Is offshore sports betting legal in the United States – well put this way operating from offshore means the sportsbooks are absolutely able to operate legally. The offshore sportsbooks are licensed by the countries they operate out of – for example Costa Rica, Panama, and Curacao. These countries issue their own licenses for the sportsbooks to operate. 

Here are our Top 10 Offshore Sports Betting Sites

If you can access an offshore sportsbook from the USA then you are not breaking any laws – just make sure it’s a reputable one like the ones we list on our website here at

Top Sports Betting Sites

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Is Offshore Sports Betting Legal in the United States – we explain the current Laws

Sports betting has become increasingly popular around the world, and the United States is no exception. However, the legality of sports betting varies from one jurisdiction to another. While some states have legalized and regulated sports betting within their borders, others have not yet taken such steps.

This legal landscape has resulted in many bettors looking towards offshore sports betting platforms as an alternative option. The question arises though, is offshore sports betting legal in the United States?

Existing Laws about Sports Betting in the USA

Is Offshore Sports Betting Legal in the United States?

To fully understand the legality of offshore sports betting in the United States, it is essential to examine the existing laws and regulations related to sports betting.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) was the federal law that prohibited sports gambling in the majority of states.

However, in 2018, the United States Supreme Court struck down PASPA, allowing individual states to legalize and regulate sports betting if they so choose. Since then, several states have passed their own laws allowing sports betting within their borders.

While the removal of PASPA gave states the authority to legalize sports betting, it does not address the legality of offshore sports betting.

Online sportsbooks based offshore, typically located in countries with more lenient gambling regulations, continue to operate and accept bets from US customers. The question of legality in this context is complicated.

At the federal level, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) prohibits the processing of payments related to online gambling activities.

The UIGEA primarily targets financial institutions and payment processors rather than individual bettors.

However, it does create some gray areas when it comes to offshore sports betting platforms. US banks are prohibited from knowingly processing transactions related to gambling, but individual bettors are not explicitly in violation of federal law by placing bets on offshore sportsbooks.

While federal law sets some guidelines, enforcement primarily lies with individual states.

Some states explicitly prohibit any form of online gambling, including offshore sports betting, while others have not addressed the issue.

For example, Washington State has strict laws against online gambling, but its enforcement primarily targets operators rather than bettors.

It is important to note that offshore sports betting platforms are not subject to US regulations and oversight.

This lack of regulation raises concerns about the safety and security of bettors’ funds. In the event of a dispute or issue with an offshore sportsbook, US customers have limited legal recourse. This places a significant burden on the individual bettor to ensure they are engaging with a reputable and trustworthy offshore platform.

Furthermore, offshore sportsbooks often do not contribute to the US economy through taxes or licensing fees. This lack of financial contribution raises concerns for some states, especially those that have already legalized sports betting within their borders and rely on tax revenue generated from the industry.


In summary, offshore sports betting operates in a legal gray area in the United States.

While there are federal laws in place that prohibit the processing of online gambling transactions, these laws primarily target financial institutions rather than individual bettors.

Some states explicitly prohibit any form of online gambling, including offshore sports betting, while others have not addressed the issue directly. Bettors engaging with offshore sportsbooks should carefully consider the potential risks and lack of legal recourse in the event of disputes.

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