So many questions come to mind when one hears the question “what states is sports betting illegal?” The first of which is, what is a state betting law? The second is, does each state have their own? Finally, what can someone do if they are being accused of sports betting in a state they did not live in?
A state, generally speaking, is a legal agreement between a person and a government agency. These agreements are based on the principals that a state is run by elected leaders and congressmen, and that all legislative decisions are made based on the opinions of voters. For example, it is most illegal to run for president, or for any elective office, in Massachusetts. Therefore, under the Massachusetts constitution, no person may run for either elective office without obtaining the consent of the secretary of state. This also applies to all representatives as well.
However, it may be assumed that any decision made by an elected official in Massachusetts will be allowed by the United States Congress. This is not true. The Constitution of the United States makes no mention of the laws of individual states, and as such, no state has the authority to make decisions about the execution of federal law. The Supreme Court of the United States has repeatedly held that Congress has the constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce, but it has never held that it has the authority to interfere with states. Therefore, while there may be a few state laws that are considered to be legal according to one’s state, this is not a basis for the conclusion that all state laws are illegal.
Some people often say that if a sports bettor is being charged with a crime, they should simply turn themselves in to law enforcement. This is not an option, that any person should ever consider. First, turning yourself in to law enforcement will almost surely result in a lengthy jail sentence. Second, it does little to help the problem of where sports betting is illegal. If the laws against sports betting in your state are so strict that it would be impossible for you to even conduct your business legally, then why bother going to all the trouble of setting up a casino in your state in the first place?
Instead of asking “what states is sports betting illegal?” you need to ask “how many legal business ventures can I run before the law finds me guilty?” There is little doubt that there are some gray areas within the law that allow for grey areas in which to operate a gambling or sports betting business. A good example is whether or not a particular website should be considered a legitimate casino by a particular state, or whether it should be considered a licensed sports bar.
For example, there are probably fewer than 20 states that specifically address the issue of casinos, but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t a great many websites that fit into this definition. Most of them will offer you the ability to wager a certain amount of money and then allow you to take your winnings in the form of tickets for future games. If this were legal, then it wouldn’t be gambling, because you would be taking money from a legal business and keeping it with you for future transactions. However, most state governments view this as gambling and have imposed certain regulations upon the taking of winnings in this manner. In short, this is a gray area, and you’ll find that the laws surrounding how much money you can take with it, where you can take it from and whether or not it is gambling can be very different from one state to another.
While the Internet is a convenient way to play around with online casinos and win a bit here and there, it is best to stick with playing at an actual brick and mortar establishment if you want to enjoy the full benefits of being able to bet on sports games. Unfortunately, since there are very few legal business in a given state to start one from scratch, this means that the people who do have a legal business to work from home will usually have to fly out to other states just to make a profit. This means that many employees who work for such employers will have to live several states away from where they live, putting them in an impossible situation financially. This is something that could easily be remedied, but it’s not something that most people would wish upon their employers.
The fact is that knowing what states is sports betting illegal and knowing which establishments are legal sports betting venues is a small comfort. But it’s still something that you should be aware of, because you never know when you might end up in a situation where you have to bet something that isn’t legal, and it’s not always your fault if it is. But for the most part, knowing what you’re getting into before you actually place any bets is a good idea, so that if something does go wrong, you won’t end up having to deal with it as a result of your own negligence. Just make sure that you always keep track of what you’re spending and what you’re winning, and you should be fine in the long run.