Is Cricket Betting Legal in the USA?

Is Cricket Betting Legal in the USA?

Is cricket betting legal in the USA?. 

  • You may think this as an easy question to answer.
  • Either cricket betting is legal in the U.S. or it’s not. However, it’s not that simple.
  • The legal status of sports betting in the USA is complex and confusing.

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Contrary to what some believe, there is no federal law that prevents U.S. citizens from placing bets. However, there are certain laws that complicate the situation. When it comes to online sports betting, the situation is particularly murky.

What laws mean for Cricket betting in the U.S.

The Wire Wager Act of 1961 prohibits placing bets on any sports events using “wire communication”. At that time this meant the telephone. This act was made long before the internet and cell phones existed and it was meant to target organizations engaged in sports betting as a business. No prosecution of any casual online bettor has ever been reported.

The 2016 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) prohibits banks, third party processors and credit unions from processing transactions to and from offshore gambling operations.

This law resulted in several major online bookmakers withdrawing from the U.S. market.  The act also caused various financial institutions to stop providing channels to deposit funds into online gambling accounts. What it didn’t do is make it illegal to bet on sports online.

The 1969 Wire Act, UIGEA and various state laws have had two main results. Firstly, U.S. gamblers are limited to using the sportsbooks of overseas-based companies. Secondly, U.S. residents have fewer options for depositing funds into betting accounts than non-U.S.  residents.

State laws

In 1992 the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) made it illegal for states to authorize legal sports betting, with the exception of a few states that already had sports betting frameworks and pre-existing lotteries.

In 2018 PASPA was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. It ruled in favor of New Jersey in its long-standing battle to legalize sports betting within Atlantic City.  In doing so, it paved the way for each state to establish its own sports betting laws.  In effect, it placed the ball firmly back in the court of the individual states.

After the ruling, several states prepared to legalize sports betting and in 2019 nine states did so, bringing the total of states that allow legal sports betting up to 20.  Pressure keeps building for lawmakers to offer a regulated environment for sports betting and use the money towards education and other programs.

While there is some lobbying for a federal framework, this could take time, or it may not happen at all. State-by-state legislation of sports betting in the U.S. is likely to continue and various other states are also moving towards legalization.

Can U.S. citizens make Cricket bets online?

There are some well-known betting sites that won’t open accounts for USA residents, such as William Hill, Ladbrokes, Betfair, and Bet365. However, there are sites other than these large agencies that do accept USA residents as clients.

The companies that continue to accept U.S. players are based offshore where the U.S. has no jurisdiction. They are based in countries like Costa Rica and parts of Asia.  For example, Bovada, located in Costa Rica, is an offshore betting site that does not have to follow U.S. laws.  

How easy is it for U.S. citizens to deposit and withdraw funds?

There are sportsbooks open to U.S. residents that offer various methods for depositing and withdrawing funds. The most popular method for depositing funds is credit cards like Mastercard, Visa, and American Express.

If a credit card deposit is rejected, you can call support and they may be able to manually process your deposit. If you don’t want to use a credit card, there are other options available. eWallet deposits from sites like MyPayLinQ or money transfers via Moneygram and Western Union are widely accepted.

Online Cricket betting markets

Cricket is a good game to bet on because online bookmakers have a great deal of flexibility.  This is due to the variety of formats, length of matches and options offered by performances of individuals, teams, and series.

There are a number of ways U.S. citizens can bet on cricket. Most bookmakers offer a variety of cricket betting markets. Main markets are focused on the result of a specific game and a gambler can get odds on victory for a specific team.

Side markets or prop (proposition) bets are very common and are often placed on the outcome of specific things within the game, such as the number of wickets for a bowler.

Future bets are also popular. They may be placed on the overall outcomes of a series of games or tournaments. Future markets or also available for side bets, such as the total number of sixes by a team or specific player.

The International Cricket Council

The International Cricket Council is an international governing body with jurisdiction over international matches.  It works to control corrupt gambling behavior in cricket.  Since the integration of USA Cricket into the ICC, the game has become more popular in the U.S. Cricket is one of the sports with great growth potential and participation on the world stage could encourage more people to become interested in cricket betting.

The bottom line  

There are no federal laws that make it specifically illegal for you to place cricket bets online. If you are a U.S. resident and want to bet on cricket through bookmaking websites, find out about the sports betting laws in your state. More and more states are beginning to legalize sports betting.

The only real risk comes from using unlicensed or illegal sites because there is no recourse for you if you’re cheated out of your money.  If you want to place a bet online, you need to make sure that you use a legally operating betting site.

In states where it is still illegal to offer online sports betting, you need to use an offshore site based in a jurisdiction where sports betting is regulated and legal.

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