The American public have had a long love affair with sport, so it should come as no surprise that sports betting is a massive business in the country. However, gambling on sports events has not always been easy for US citizens, with the authorities often hindering the pastime through strict rules and regulations.

After 1991, in an attempt to distance the sporting and gambling worlds, sports wagering was limited to just four states in the USA. Despite this ruling, other forms of gambling has been allowed to flourish while sports gamblers have been forced to turn to off-shore companies to fulfil their betting needs. As a result, the government has been encouraged to review its stance on sports betting.

The safest and most popular online sportsbooks that accept US players:

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  • Bovada
  • 5Dimes
  • BetOnline
  • SportsBetting
  • Top Bet


A part of American history

American has a long history of prohibiting and legalizing certain cultural activities to suit the current political and cultural agenda, and gambling is no exception. Supporters of more flexible sports gambling regulations will point to the fact that the United States of America was founded and funded by gambling, in the form of lotteries. Lottery tickets were even used to fund the Revolution and were some of the first official documents to be printed bearing the words United States.

Lotteries were also used to fund public, social and cultural projects all across the country during the early days of independence. The money was used to build roads, railways, schools and universities until corrupt officials tarnished the concept by misappropriating funds.

The arguments for and against gambling have resulted in complicated legislation that can vary from state to state and town to town. However, the introduction of online sports betting has changed the landscape completely, as many sportbooks can now offer gambling services to customers from all over the globe, including the US.

A growing industry

sports betting by American citizensToday, it is thought, that in excess of $100 billion is wagered on sports betting by American citizens each year. The majority of this money is distributed to foreign companies that are permitted to accept bets from gamblers all over the world. Thanks to these companies, US bettors have a huge choice of online gambling outlets where they can bet safely.

As well as accepting US customers, online sports betting websites offer markets for sporting events from all around the world. As a result, US gamblers can now bet on more sports than ever before.

How to select a top US sportsbook

choosing a sportsbook in the USWith so many top online sportsbooks accepting bets from US citizens, it can be hard to know which ones are the best betting sites and which ones are the most reliable. The online betting market is crowded full of companies looking for your business and it can be quite hard for a novice to know where to start.However, there are certain features that all US sports gamblers agree are important when it comes to choosing a sportsbook

Deposits and withdrawals

US gamblers want to know they can deposit and withdraw money safelyFirst and most importantly, US gamblers want to know that they can deposit and withdraw their money safely and quickly using a range of methods.

In the fast-paced world of sports gambling, nobody wants to be waiting days for deposits or withdrawals to clear before they can place a bet. Punters want to act fast and react to opportunities as they present themselves. This means having a flexible range of payment options available. 

In the modern world, that means offering up-to-date payment methods such as:


  • Debit and Credit cards
  • PayPal
  • Skrill
  • Moneybooker
  • NETeller
  • Bitcoin


Obviously, there are even more payment methods available than those listed, and not all sportsbooks will offer all of these services, but it is important that the sportsbook you choose offers a payment facility that you are comfortable using and that suits your gambling habits.

Where can you play?

If you are based in the USA, there are many online bookmakers that will accept your business and allow you to play. Due to current legislations, many of these businesses are located outside of the USA, where the requirements and laws for accepting online customers may vary.

To help you choose we have compiled a list of some of the top online betting sites for customers based in the USA. However, you don’t have to take our word for it, you can try them out for yourself. 

Bonuses for US Players

Bonuses for US PlayersWith so much competition out there, betting websites will almost always offer you some kind of incentive for signing up to their services. Many others will also offer ongoing incentives to ensure that new customers keep coming back.

More seasoned gamblers, who have already taken advantage of sign-up offers and bonus incentives, will be more attracted by high values prices. Therefore, it is also important to know which online sportsbooks offer the best odds and on which sports.

Sports to bet on in the U.S

If you live in the USA, there will probably be certain sports that you are more familiar with such as American football, baseball, basketball and hockey. All of the top online sportsbooks recognise this fact and offer markets in these sports. However, as you become a regular punter, you will notice that some bookies are better for some sports than others.

Popular US sports to bet on include:


  • NFL - The NFL is a great sport for gamblers. There are plenty of statistics available and there are enough games broadcast every week to keep regular punters happy. Regular pauses in play also makes the NFL and good sport for those learning how to place live in-play bets.
  • NBA - If you have a good knowledge of the NBA, there are plenty of online betting companies that accept basketball bets from US customers. Popular markets include Points Spread and Totals bets. To understand the different types of bets don´t forget to read our useful betting guides.
  • MLB - More and more sportsbooks are offering US customer the chance to bet on baseball. Major League Baseball is one of the best US sports to bet on for those who like to delve deep into the world of statistics.
  • NHL - The National Hockey League is another sport that is becoming more popular amongst more experienced bettors. The hockey markets can offer great value to those who know their stuff, so if the NHL falls into your area of expertise, there are plenty of markets waiting for you.


