Early Payout’ Promotion, which pays out bettors before a game or event has concluded as soon as their team goes up by a certain amount of points. For example, if your NFL wager is leading by 17 or more points, bet365 will grade it as a winner even if that team ends up losing the game.
- Early Cash-Out: It can always help, and most certainly will never hurt a bettor, to have early cash-outs available on their online sportsbook of choice.
10. Barstool Sportsbook
Note: Barstool Sportsbook will be rebranding to ESPN BET at some point this fall. Once the update is complete we will re-evaluate the product in its entirety and adjust its rank accordingly.
Rounding out our top 10 ranking of the best sports betting sites in the United States is none other than the Barstool Sportsbook! The sports media blog-turned-bookmaker has excelled over its first few years in business thanks to its rabid, loyal fanbase and wide availability throughout the country.
The Penn National Gaming product boasts an innovative, creative desktop website that differs greatly from the rest of the industry in terms of layout and looks. Barstool’s rolling promotional banner is much smaller than what other sportsbooks normally would have, which is nice to see. This allows the website to breathe and creates more space for features with a greater purpose.
The homepage breaks down upcoming events by league rather than sport, making it much easier to find what you’re looking for, especially during soccer season. Barstool’s desktop site cleanly displays each and every soccer league around the world on its homepage, along with a clever three-panel box containing upcoming games to bet on in that specific league.
|Barstool Promo Code Info|
|Barstool Sportsbook Promo Code||HANDLE1000|
|New Sign-Up Offer||✅ Get a $1,000 New Player Bonus|
|Bonus Valid||✅ October 2023|
|Barstool Sportsbook T&C||21+, Gambling Problem? 1-800-GAMBLER|
Here’s a couple more areas of the Barstool Sportsbook website that we really enjoyed, affirming its position on our list of top betting sites in the US:
- Quick Pick 6: Craft the quickest multi-leg parlay of your lifetime using Barstool Sportsbook’s Quick Pick 6 feature. Simply select the sports or leagues you wish to include and Barstool will generate six selections between -120 and +200 odds to help you come up with a winner! Players can toggle the stake and the amount of legs they wish to include – so don’t fret if you don’t like all of Barstool’s generated picks!
- Endless Promotions: Barstool does a great job of keeping its audience captivated with countless promotions on offer each and every day. The brand constantly rolls out fun, new promos and boosted parlays created by their team of Internet personalities and bettors seem to love it.
- Merch Giveaways: Barstool Sportsbook is also one of the only sportsbooks in the industry that gives away exclusive pieces of clothing and other merchandise as incentive for placing specific bets. Players will typically be asked to opt in, place a certain wager or bet type, and then receive their prize in the mail a few weeks after bet settlement!
States with legal betting sites
Ever since the United States got the green light to begin legalizing sports betting back in 2018, states have been individually voting on the matter and regulating their specific markets as they see fit. Many states haven’t budged on their stances that oppose the industry, while plenty of others have jumped at the opportunity to launch as soon as they possibly could.
States with full legal access to both mobile and retail betting include:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- Washington D.C.
- West Virginia
States with retail-only betting
While all of the states listed above offer both mobile and retail betting, and others have stood firmly against any sort of legalization, there are a few in-between states that currently offer retail-only sports betting. Typically available at a local casino or horse racing track, residents of the following states must place all of their legal sports betting action in-person, at the counter:
- New Mexico
- North Carolina – Currently retail-only, but online betting has been approved for 2024
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Dakota
States with online betting coming soon
Don’t see your state mentioned? No worries! As the U.S. online sports betting market continues to unfold, more and more states are starting to figure out their path towards legalization. The following states have yet to offer any action or accept a legal sports bet, but could be ready to do so within the next few years or so. States with legal online betting on the horizon include:
- California: although Proposition 26 and Proposition 27 failed to pass in Nov. 2022, the state will likely make another attempt to legalize sports betting during the next election cycle in 2024
- Florida: currently undergoing legal troubles after launching in Nov. 2021
- Georgia: legalization won’t happen in 2023, but the state remains persistent
- Maine: in-person wagering approved but not expected to launch anytime soon
- Missouri: legalization won’t happen in 2023, but the state will keep pushing after Kansas launch
Canadian betting sites
Our neighbors from the Great White North recently found their way into the legal sports betting realm following the passage of Bill C-218, The Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act, in June 2021. The bill officially approved single-game wagering throughout all of Canada, finally putting an end to the country’s parlay-only betting policy. Prior to C-218 getting the green light, the only legal action offered to Canadian sports bettors involved multiple legs in one bet – making it nearly impossible for players to consistently profit over time.
With those times now in the rear-view, each of Canada’s ten provinces and three territories can individually decide how they wish to go about running their respective iGaming markets. It’s been a slow start for the most part outside of Ontario, which remains the only province or territory to call upon and begin licensing third party commercial operators thus far.
