Matched Betting in the USA: Is It Legal in 2019?
June 13, 2019
Matched betting has been around for a while and has garnered a lot of popularity in Europe. While it still is “betting”, when done properly, there is no risk attached. This is also known as betting arbitrage or arbs. USA players constantly ask if matched betting is legal in their country, and how can they do it. Since the elimination of The PASPA act of 1992 in 2018, gambling is now eliminated on a federal level and individual states can now decide if they want to legalize online sports betting, and a great number of them already have or are in the process of doing so.
Matched Betting Explained
Matched betting is when a bettor takes advantage of the numerous odds disparities in the sportsbooks market. Two bets are placed, one for one outcome, and the other for the opposite outcome in the same event. To do this, the bettor must place each one of the bets on two different sportsbooks with very different odds. If done correctly, no matter the outcome of the event the user will leave with a small profit. Refer to our matched betting guide for more information on how to do it properly.
Spotting these arbitrage opportunities is hard, as sportsbooks change their odds very fast. It requires opening multiple accounts on different online sports betting sites, and joining a matched betting service. There are many websites and services that perform the service of quickly finding matched betting opportunities for you while displaying the different options on a screen for the gambler. All that is required to do is placing the bets before the opportunity expires.
The Oddsmatcher Tool is a search tool that finds the best matched betting opportunities. It compares the odds on bookmaker websites to those for the same market on four betting exchanges.
Profit opportunities generally stand around the 2% to 10% range, but considering that all bets are 100% secure wins, this is a nice way to profit from the online sports betting market. To make that 2% count though, it is recommended to open all accounts with sufficient funds.
States Where Matched Betting is Legal in the USA
There are a total of 48 states that allow some form of live gambling, with Hawaii and Utah as the only two that don’t.
Nevada – Sports betting has been legal here since 1949 and the market continues to grow with brick-and-mortar betting shops and online sites.
New Jersey – Sports betting is legal since 2018, as this has been one of the fiercest states in the country fighting for the legalization of gambling in all forms, and that includes sports betting and online casino.
Delaware – Has legal sports since before the PASPA era, but restricted to physical locations. Online betting is still not legal.
Mississipi – Only allows gambling in a physical location. Before Hurricane Katrina, casinos had to be located on boats. They can now function 800 feet of the water. There are plans to make online betting legal through mobile apps.
West Virginia – It was one of the first states in the area to legalize all forms of gambling except online sports betting because of federal law. Knowing how important the gambling industry has been for the local economy, it is likely sports betting will be legalized soon.
Pennsylvania – The second largest casino state in terms of revenue. Racetracks proliferate with physical casinos as this is the only locations visitors can gamble. It is likely sports betting will be legalized in the near future.
Rhode Island – Became the 8th state to offer sports betting in 2018 and in the works to include mobile sports betting.
New York – Starting June 2019, the state legalized sports betting at 4 casinos. A good sign that online betting might soon come.
Oregon – The state seems to be in the process of legalizing online sports betting and is currently evaluating vendors and tech platforms.
Connecticut – Since 2017 the state has been in the verge of legalizing all forms of gambling, including sports betting. Frictions with state-tribes that presently hold a monopoly in the industry have delayed the implementation.
For updated state law on sports betting refer to ESPN.COM.