In our review of the best sportbooks for US punters we take into account the availability of each sport and highlight which companies are best for betting on which sport.

If your sporting knowledge extends beyond the main US sports, your will also have plenty of choice. Nearly all of the big online sport betting websites now cater for a global market and, as a result, all of the most popular sports, and many of the more niche disciplines are covered. So whether you are a fan of popular global sports such as tennis, golf, cricket and soccer, or more niche sports such as cycling, rugby, motorsports or darts, there will be a bookmaker on our list to suit you.

For informaion on wagering on other sports click here

Popular sport amongst gamblers in the rest of the world include:


  • Soccer - A bewildering range of markets presents plenty of opportunities for shrewd punters.
  • Cricket - One of the world’s most popular sports has often been overlooked by US focused sportbooks, but all that is changing as betting companies look to attract a more global audience.
  • Motorsport - Whether it’s Nascar, IndyCar or Formula One, motorsports markets are now appearing on most of the top betting sites.
  • Golf -  A hugely popular sport amongst European punters, golf is now attracting a huge following amongst gamblers in the US and the sportbooks are reacting accordingly.
  • Tennis - Another great sport for fans of statistics and one of the most popular sports for strategic live betting. The tennis betting markets are frequented but some of the best gamblers in the business. 
  • Other sports - Other markets that you may find featured on our recommended websites include MMA, boxing, darts, rugby, snooker and cycling. You will even find markets for entertainment and political events such as Presidential elections.


US sports wagering on your mobile

U.S sports punters are as likely to place a bet via a Phone or tablet as they are via pconline companies must respond to ensure hey fit to the american audienceJust as the gambling world has reacted to the rise of the internet, it is also constantly adapting to new technology and new ways of betting. With each advancement in the way we communicate with each other, online companies must respond to ensure that they fit seamlessly into our streamlined lives.

Desktop PCs and even laptops have been overtaken by tablets and smartphones as the devices of choice for the new generation of online users. Today’s sports punter is just as likely to place a bet via an iPhone or an Android tablet as they are a personal computer or a laptop.

When considering which sportsbooks to choose, you should also take into account how you intend to bet. If you are going to sit at home in front a desktop computer, you may decide to use a different company than someone who will be doing all of their wagering on a mobile device.

Some sportbooks have mobile-friendly websites while others have dedicated applications that can be downloaded via the Apple or Android stores. Browsing betting lines and comparing as well as explainning betting odds can be tricky on a small screen if the website or application is not optimised for your device. This can be especially important if you are betting live in-play at an event via your mobile device. 

So how will you be betting?  


  • iPhone
  • Smartphone
  • Android tablet
  • iPad
  • Windows mobile device
  • Blackberry
  • Laptop
  • Desktop


If you check out our reviews of the top US friendly sportsbooks, you will be able to find which ones are best suited to your preferred method of betting. We explain exactly what options each websites offer for users of mobile devices.

Live US Betting

Live or in-play betting allows USA cosumers to bet during a gameLive betting is the latest phenomenon in the betting world and is fast becoming the preferred form of wagering for many serious gamblers. Live or in-play betting allows punters to bet during a game and react to the action as it unfolds. A bet can be placed and the outcome resolved within minutes, or even seconds, depending on the chosen market. The fast and dynamic nature of live betting fits perfectly into the modern fast-paced world, where everything is about the here and now.

Live betting has often been compared to stock market trading due to the constantly changing market place. Live bettors can even lock-in profits or cover losses by placing strategic bets at certain times during an event. It is for these reasons that many experienced US gamblers are attracted to the live markets.

It should be pointed out that live betting is probably not the best place to start if you have never gambled on sports before. But once you do decide to start betting in-play, the range of markets on offer makes it easy to plot a shallow learning curve. You can start with very simple bets such as match winner and then start placing more strategic bets based on certain propositions. If it all sounds confusing, don’t worry, we offer in-depth guides to all types of betting on the Sports Directory website.

Once you are skilled in this area, you can even bet live while watching a game live in the arena. This can give you an edge as you can react better to the action and move quickly to grab the best prices.

