The gambling industry has exploded across the United States, with millions of more citizens and visitors placing bets on major sporting events like the upcoming NFL season than at the same time pre-pandemic. The laws regarding online sports betting are changing, as are the attitudes of people, many intrigued and eager to try out their newfound freedoms. It’s an exciting time to be a follower of professional sports, especially if you have an interest in betting on your sports, competitions and teams.
A growing number of states across the US are voting to join the dozens of states that have already legalised online sports betting. But not every region of the country is singing from the same hymn sheet, with some states sticking hard by their anti-betting policy. This is the same policy they have had in place for generations, the one that technology appears to be making a mockery of. Those who wish to bet on sports are always looking for a loophole in the rules, and the Internet helps give them that.
Not every state has the same rules, and this is something you should be mindful of when travelling overseas or cross-border. Sports betting Massachusetts is legal with a bill past this year, but progress has been painfully slow on that front. Certainly not quick enough in the eyes of those eager to get started betting on football, soccer, horse racing and other major professional sports. But visit California, and you’ll find they are even further behind, not yet allowing those within state lines to gamble.
If betting is legal in your state, does that mean you can gamble on your smartphone when moving around? If you are visiting a country where gambling is outlawed, but you can access your mobile app and place bets. Should you do it? There is a lot of uncertainty, rumours and misunderstandings when it comes to online gambling, especially where international travel is involved. It pays to get up to speed on the latest rules and regulations.
Why are the rules different
Even if betting is accepted in your state or country, please don’t expect that to be the case wherever you go. You must abide by the laws in each state you visit, and it’s up to you to ensure you are armed with the most up-to-date betting information. Is gambling legal in an area you are visiting? Great, you can bet. If gambling isn’t permitted in a region, no attempt to bet on sports should be made as it would be breaking the law. You could end up in jail or with a hefty fine if you fail to stick to the rules.
Why doesn’t the US government in Washington lift the ban across the country? They did do that in 2018, but instead of forcing gambling onto people, they have left the decision on whether to legalise betting up to each state. That’s the reason why you could be driving across the country and see the rules change state by state. Many countries are also against betting, and some in the Arab World - including Qatar, where the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be stagged - the punishments may be much more severe than you’re used to.
What to do when travelling
How do you know if betting is legal in a state or country you are visiting? Perhaps it’s a business trip, and you fancy placing a bet on the evening’s live NFL match just to fill a few hours and help add excitement to the fixture. Must you check the local laws every time you want to gamble in a new area? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is yes, you should. But there is a quicker way of doing things than visiting the local police station.
If you enable geolocation settings on your smartphone, you will automatically be kept up to date. When you arrive in an area where betting is permitted, you can access your online gambling account as usual. If you arrive in an area where betting is forbidden, you will be locked out of your account while in that state. This trick also works with overseas travel and will help you avoid getting into trouble abroad.