Are Sports Betting Apps Legal

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Are Sports Betting Apps Legal

Mobile sports betting has never been more popular than it is right now thanks to the innovations in smartphone and tablet technology over the past decade in addition to sports betting legislation sweeping the nation.

Today, nearly everyone in the United States has access to a smartphone or tablet, and whether you have an Apple iPhone or iPad, a Samsung Galaxy or Google Pixel phone running on Android, or any other type of mobile device, bets can not only be placed on sports while on the go but can also be placed in real-time via live or “in-play” betting.

But is it legal to bet on sports from your smartphone or tablet? And if so, where and how can you take advantage of the apps that allow you to bet real money on sports? We provide an overview of legal mobile sports betting below and list the best legal sports betting apps we recommend for use in the United States for 2019.

Best Legal US Sports Betting Apps For 2021

Site NameCurrent BonusU.S.Visit Site
50% Max $250Visit Site
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250% Max $1,000Visit Site
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350% Max $1,000Visit Site
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4100% Max $500Visit Site
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Are Online And Mobile Sports Betting Apps Legal In The United States?

Yes. Each of the sports betting apps listed above is legally sanctioned to use. American bettors are not violating any US gambling laws by placing bets at these destinations. The provider for these sportsbook applications are legally licensed in their jurisdiction or are owned by a parent company that holds legal licensing credentials, and all are located offshore.

State-licensed online and mobile sportsbook apps are currently not legal in the vast majority of states since most states have yet to legalize sports betting within their jurisdictions and even fewer have permitted online and mobile sportsbook apps to operate within state lines.

States That Have Launched Online and Mobile Sports Betting

After PASPA was overturned by the Supreme Court in May 2018, states were then granted the right to decide whether or not they wanted to legalize sports betting within their jurisdiction and begin the process of licensing sportsbooks to operate from inside state line. Below is a list of the states that have legalized and launched online and mobile sports betting within their jurisdiction.

Advantages of Using Mobile Sportsbooks

Land-based or “brick-and-mortar” locations - for sportsbooks or any kind of retail, honestly - are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Gone are the days where your only option was either hop on a plane to Las Vegas or find an illegal back-alley bookie just to put money on the Super Bowl or any sporting event for that matter.

The Internet is here to stay and smartphones and tablets allow us to be online from wherever we are, essentially becoming an extension of ourselves. In fact, I bet you are either reading this from a mobile device right now or are within arms reach of your smartphone or tablet. Apart from a smaller screen, there are no downsides to using a sportsbook app from a mobile device and even that may be a thing of the past soon with foldable screens.

Just like on desktop computers, mobile sportsbooks on smartphones and tablets allow bettors to sign up, manage their account, make deposits, request withdrawals and place bets on the odds across any college or professional sport. Some sportsbook apps even have access to advance statistics, stream live events, host chat rooms, and provide real-time scoring among other unique features.

However, the biggest advantage to using mobile sportsbooks is that you can now bet any time during a game whether you’re at home or on the go, and we’ll cover that in the section below.

Live In-Play Sports Betting From Your Smartphone and Tablet

Pretty much everyone is familiar with the traditional and most common way to place a bet, which was to put money on a team’s point spread, money line, total, etc. before the game began, and until recently, that was essentially the only time you could wager on a game.

However, that’s now a thing of the past thanks to live betting - or “in-play” betting - that is available from each of our reviewed online sportsbooks. With live betting, you can wager on the odds of teams and players while the game is currently in progress from your smartphone or tablet. Regardless of where you are or how much time is left in the clock, you can always put some skin in the game and get in on the betting action.

FAQs

Nope. All of our reviewed sportsbook apps utilize responsive technology to ensure compatibility across multiple devices. You simply add an icon to your home screen so they are just one touch away while being dynamically optimized to fit all of your devices. State-licensed sportsbook apps do require you to download their app to bet on sports and they require that you be located within the state's borders.

Yes. The mobile versions of the online sportsbooks we recommend are completely free.

