What is Sports Betting? Is Sports Betting Legal?

While watching sports and enjoying it, some people also do an interesting activity through which they make money from the contest by betting on the sports and this betting varies from culture to culture.


Sports betting is an activity in which people predict the results of sports and place a wager based on the outcome. People bet at amateur as well as professional levels in many sports like football, basketball, baseball, hockey, cycling, racing, and boxing.

Nowadays, people not only gambled on athletic events but also bet on non-athletic events such as real-life contests, political elections, cockfighting, horse racing, etc.

Bookmaker or Sports-book

Sports betting takes place either legally or illegally. Legal ways are placing wager through a person or an organization who takes bets called a bookmaker or sports-book respectively. Bookmakers act as market makers as they profited from the bet regardless of the outcomes.

They may buy bets from other bookmakers when a larger bet comes in and they work the same as that of an actuary which is a business professional who deals with uncertainty for the assurance and insurance companies.

Legality in the United Kingdom

Bookmaking may be legal or illegal depending on the country. It has been legal in the United Kingdom as it contributes to the country’s economy and gambling debts were unable to enforce until the Gambling Act, 2005. This act introduced ways to govern different types of betting in the UK and to make sure that all sites and operators follow the new restrictions is the responsibility of the Gambling Commission. In case of any dispute, there is a third-party organization named IBAS to settle the disputes among gamblers.


In the United States

Talking about the legality of sports betting in the United States, the situation is so much confusing. It depends on the state and differs from state to state. Sports betting was prohibited until 2018 in the US.

Previously, it was illegal under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 in which individual states are prevented from legalizing it. But after that in 2018 Supreme Court struck down this act and give the right to states of legalizing of bookmaking.

Nevada is the first state to legalize gambling due to the pre-existing sports betting framework. The other states which have sports betting legal are

  • New Jersey
  • Delaware
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Maryland
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • California
  • South Carolina
  • Lowe
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Oklahoma
  • Ohio
  • New York
  • West Virginia.

Legalizing betting would create over a hundred thousand new jobs, over $6 billion in wages, and inject $25 billion into our economy.

                                                                                                              (Matt Gaetz)


Other countries

Some other countries where sports betting is legal are Singapore, Sweden, Canada, and Japan.

Some people think that sports betting promotes fund terror, drugs, and other illegal activities. Some said it is a kind of corruption in sports such as the National Football League strongly protest against it while the CEO of the International Cricket Council supports it.

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