US Online sportsbook overview


One of the largest and most established US friendly sportsbooks

Bovada remains on the most popular online gambling portals for punters based in the US thanks to its ongoing commitment to players in that region. Their website has always been very user friendly but a recent revamp has raise the bar even further. What’s more, they have a customer service record that id one of the best in the business.

Customer based in the United States should seriously consider opening account with Bovada and taking advantage of their great sign-up offer as well as the many great features available on their website. We found Bovada to be particularly good for punters who enjoy betting on the NFL. Find out more about Bovada.



modern and well established, USA friendly

The simple layout of the Betonline website makes it very attractive to first-time punters. On top of that, the company has built a reputation for offering high value odds and generous bonuses. In addition, their dedication to achieving a high level of customer service is also deserving of praise. It’s no wonder that the company has grown to become one of the biggest players in the US market place. NBA punters looking for some of the best odds around could benefit from opening a Betonline account.  To read our full review, visit our recommended site page now.


Sportsbetting, super easy for americans to set up a wagering account

The Sportsbetting website has a great look and feel that is instantly appealing to all punters. The company has grown enormously since it was taken over in 2012 and now ranks amongst the biggest names in US sports betting. Once you have signed up and claimed the generous bonus offer, you will find a great range of features and a huge choice of markets. In addition, there are very few companies out there that offer the same range of payment options as Sportsbetting. We found them to be particularly strong in the MLB betting market thanks to their Dime Line offer. To read more about click here.  



When it comes to US friendly betting options, 5Dimes probably the best in the business

Ask any regular US gambler to name the most trusted sportsbook in the business and the answer will probably be 5Dimes. Their choice of markets, high value odds and outstanding customer support has helped them to establish a solid reputation for excellence that they have maintained for many years. At first glance, their website appears a little bit dated but it is user-friendly, fast and secure and always seems to work smoothly. If you need to contact them, there are plenty of phone numbers, email addresses and live help options just a click away, and their customer support system is a model of efficiency. Whatever betting site you are considering, you should certainly give 5Dimes a try. They are the betting sportsbook of choice for many professional US gamblers and fans of NHL betting. Read more about


Topbet are US oriented and cover many of the most high level games

We must admit, the Topbet website looks great but you need more than just a smart layout to attract regular punters. That’s why Topbet offers an equally-attractive sign-up offer of up to $250 for brand new customers. The Canadian-based website was the subject of a takeover more than three years ago and it has transformed its reputation in that time. Once criticised for its poor customer service, the company has now come full circle and is now one of the most committed when it comes to customer service. The website has a great range of bets on offer across a range of markets including all the popular US sports and is also great for MMA, tennis, golf, rugby, boxing and international soccer. click here to read the full review.



Which US friendly betting site will you choose? 

Whatever your betting intentions, we recommend looking at more than one website. And if you plan on betting on a regular basis across a range of sports, you should seriously consider opening multiple accounts. By having a handful of reliable sportbooks at your disposal, you will always be able to maximise your returns by claiming the very best odds in your market. If you become successful, it is also wise to spread you funds and your activity across different accounts. For more information about why you should open multiple accounts, take a quick look at out some of our articles relating to betting strategy.

The good news is that living in the USA does not mean that you have to miss out on all the online gambling action. There are plenty of reliable and trustworthy web-based sportbooks out there that are more than happy to welcome customers from the USA.

Legal stuff

online gambling has made is possible for US punters to participate in betting games around the globeSports betting in the USA has long been an area of confusing legislation and conflicting guidelines that still are not clear to this day. In many areas of the USA, companies are not permitted to offer sports gambling services and historically punters wishing to bet have been bound by tight restrictions depending on their state of residence.

The rise of online gambling has changed the situation for US punters as many betting companies around the globe now offer their services to punters from the US. The conflict between the legislation in the country where the betting company is based and the country of residence of the punter is an area where it has proved to be virtually impossible to apply a “one size fits all” law.

As a result, companies outside of the US have been freely offering their services to US punters for well over a decade now, and it is estimated that more than $100 billion is now wagered in this way every year.

As with any type of gambling, it is the punters responsibility to ensure that they are adhering to the regulations of their local territory. However, with no clear rules outlawing gambling via offshore websites from the USA, the practise looks set to continue. The sheer size of the industry is likely to force the authorities to provide better clarification in the future, and it has been predicted by many that US-based online sportbooks may eventually be permitted.

In the meantime, we must remind you that this site is designed to give you information and educational advice about the gambling industry. We support and promote the message of responsible gambling but if you do choose to gamble, you do so at your own risk. Please make sure to follow the gambling laws in your location. If you need more information, please visit our terms of use page.