Because each of our recommended sports betting apps is made with a responsive design and optimized for all major networks, brands and operating systems, you’ll have no problem launching the sportsbook from any device, regardless of whether it’s running on Apple iOS, Android, Windows, or even Blackberry. We give a slight edge to Bovada since we think they have a cutting-edge user interface, but it really comes down to your personal preference.

While there isn’t any conclusive nationwide data available, you only need to look at New Jersey to see the future of sports betting. New Jersey launched sports betting in June 2018 and by the end of the year, over $1 billion had been wagered on sports in a little over six months with 80% of total handle coming from online and mobile.

Sports Betting By State

Is Sports Betting Legal In New York?

New York sports betting has taken a turn in the right direction, but there’s still more work to do to catch up with its neighbors.

New York State has had physical sportsbooks since 2019. The closest in-state option to New York City is Resorts World Catskills in Monticello, while most of the rest are located in Upstate New York toward Binghamton, Syracuse, and Albany.

Mobile sports betting in New York is currently not available in the state. Legislators are currently working to pass a new bill to legalize online sports betting apps in 2021.

New York Mobile Sports Betting Updates – March 2021

While the state has yet to legalize online sports betting, it was discussed as part of an emergency revenue-raising strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nothing came of the measure, but a new glimmer of hope emerged in January. However, it came with a catch. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo voiced his intent to support mobile sports betting in the state. The catch? He wants a lottery-run sports betting monopoly. State legislators Gary Pretlow and State Senator Joseph Addabbo, however, have introduced a bill that would authorize a casino-run sportsbook market in the Empire State.

As it stands in March 2021, New York lawmakers have precious little time to negotiate and get their favored bill through. Addabbo and Pretlow’s legislation is ready for floor votes in the State Senate and assembly, respectively. The new fiscal year kicks off on April 1st, so time is of the essence.

The Pretlow/Addabbo bill would legalize online sports betting in New York. Some estimates say the sports betting market (if authorized by this bill) would bring $79 million to $100 million in revenue to the state. That’s a massive number, especially considering that New York is currently hemorrhaging possible sports betting dollars to neighboring New Jersey.

As the state legislators duke it out with the Governor over sports betting models, operators are wasting no time preparing for New York sports betting. Penn National Gaming signed a deal with Rivers Casino & Resort while Golden Nugget Online Gaming inked with Tioga Downs. Each deal is good for 20 years, pending Empire State sports betting regulation.

The Story So Far

Before the legislative battle began, New York saw some slow but steady progress toward sports betting.

On January 26, 2021, Spectrum Gaming Group released a study in conjunction with the Ney York Gaming Commission. The study outlined possible reasons for bringing mobile sports betting to the Empire State along with recommendations for adding new casinos to the downstate region.

On January 20, 2021, just a few days before that report was released, State Senator Addabbo and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow’s bill was making progress. The legislation was voted out of committee, indicating strong support from the Assembly and State Senate. Cuomo still supports the lottery-run model, however, so it remains to be seen how far this bill will progress before New York lawmakers must decide between the two formats.

According to State Senator Joseph Addabbo, the senator spearheading the campaign to bring mobile sports betting to New York, there is a possibility that mobile sports betting could become legal. In October 2020, NY Sports Day interviewed Sen. Addabbo about the chances and he seemed positive. It’s likely that Sen. Addabbo will be bringing legislation forward in January 2021 in order to see mobile sports betting added to the New York State budget before an April 1, 2021 deadline.

Addabbo clearly recognizes the importance of mobile betting to the New York economy. New York online sports betting could help plug a multi-billion dollar budget deficit that was exacerbated during 2020. Mobile sports betting could bring in $900 million annually in state revenue.

Governor Cuomo, thus far, has stood in the way of progress on this front, finding any movement on gambling in New York State would require an amendment to the state Constitution. He seems to have changed his tune as of June 2020. The mobile sports betting bill passed the state senate by a vote of 57-5, so at this point, Governor Cuomo’s signature is the final hurdle.

Current NY Online Sportsbook App Options

Tennessee Sports Betting App

While waiting for mobile sports betting in New York, it is possible to sign up at these online sportsbooks in New York and bet in New Jersey or Pennsylvania.

