What is Sports Betting?
Sports betting is the act of risking money to predict the outcome of a sports game, with a win resulting in additional winnings and a loss resulting in the forfeit of your initial bet. With the sheer popularity of professional sports, it has become an excellent reason for people to gamble. Sports games happen yearly according to a schedule, making them easy to know of beforehand and plan for.
People have been betting on sports for years, even in the United States where it is legal in just a few areas. The sports include those played by humans, like basketball, football, soccer, and other similar team sports. They can also include events participated in by animals, like dog and horse races.
What you might not know is that contests like beauty pageants and shows like Survivor have also recently become forms of sports betting. If there’s some form of competition that results in a winner, betting on the outcome likely would classify as sports betting. So if you make a bet to see who wins a pickup game between you and your friends at a local gym, that counts as a sports bet too.
Who Can Bet On Sports?
In order to participate in sports gambling, you must be over the age of 21 and live within a state that has legalized sports betting. Some states have legalized it partially, while others states are fully legalized. Right now, fully legalized states included Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Rhode Island and Mississippi require you to gamble in-person, and New Mexico is fairly flexible so long as you don’t bet on state college games.
Beyond legal requirements, anyone can bet on sports! It’s an excellent way to connect and engage with a sport when you yourself might not be able to play it. Maybe you don’t have much time, or maybe your body isn’t as limber as it used to be. Spectating has been a sport since the dawn of sports, but it can become much more exciting when you add some risk to it!
For your best results, you should stick to sports that you already watch and understand well. If you’re an avid football fan, bet on games involving your favorite team. It takes much less effort to make an educated bet when you already know the game and teams you’re betting on beforehand. Or, you can always get an insider scoop from experts that you trust!
Where can I Bet On Sports?
Even though the supreme court removed a federal law prohibiting sports betting last May, only a few states have made the leap to legalizing sports betting. Here are the current states with legalized sports betting and the stipulations behind them:
- Nevada – Fully legalized here! Home to the nation’s betting central, Nevada was the first state to recognize sports betting as a legal activity. You can place sports bets in person or online.
- Delaware – Also fully legal here. You have the flexibility of betting in person or online.
- New Jersey – Another legalized state that was one of the first to follow in Nevada’s footsteps. New Jersey serves as the headquarters for sports betting on the East coast. You can place bets in person or online.
- West Virginia – Fully legal! Place your bets online or in person.
- Pennsylvania – Completely legal. Conveniently bet online or place them in person.
- New Mexico – Nearly completely legal. You can place bets online or in person, but you cannot bet on the outcomes of any games related to New Mexico State or the University of New Mexico.
- Rhode Island – Introductory steps of legalization, you can only place bets in person, NOT online.
- Mississippi – Still freshly legalized, bets can only be made in person, NOT online.
So long as you’re located within one of these states, you’re eligible to bet on sports! If you wish to place your bets in person, visit local casinos or betting establishments to get your bet in. If you prefer the comfort of your own home and live within Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, or New Mexico, easily place your bet online!
If you’re located in New Jersey, you’ve got an edge up on your competition. New Jersey is home to countless sports betting websites, all with different offers to choose from. One of your best options is definitely Sugarhouse Sportsbook & Casino.
Plus, if you follow the link and use the code found there, you can have 100% of your deposit matched (up to $250), with an additional shot at a spin-to-win for an extra deposit on top of that! That’s not an offer you’ll find anywhere else, if you want to bet on sports in New Jersey, Sugarhouse Sportsbook & Casino is the place to go!
What rules do I need to follow?
For participating in sports bets, the common rules of acceptable gambling apply. Those common rules require the following three things:
- No Cheating: Nobody likes a cheat, and in gambling, it’ll cause you to lose the privilege to gamble in the first place. Casinos will ban you from entering, and worse, you may have to pay compensatory fines. For sports betting, this would entail betting on both outcomes simultaneously, while using affiliate programs to earn additional income, resulting in no loss on your part. Online marketplaces understand this scam well, and are likely to catch you.
- Don’t Influence the Outcome: This is a little harder to do for professional sports, but it still applies. Attempting to sway the outcome of an even in your favor is against the rules. A great example of this would be in dog or horse racing, where an owner might intentionally cause their animal to lose races, so they can win more when actually trying.
- Pay Your Dues: Probably one of the most critical rules to gambling, paying your dues. Gambling is fun and games until you realize you’ve lost, and now you owe somebody money. Betting does entail responsibility – the assumption that you have the money to back up whatever you’re betting. So bet smartly and only with what you can pay, and if you do lose, pay up. Otherwise you risk costly fines, potential jail time, or even physical injuries.
Beyond common rules applicable to any form of gambling, sports betting comes with its own set of rules, typically unique to each sport and betting website you choose to use. With each sport comes a specific set of bets, each of which has rules and regulations regarding how and when to bet, and how you can satisfy win conditions. Furthermore, each website you use will have its own set of rules regarding how you bet and win, so be sure to thoroughly read the rules of each website and sport you choose to bet on.