Is It Legal to Run a Sports Betting Business?

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Is It Legal to Run a Sports Betting Business?
5 Min Read

The answer isn’t as straightforward. As much as we would like to provide a clear-cut “yes” or “no,”

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The answer isn’t as straightforward. As much as we would like to provide a clear-cut “yes” or “no,” the United States laws relating to sports betting, especially online sports betting like that of SBOBET, can be complicated.

We will briefly discuss these complexities in this article in the most laymen of terms so that everyone interested in the sports betting business knows where to stand.

For those who operate in the United States, we recommend familiarizing yourselves with two federal pieces of legislation that specifically address sports betting. We’re looking at:

The Interstate Wire Act of 1961

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992

In plain English terms, let’s take a quick look at what these legislations say.

The Interstate Wire Act of 1961

Otherwise known as the “Federal Wire Act,” the Interstate Wire Act of 1961 makes it illegal to “place or receive wagers on sports events using wire communication.” At the time, this clause meant the telephone. There is some debate on whether it truly applies to the internet as well, but the Department of Justice’s general interpretation is that “wire communication” includes the World Wide Web.

The opening clause of the act specifies that it covers entities who are “being engaged in the business of betting or wagering.” Lawmakers take the position that this act concerns businesses that operate sports betting and not individuals who are merely placing their personal bets for private recreation.

Is It Legal to Run a Sports Betting Business?

A debate conducted in the House of Representatives before its passing confirmed the interpretation of this act. Emanuel Celler, the Judiciary Chairman of the House, states that “This bill only gets after the bookmaker, the gambler who makes it his business to take bets or lay off bets. It does not go after the casual gambler.” [1]

Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act

Also known as the PASPA, this act states that “government entities” are not allowed to authorize or operate any sports betting games. The idea behind PASPA is to prevent states from running their games by legalizing conditions that would make sports betting less challenging to do.

Four states are exempted from the PASPA: Delaware, Oregon, Montana, and Nevada. Remember that limitations still exist in the form of sports betting allowed in some of these states. The safest bet for sports gambling businesses would be to operate in the state of Nevada, where the PASPA is in full exempt, and sports betting is 100% legal.

Conclusion

Is it legal to run a sports betting business? The simple answer would be, yes, it can be legitimate if you run a business operation in one of the four states that are excluded in the PASPA—but hold up!

Most readers are likely more concerned about their individual status as sports bettors, in which case, betting on sports (whether online or offline) for personal recreation and not as a business enterprise is not illegal.