If you would like to place wagers online or via a sportsbook app, your best choice is to sign-up and deposit while in New York and cross the border into New Jersey or Pennsylvania to place your bets. New users at DraftKings get a 20% deposit bonus up to $1000. This is likely a faster option than going to any of the physical New York sportsbooks which are listed below.

A great option for NY players that are willing to travel to New Jersey to place bets. New users at Sugarhouse sportsbook get 100% up to $250 dollars with a 1x wager requirement. This is a great bonus for players looking for a solid sportsbook with an easy to get bonus.

Download In New York And Bet In New Jersey

Here are all of the mobile sportsbooks that licensed in New Jersey and available to New Yorkers once they are inside of New Jersey state lines:

  • DraftKings Sportsbook
  • PointsBet
  • SugarHouse Sportsbook
  • BetMGM Sportsbook
  • William Hill
  • 888 Sport
  • Caesars Sportsbook
  • FOX Bet
  • Hard Rock Sportsbook
  • Golden Nugget Sportsbook
  • BetAmerica
  • Bet365 NJ
  • theScore Bet
  • Borgata Sports
  • Unibet Sport

Live New York Sportsbook Locations

For the time being, New York sports betting locations are limited to land-based casinos. Legally, New Yorkers cannot yet place a bet online or at an off-track betting (OTB) facility.

Here are all the casino locations currently accepting NY sports bets. We’ve also included whether there’s a New Jersey sportsbook app for those who find themselves in the Garden State.

Casino SportsbookLocationDistance From ManhattanNJ App?
Resorts World CatskillsMonticello90.8 MilesBet365
Rivers CasinoSchenectady161 Miles BetRivers Sportsbook
Tioga Downs CasinoNichols216 MilesFanDuel Sportsbook
Turning StoneVerona254 MilesCaesars Sportsbook
Yellow Brick RoadChittenango265 MilesCaesars Sportsbook
del Lago ResortWaterloo276 MilesDraftKings Sportsbook
Point Place CasinoBridgeport268 MilesCaesars Sportsbook
Akwesasne Mohawk CasinoHogansburg370 MilesFOX Bet

Top 3 Best Sportsbooks In New York State

DraftKings Sportsbook

There is simply no avoiding the two most successful mobile sportsbook apps, FanDuel and DraftKings. They’re producing successful results in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania that hit too close to home for New York to ignore.

In fact, DraftKings currently operates a sportsbook app in seven of the legal online betting states. Now, success in other states notwithstanding, DraftKings has an affiliation on their side. DraftKings sportsbook app in New Jersey is under the sports betting license of Resorts World.

This is the same Resorts World that operates three casinos in New York. One of their locations is the Resorts World Catskills, and it’s one of the legal sportsbook venues in New York.

Due to DraftKings’s massive customer base, proven track record, and ties to current New York sportsbook operations, they’re at the top of any list of candidates for New York mobile sportsbook app providers.

Plus, the DraftKings app in other states is currently pushing $1,000 worth of new accounts and first deposit incentives, so it can’t come soon enough.

FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel has just as strong a chance of gaining access to New York’s mobile sports betting market as its daily fantasy sports (DFS) rival DraftKings. They’re currently operating successful mobile sportsbook apps in five states, with bordering New Jersey and Pennsylvania being two of them.

One of the current physical FanDuel sportsbook locations in New York is at the Tioga Downs Casino Resort. FanDuel provides all sportsbook operations at this venue.

Already having skin in the New York sports betting game should certainly bode well for FanDuel. And the fact that they have overwhelmed their competition right across the border in New Jersey will be a huge factor as well.

FanDuel and DraftKings have a huge sportsbook app presence already established across the country. One or both operate in nearly every state where online betting is legal, and their DFS platforms are the far and wide leaders. They also provide the logistic platform for a number of brick-and-mortar sportsbook facilities, including at a couple of New York sportsbooks.

When FanDuel does launch its sportsbook app, FanDuel will almost certainly pass along the same $500 risk-free first bet opportunity it offers in other states.