Ontario betting sites
Ontario launched Canada’s first-ever regulated iGaming market on April 4, 2022, officially allowing popular U.S. bookmakers such as FanDuel, PointsBet, and BetMGM to launch up north. Other fan-favorites such as 888sport and bet365, which previously operated in Canada through the country’s grey market, were required to make the switch to a fully regulated, legal version of the book. In order to legally accept action in Ontario, operators must first get licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), a regulatory group that was formed by iGaming Ontario in preparation for the new market launch, and then enter into an operating agreement with iGaming Ontario as well.
More than 25 different online sportsbook brands have already done so and are live at the moment, in addition to Ontario’s ProLine+ betting platform. Prior to launching its iGaming market, Ontario allowed players to place their parlay action through this government-run online sportsbook site. The website remains operational despite the market in Ontario starting to fill up, however it seems unlikely that many players will choose ProLine+ over any of its competitors, which include the following online sportsbook brands:
- Bally Bet
- Caesars Sportsbook
- theScore Bet
Benefits of legal sports betting websites
The recent emergence of legal sports betting websites in North America has already improved the industry as a whole. Sports bettors can now deposit funds and place their action with peace of mind, knowing they are at zero risk of anything out of the ordinary happening to their online betting account.
Here are a few more reasons why we believe the use of legal, regulated sports betting websites is greatly benefiting the gambling community:
- Safe & Secure, Unlike Offshore Sportsbooks: Prior to the recent sports betting legalization throughout the U.S., sports bettors would either have to fly to Las Vegas and place their bets in person or use an illegal offshore bookmaker operating overseas. Offshore sportsbooks might’ve seemed convenient before legal options opened up, but they always came with a risk. Since these operators conduct their businesses illegally, there are no governing bodies overseeing their operations. If players run into any issues while playing with an offshore account, there is no guarantee that someone will come to the rescue. With legal, regulated sportsbooks, this would not be possible – there is always help on the way and the organizations overseeing the operators will make sure no customer is ever cheated or done wrong by a service provider.
- Banking Options are Plentiful: Banking is another area that puts legal, regulated sportsbook websites on another level compared to offshore operators. Previously, in order to fund an offshore account, players needed to wire money to another country using some sort of shady delivery service with no guarantee that their money was going where it needed to be. With regulated sportsbook websites, the banking options are as safe and secure as going to the bank and making a deposit or withdrawal at the window. And on top of the enhanced security, banking options at regulated websites are extensive – with everything from PayPal to online banking available at a moment’s notice.
- Online Betting Surpassing Retail Betting: Generally speaking, online wagering is becoming increasingly more popular as time progresses and legal options expand. Most players prefer, or at least find it more convenient, to place their action on a sportsbook website rather than heading over to the casino every time they’d like to place a bet. In a world that now runs on technology, online betting is just a lot more practical.
- Rewards, Promos, and Other Incentives: On top of the enhanced convenience they provide, sportsbook websites also reward their loyal customers with added incentives and promotions, something you will not find when betting at a brick-and-mortar location. Online betting is easier, way more convenient, and gets bettors more bang for their buck.
Sports-specific considerations when using betting sites
The best sports betting sites come packed to the gills with just about every sports market, event, or bet type available to wager on. In the United States in particular, basketball and football are by far the most popular sports to bet on, whether it be professional (NFL, NBA) or collegiate (NCAAF, NCAAB).
With such a vast selection to choose from, players might get a bit overwhelmed when trying to fine tune their strategy across different sports. We’re here to help, with a few sports-specific considerations to take note of for the next time you’re ready to slap down some action.
Betting on the National Football League (NFL)
Professional football, specifically the National Football League, is by far the biggest sport in the country. No other sport or league rings in a larger betting handle on its games than the NFL, which benefits from having most of its action take place on one day of the week: Sunday.
While there are games scattered throughout different days of the week over the course of the season, Sundays reign supreme in the United States during football season and sports bettors absolutely love it. All of our top betting sites will have NFL offerings galore.
There are countless different ways to wager on the NFL, and most sports betting sites offer all of them. The options for NFL betting typically include:
- Spread Bets
- Moneyline Bets
- Quarter or Halftime Bets
- Totals (Over/Under)
- Player Props (Player to score first touchdown)
- Future Bets (Team to win the Super Bowl, player to win MVP)
Player props are shooting up the charts in terms of popularity, largely in part due to the rise of Same Game Parlays over the last few years or so. Many players prefer to tackle one specific game when making a multi-leg wager, as it’s easier to focus on two teams rather than say, four or more. NFL bettors also seem to enjoy teasers, which are essentially just parlays with a fixed amount of points added to each leg in exchange for a lower payout. Many believe teasers are easier to win than a traditional spread bet and as a result, they are one of the most common bet types placed during football season.
