For years now, or really since the invention of the internet, offshore betting has been the main forum for sports gamblers in the United States. Operating in the grey area of U.S. law, offshore betting has provided U.S. sports bettors with a bounty of sportsbooks, lines, bonuses, and promotions.
So, how exactly was offshore betting allowed to do this? Let’s have a look and see.
What Is Offshore Sports Betting?
As we all know, until the spring of 2018, sports betting in the United States was illegal in every state outside of Nevada. As you can imagine, this left the very large sports betting market untapped.
Then, thanks to the internet and a grey area of the law, offshore betting stepped in to collect on that market. While it is illegal to take a wager in the U.S., it is not illegal to place one.
Therefore, an online sportsbook not based in the U.S. is allowed to operate stateside, and U.S. citizens are allowed to wager there. This is why so many offshore sportsbooks are located in the Caribbean, Asia, and strange parts of Europe.
So, offshore betting is nothing more than online sportsbooks located outside of the U.S.
Hundreds Of Offshore Gambling Sites
In the late 1990s, the floodgates really opened, and huge online sportsbooks were established. Sites such as Bovada, 5Dimes, and plenty more just like them, became household names in the sports gambling world.
The fact is, sports betting in the U.S. is a huge market. Conservative estimates put the market at somewhere in the billions.
With this much money at stake, hundreds of online sportsbooks were up and running, and U.S. sports bettors had no problem placing a wager.
All of these sportsbooks made similar promises. Security, fair lines and odds, huge bonuses, easy deposits, and quick payouts. However, because these are offshore sites, they are completely unregulated.
Therefore, many bad players were also in the market, and while they promised the same as every well-meaning online sportsbook, they did not deliver. Many of these sites became good at taking wagers but bad at paying out winnings.
Are there good offshore betting sites? Yes. However, you must do your research before using any offshore sportsbook.
Don’t be lured in by big bonuses and the promise of easy payouts. Always buyer beware when dealing with offshore sportsbooks.
Days Are Numbered?
Of course, the need for offshore betting may be coming to an end sooner than not. When the Supreme Court overturned the PASPA, it essentially legalized sports betting in the U.S., and sportsbooks are opening up all over the country. Online and on land.
Therefore, depending on where you are located, you can find a completely legal sportsbook that is regulated by U.S. law. This means payouts are required to be made while giving sports gamblers much more security.
The offshore betting days may be numbered, as state after state continues to pass legal and regulated sports betting.
Will offshore betting completely disappear? Probably not, as there will always be states not willing to legalize sports betting for one reason or another, but it will never be as large as it once was.