Rivers Sportsbook

BetRivers doesn’t have the kind of name recognition as FanDuel and DraftKings. But their mobile app is offered in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, and Colorado.

So whenever New York decides to allow online sports betting, you can expect the BetRivers app to be one of the choices.

In the meantime, you can head to Schenectady, NY; Philadelphia, PA; or Pittsburgh, PA to experience the Rivers Sportsbook in person. It’s the same odds you’ll find on their highly popular sports betting website. And you can use the odds picker to make your selection ahead of time.

At the Schenectady location, you can bet via 14 self-serve kiosks or six betting windows. They have close to two dozen TVs, luxury seating, and food and drink service.

Not too shabby, but we’re holding out for the online version. In New Jersey, the BetRivers app will double your first deposit up to $250.

The Recent History Of New York State’s Sports Betting Legislation

Brick-And-Mortar Sportsbooks

New York’s legislators approved regulations for sports betting at physical locations in January 2019.

After watching New Jersey’s success, lawmakers realized that revenue was simply walking across the proverbial state line. When Pennsylvania legalized sportsbooks, the problem compounded. The idea that New York would hand over much-needed financial revenue seemed senseless to all residents and sports fans alike.

Nevertheless, it took roughly a year to open the first sportsbook. But in October 2019, folks in Upstate New York could finally place legal sports bets.

Even though New York was the 14th state to permit sports betting, it restricted sportsbook venues to four upstate casinos. They included no provisions in the legislation for mobile betting. Many were scratching their heads at this development.

Online Sportsbooks Apps

While lawmakers saw the success of other states that came before them, they seemed to ignore the numbers. In June 2019, Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. attempted to amend the sports betting bill to include online wagering.

The bill passed the New York Senate by a 57 to 5 vote. However, Governor Cuomo vetoed the bill. There was overwhelming support for an online amendment to the final sports betting legislation, but Cuomo publicly said he would not approve it.

To date, there seems to be little progress toward opening up New York to mobile sports bettors. New Jersey specifically showed tremendous promise from each licensed sportsbook app operating in the state. Eighty percent of the betting revenue was generated online.

Why So Much Resistance From The Governor?

The path to legal sports betting in New York was bumpy. Clearly, the process of including mobile sportsbook apps is proving even more difficult. Nearly all the resistance comes from the governor’s office. Most who hope to change his mind are at a loss for any actual reason.

Governor Cuomo’s black eye in a battle with two prominent sportsbook players, FanDuel and DraftKings, may be part of the issue. Cuomo lost that battle to have each of these daily fantasy sports (DFS) companies ruled illegal in his state, and both offer DFS in NYS today.

While there is no direct evidence pointing to any personal animosity, it would seem his resistance to online sports betting is a reality. And some assume it stems from his administration’s legal defeat.

As New York faces extreme financial hardship due to COVID-19 and other factors, it would seem like a time to put petty differences aside. And there is some hope from the final outcome of the New York vs. DFS legal squabble.

The governor ultimately did sign the law in August 2016, which ruled that daily DFS contests are not a form of gambling. There were rumors that Cuomo was going to veto that bill, but he didn’t.

Regardless, since The United States Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports betting in 2013, New York’s highest office has displayed reluctance toward welcoming mobile sportsbook operations with open arms. In fact, it’s been essentially a no-go proposition.

In his defense, Cuomo insists that legal mobile sports betting would require amending the New York State Constitution. Despite a collective bipartisan disagreement on that being legal truth, that’s really the only bonafide reason the governor presented.

What

The governor also floated the idea that he had reservations about everyone being able to bet from their phone. During a radio interview, Cuomo wasn’t pressed on his reasoning behind that substance-lacking excuse.

Problem gambling in his state seemed to be the impetus behind his concerns. However, lawmakers have already visited this problem inside the legislation. The bill to amend the legal sports betting law included 14 points to deal with problem gambling issues.

While lawmakers have apparently tried to dot all their i’s and cross all their t’s, Cuomo still voices resistance to mobile sportsbooks. However, the staff at the New York Treasurer’s Office may be whispering to him that a new wind of change needs to be in the air.

Could Change Be In The Air?

