Legalization: Are Pay Per Head Sites Legal in the US?

Despite the negative view on betting changing in the United States, players are still unsure if offering bookie services is legal in America.

The quick and VERY dirty answer is yes. Yes, you can play at an online sportsbook legally. Yes, you can be a pay per head bookie legally. Yes, you can offer your bookie services to other US players.

And, get this, it’s always been that way. There have never been any legal restrictions to keep you from enjoying these services online.

Now the question is how? And why might you hear differently in mainstream circles?

How Are Pay Per Head Sites Legal?

The World Wide Web, that’s how. The internet has always been a difficult place in a world where each country enforces different laws. The United States has a certain way it likes doing business, but that may not be how England wants it. Their futile attempts to stop the growth of crypto is an excellent example of their attempts to use their laws to stop a product only to realize because its origins are outside of their country, there’s nothing they can do about it.

About 30 years ago, at the peak of internet growth, some sportsbook genius realized that even if your online sportsbook and casino was available in the US you legally only had to follow laws based on where your site’s server and staff operated.

Suppose your site originated in Costa Rica, your site followed Costa Rican law. An Antigua site, Antigua. And for that reason, numerous bookmakers have taken their products to countries that are friendlier to online gaming.

So, realize that logging on to a site like is like stepping into a gaming establishment in Costa Rica. You’re safely under the rules and regulations of that country. Not the US. All gambling sites are entirely legal for you or your clientele to play and enjoy as long as they’re not based in the US; then it gets tricky.

So Why the Mixed Messages?

The bottom line is the US would rather you play in their brick-and-mortar or online sportsbook and casino. Or play on the sites they’ve struck deals with – so much for the free market. Why? Money, of course. Sites that are based in the US pay US taxes. That means players who play on those sites have to pay US taxes as well. So, of course, they’d do anything to get people playing on sportsbook software they can profit from.

Sites based in Costa Rica or other locations don’t have to pay US taxes. When you withdraw your funds from these sites, it’s up to you if you’d like to declare the winnings. This is a huge perk if you want to start an online bookie business. Winning in a sportsbook or casino is hard enough; giving up half your winnings is worse.

Most, if not all, pay per head sites we review are not US-based. Therefore you can operate your business without concern that your profits could be cut in half.

What States are Legalizing Gambling within the US?

The good news is, if your clients have any issues with playing on an online gaming website, you can let them know the US is finally opening up to this form of entertainment.

Track racing was already legal in the US. Land-based casinos and sportsbooks have been legal in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and any participating businesses located on Native American reserves. So them having an issue with a more convenient offering was somewhat hypocritical.

Therefore, 19 of 50 states have legalized online gaming as of today. They are: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

What does this mean? Not much legally for pay per head bookies. As most sites are based offshore, you don’t have to worry about the US legal battles. But, expect competition from those areas.

Do Other Places in the World Have Legal Online Gambling?

Definitely. Like prohibition before it, Europe long realized taking away tools for fun and entertainment from responsible citizens is not the way to prevent people from doing it. We’ll find a way, and therefore it’s better to offer it in a clean and verified manner.

In fact, because they embraced online gambling quickly throughout Europe, they managed to keep the competition to a minimum and make a profit while they were at it. And Europe isn’t the only country. Canada, Mexico, and even Australia offer online gaming to their citizens. In some cases, you can place bets at stadiums. If any of your US players have an aversion to gaming, you can explain that it’s simply another form of entertainment worldwide.

Are US-Based Online Sportsbook Competition?

Yes, but only due to advertising and general government backing, not the overall product.

Players will soon find that not only will they immediately lose half their winnings with these US-based books, but that some of the parlay odds will be low, and the variety of games isn’t as good as the established competition. Also, most US online offerings offer a sportsbook only for players. Pay per head sites provides a one-stop-shop for sports, casino, and racebook play.

Bookies should stick to their guns and be confident that their product is better overall.

The Online Gambling Future in the US

Regardless of the competition, more legalization means more players. And more players mean more chances for bookies to raise their revenue. Finally, the US is doing what other countries did decades ago. That will change any remaining stigma regarding online gambling. Bookies should take advantage and be ready for growth.

That’s why choosing the proper pay per head site is integral. Please check our reviews to discover whether the bookie software is safe. Whether they have good customer service to make your new clients feel safe, or good software to ensure all bets settled quickly.

With most US players lacking knowledge of the online gaming space, trust will be vital to maintaining their confidence.