Betting on the National Basketball Association (NBA)
Similar to the NFL with football, the National Basketball Association dominates the professional side of the basketball world. The NBA is becoming increasingly more popular as the years move forward with free agency, trade rumors, and drama around the league fueling each and every offseason, building up the hype for fans and bettors alike.
Betting on the NBA can be a bit more difficult than the NFL, however, for two reasons. First off, games are played every single night – there’s hardly ever a day off. The higher the volume, the harder it can be to profit. Second, players simply do not play as many games in the NBA anymore. Between load management, injuries, and back-to-back games, there’s seemingly always a significant player popping up on the injury report, swaying the odds hours before the game tips off.
With that being said, it’s crucial to do your research when wagering on the NBA and if possible, wait until the very last minute to lock in your action.
Among the many betting options available during NBA season, here are the markets and bet types most commonly offered by the top sports betting websites in the U.S:
- Spread Bets
- Moneyline Bets
- Quarter or Halftime Bets
- Totals (Over/Under)
- Round Robins
- Same Game Parlays
- Player Props (Player to score the game’s first basket)
- Future Bets (Team to win the Finals, player to win ROY)
College sports betting limitations
Over on the amateur side of things, both college football and college basketball command their fair share of attention when it comes to wagering. With that being said, amateur sports are treated much differently than their professional counterparts, especially in the legal U.S. sports betting market.
Each and every state that decides to legalize has the ability to keep certain markets or bet types off-limits, regardless of their reasoning. This has led to a number of legal U.S. sports betting states imposing bans on betting local college teams, college player props, or some variation of either.
Here are all of the college sports betting limitations you might run into when placing any action on the best sports betting sites in the following states:
- New Jersey, New York, and Virginia prohibit wagering on any in-state college teams, regardless of the location of the game. Furthermore, any collegiate event taking place in NJ or VA is also off-limits, even if two out-of-state teams are competing. New York does allow this, but it must be during a big event or tournament such as the NCAA Tournament and involve two teams from outside of the state.
- Connecticut prohibits wagering on in-state college teams for individual games, however future bets on local favorites like UConn are allowed.
- Illinois prohibits wagering on in-state college teams through mobile but does allow retail books to offer action on those teams. Unfortunately for Illinois bettors, none of the state’s books have filed out the necessary requests to begin doing so.
- Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia all prohibit wagering on college player props of any kind.
Safety when using sportsbook websites
We’ve already highlighted some of the main benefits of using sports betting websites, including how safe and secure it can be to wager with a legal, licensed operator.
Each and every state that has legalized thus far has designated a specific committee or governing body to oversee all operations that take place within their jurisdiction and sports bettors should rejoice – online gambling has never been safer. Here are a few more reasons why:
- Trustworthy Brands: Unlike your offshore sportsbook operator’s sketchy website that changes every six months, legal sportsbook websites are typically run by notable, trustworthy brands. Many of the parent companies backing your favorite legal sports betting sites have been involved in the gaming industry for decades and have a strong reputation they’d like to preserve.
- Direct Ties to Retail Locations: Nearly every state that has launched its own iGaming market requires each online operator to hitch its wagon to a retail betting facility located in that state. Whether it be a local casino or horse track, there is almost always going to be a nearby physical location with ties to your online bookmaker. This not only further legitimizes online sports betting sites, but gives players extra means to seek help in case any issues arise. Plus, who doesn’t love making cash transactions in person!
- Next Level Security & Technology: When you consider all of the money and resources available to most of the industry’s biggest commercial operators, it makes a lot of sense why all of your information is safe, secure, and sure to remain private under all circumstances. Legal sportsbook brands use the strongest technology in the business to ensure nobody can ever get their hands on your personal information, such as online banking info or your social security number.
Responsible online betting
Now that you can legally bet on your laptop computer or phone, all participants should be aware of the risk and pitfalls. One of the most important areas to discuss when it comes to online betting is responsible gambling. While many people can casually enjoy recreational sports betting, others can lose control fast. If you or someone you know may be suffering from a gambling problem, don’t panic. There are endless resources available both online and in-person that can make a major difference in a struggling gambler’s life.
The best sports betting sites typically offer a multitude of different ways to limit a player’s account, including deposit limits, session time limits, cool-off periods, and even a self-exclusion list. While sportsbooks are in the business of making money, they will gladly ban any player who wishes to drop all access to their platform due to problem gambling. Most sportsbook sites will also plaster their platform with responsible gambling resources such as a hotline to reach out to or an external website with other useful tips and tricks.
All in all, the online sports betting industry is working hard and fast to make sure anyone with a gambling problem can get the necessary help that they need. In order to continue moving forward with this ever-evolving sports betting expansion, operators are obligated to make sure everything remains under control.
For additional information on responsible online betting, head over to our responsible gambling page.
Michael is a New Jersey-based sports writer who recently began working in the online gaming industry. He now contributes to various online publications for Better Collective. He is an alumnus of Rutgers University and avidly follows Rutgers basketball and the New York Mets.