New York was in bad financial straits before the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the state is staring down the face of bankruptcy after COVID-19 has devastated its already bleak monetary outlook.

There isn’t a single state currently allowing legal sports bets that hasn’t benefited financially from the decision. New York lawmakers realized that when they agreed to open physical locations.

Nevertheless, there is no disputing the massive amount of betting handle that is wagered using mobile devices. Reports surfaced last year that Senator Addabbo was pushing his mobile app legislation, and 84 lawmakers supported the idea.

Can New Yorkers Bet Using New Jersey Sports Betting Apps?

New Jersey is one of the most liberal states when it comes to online gambling. They currently offer online sportsbooks, online casinos, and poker sites, which covers all the bases.

On the online sports betting front, New Jersey has at least 17 different sportsbook options. The state also does not require you to register in-person, which means you can download the app and sign up for an account from New York State (or anywhere else in the country).

However, you do need to be physically located in New Jersey to place a bet through the online sportsbooks.

Physical New York Sportsbooks Are Online In New Jersey

As painful as that fact may be, all the top sportsbooks in New York State are available to bettors in the Garden State – and they don’t need to leave home to wager. But there’s good news.

If you’re willing to enter New Jersey to bet, you can participate in the welcome bonuses, place bets, and withdraw your winnings despite being an NYS resident. The only requirements are that you’re at least 21 years old and you’re within New Jersey state lines.

Is It Legal For New Yorkers To Bet In New Jersey?

Yes, it is completely legal for you to travel to New Jersey and bet online. You don’t even need to leave your car. Just make sure location tracking is turned on in the app, pull over somewhere safe, place your bet, then head on home.

If you’re closer to the New Jersey border than you are to a New York sportsbook, this is likely the easiest way to place a legal bet. The same is true for New York State residents who live close to the Pennsylvania border.

New York Sports Betting: Everything You Can And Can’t Bet On

Sports You Can Bet On In New York

You can bet on all forms of professional and out-of-state collegiate sporting events listed at the sportsbook. You can also bet on international competitions, from Korean baseball to French soccer.

The most popular sporting events for folks in New York include:

  • Super Bowl
  • World Series
  • NCAA March Madness
  • The World Cup

Mermaids gold. The professional New York and New Jersey teams that inspire the most betting are:

  • New York Knicks
  • Brooklyn Nets
  • New York City FC
  • New York Mets
  • New York Rangers
  • Buffalo Bills
  • Buffalo Sabres
  • New York Islanders
  • New Jersey Devils

Sports Wagers Not Offered In New York By Law

You cannot bet on in-state college athletics in New York State. That means powerhouses like Syracuse, Buffalo, and Army are strictly off-limits.

You also can’t bet on high school sports or any sport with participants under the age of 18 (like esports).

What Are The Types Of Sports Bets Available In New York?

As long as you’re not betting on in-state colleges and universities, everything else is fair game. You can bet as much as the sportsbook is willing to accept as well. And you should be able to wager for as little as $1.00 or less.

The specific types of bets might depend on the sportsbook. But all of the sports betting outlets in New York State offer the following options:

  • Moneyline
  • Points Spread
  • Totals (Over/Under)
  • Futures
  • Prop Bets
  • Parlays/Accumulators

All New York sportsbooks also offer in-game (AKA live) betting, where you can place a bet on a game after it’s begun.

Beyond those options, things get a bit more nuanced. Specific sports have specific types of bets. For example, the Grand Salami for hockey. Some sportsbooks will offer teasers and pleasers, others won’t.

You can call ahead to see what’s on offer before driving to a casino. Many sportsbooks also have a “bet builder” tool on their website so you can determine your bets ahead of time.

Are There Bonuses At Physical Sportsbooks In New York?

No, not in the same sense as an online sportsbook bonus. The casino may have some promotional offers, such as a spin for a prize when you sign up for their reward program.

But the “first deposit” and “risk-free” bet offered by Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetRivers are not offered at the physical location. When online sports betting comes to New York, you’ll have your pick of numerous bonus offers.

However, it’s still worthwhile to sign up for the rewards programs. You can earn points that can be used toward hotel stays, tickets to shows, free meals, and other special offers.

Is It Worth It To Use Illegal Sports Betting Sites?

No. Some people will beg to differ with us on that, but it’s just not.

Offshore betting sites are breaking New York State law. In fact, their lack of oversight allows them to offer their services practically anywhere. The question is: What else can these websites do with impunity? When a bettor doesn’t have any real recourse if there’s a dispute, that’s an unsafe betting site, period.

What’s to say your personal information is safe? Will you be paid out your winnings? Are the bonus terms and conditions reasonable, or are they designed to rip you off?

You can do research, read reviews, and weigh the risks. But at the end of the day, isn’t gambling risky enough? Do you really want to add potentially joining an illegitimate website into the mix?

It’s understandable that someone might consider offshore alternatives. If you just want to put ten bucks on the game you’re watching, it’s probably not worth it to get in the car and drive to Chittenango, NY, or the New Jersey border.

But the safest answer isn’t to join an illegal site. The safest choice is to not bet on the game.

Remember to Gamble Responsibly. Call 1-800-GAMBLER if you think you have a gambling problem.

Sports Betting In NY – Common Questions

Yes. In January 2019, New York State legalized sports betting, and the first locations opened in October 2019. New York currently prohibits online sports betting in every form except for Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). But New York residents can travel to New Jersey or Pennsylvania to legally place online sports bets.

Technically, yes. But no casino in New York City offers sports betting, and OTB facilities cannot host sports betting.

In fact, the state’s largest casino, Resorts World at JFK Airport, does not host a sportsbook.

That means New Yorkers need to travel upstate or into neighboring states to place a legal sports bet.

If you are physically located within New Jersey, you are able to place online bets via any of the New Jersey sportsbook apps. You are allowed to sign-up and deposit while in New York but sports betting apps check your location (via GPS) when placing a bet.

How big would the NY online sports betting market be?

We estimate that NY online sports betting would bring $900 million dollars in annual revenue and up to $1.3 billion if skins are allowed. New York would quickly become one of the largest online sports betting markets in the United States.

What is the age requirement for sports betting in New York?

Between 18 and 21. At New York State tribal casinos, the gambling age is 18. At commercial casinos, the gambling age is 21. You’ll still need to be 21 at the tribal casinos to purchase alcohol or gain access to some events.

Yes. But not if any of the competitors are under the age of 18, which may be why you rarely find esport contests listed at American sportsbooks.

The most prominent professional teams employ the best players in the world, many of which are under 18. But it is possible to see bets on the highest profile tournaments, such as the League of Legends World Championship.

All professional and collegiate level sports except for in-state schools. You can bet on all major leagues in the US and internationally. All NCAA contests are also fair game unless they involve schools like Syracuse, Buffalo, and so on. You cannot bet on amateur or high school sports, the weather, TV, or politics either.

Yes, as long as no in-state schools are playing. That means most Division 1 NCAA schools are fair game. And if you are betting on out-of-state schools, you should be able to place all the same bets as you would on a professional sport, including in-game betting.

But betting on college football games that feature Syracuse, Buffalo, Army, or any other in-state school are explicitly not allowed.

Are there taxes on gambling winnings in New York?

Yes. You’ll need to pay the 24% federal income tax as well as New York income tax on net gambling winnings. This includes anything won at the casino, sportsbook, or lottery. You also may need to pay an additional city tax depending on where you live in the New York Metropolitan Area.

Is the DraftKings Sportsbook available in New York?

Yes, the physical DraftKings Sportsbook has a presence in New York. You can find the DraftKings sportsbook at del Lago Resort, which is located in the Finger Lakes region.

DraftKings does not yet have an app available in New York. They’ll need to wait until the state greenlights online sports betting.

Is the FanDuel Sportsbook available in New York?

Yes. The FanDuel Sportsbook is available in Tioga Downs Casino in Nichols, New York, a racino that offers both casino games and sports betting as well as on-site horse racing.

However, the FanDuel Sportsbook app can only be used if you travel to Pennsylvania or New Jersey, where online sports betting is legal.