Is PGA Betting Legal In The US?

Now is one of the best times to be a fan of the “Gentleman’s Game.” The popularity of the sport of golf in general, and of the PGA Tour in particular, is on the rise – and that’s reflected in the increasingly huge purses at tournaments (especially the four Major Championships), the developing attention from international fans and more coverage on television than ever before. However, there is a downside to the booming popularity golf is enjoying right now among new and longtime fans and even serious sports bettors – and that’s the matter of legality when it comes to wagering on this rapidly growing sport. The question of “is PGA betting legal in the US?” comes up frequently, and we here at are here to help by providing you with the information you need on this crucial subject.

While it is true that there are several key federal laws that do indeed make it illegal to bet on sports, including golf, in most states, the fact that the majority of wagering nowadays takes place online and at legal offshore sports betting websites especially may put the issue “in the weeds” for some of our readers. However, we have good news: if you are interested in wagering using PGA betting odds you will not be breaking any laws, provided you stick to those aforementioned legal offshore sportsbook sites. The purpose of this page is to break down the pertinent facts of the case for the purpose of setting our dedicated readers and prospective sports bettors on the right track when it comes to legally betting on the PGA in the US.Laws That Affect Betting On The PGA

As we previously mentioned, there are several crucial federal laws that affect betting on the PGA, and these three pieces of legislation have combined to collectively make sports betting either outright illegal at worst or quite difficult at best in most states in the country. In fact, only Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon are legally able to offer some form of regulated sports betting for their residents, though only Nevada – which, of course, is home to Las Vegas, the worldwide hub of all forms of gambling – offers a full sports betting menu.

Before we get into the particulars of laws such as the Wire Act of 1961, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement of 2006, which we will go over in more detail coming up in the next few sections, one thing is worth repeating. That is, none of the proceeding laws are going to stand in the way of your making a little money on the side if you wager on the PGA Tour. Better still, none of these laws we are about to discuss are actually directed at you – the individual casual sports betting enthusiast – so you won’t have to worry about running afoul of the law even if the laws themselves can’t actually effectually stop you from placing wagers on golf.

The Wire Act Of 1961

First up in the pantheon of federal anti-sports betting laws is the Wire Act of 1961, which was the piece of Congressional legislation that laid the foundation for the decidedly counter gambling stance adopted by the government in the half a century since its passage. In essence, the Wire Act was aimed at taking on the organized criminal element that used sports gambling rackets as one of its primary cash flow generating schemes. The Wire Act specifically forbids the transmission of gambling related information or bets themselves using telecommunications networks (that’s the where the “wire” in the Wire Act comes from) such as telephones, telegraphs or radio waves. In more recent years this definition was broadened to include passing betting information along by way of the internet, even if that was originally outside the scope of the law as passed in the ‘60s.

Though the Wire Act IS a broadly powerful law that makes it illegal to advertise for or accept bets via the above mentioned methods, what the law DOES NOT do is directly penalize individuals who engage in placing sports wagers or bets of other types on a casual basis. It strictly goes after the ability of organized sports gambling rings that fix or otherwise cheat on sports betting to turn a profit. The long and short of it is, you don’t need to worry about breaking this law if you use an online sportsbook hosted in a foreign country, and not just because the law of the land in the US won’t apply to foreign countries.

The Professional And Amateur Sports Protection Act Of 1992

Unlike the previously discussed law, the Professional And Amateur Sports Protection Act Of 1992, which we will hereafter be referring to as PASPA for short, was not aimed at combatting the mafia in an effort to prevent it from profiting off sports betting fixes and scams. Instead, PASPA targeted sports betting on the supposed grounds that it was immoral, and that focusing on the wagering on sporting events was leading the youth of America astray by conveying the idea that the most important aspect of sports was that it made gamblers money. No thought was given to the fact that athletes are payed huge sums of money to play what are, in essence, games for children or – in the case of golf – games that were literally created as diversions for wealthy landowners who needed some leisure activities to fill up their daily schedules.

At any rate, the passage of PASPA made it so that only the states that already had some form of legalized sports betting already encoded on the legal rolls to continue offering gambling on sports within their state lines. That means that Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana were the only states with some kind of legal means of betting on sports, though – as we mentioned in the introduction to the laws that affect betting on the PGA – only the first has what we would consider to be the full range of sports betting options.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act Of 2006

While the first two federal anti-sports gambling laws that we’ve looked at focus on the ways on which betting on sports is carried out and the subject of those bets, respectively, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (mercifully shortened to the UIGEA from here on out) takes a different approach. The UIGEA moves toward limiting the freedoms of individuals to bet on their favorite sports by going after financial institutions that offer their services for processing transactions related to gambling over the internet. While not directly making it illegal to place bets on sports (or to gambling online in a general sense), this law, which was signed into law during the second term of President George W. Bush, essentially had the overnight effect of demolishing the nascent US internet gambling industry.

The UIGEA achieved this end by making it illegal for any domestically based company, bank or other financial services firm to process credit card or debit card transactions that were related to online gambling. It’s easy to see how this law, which is infamous in legal circles for the underhanded way it was tacked on as an 11th hour addition to a piece of must pass (and ultimately non-controversial) anti terrorism legislation, all but eliminated the possibility of any there being a domestic online sports betting industry. However, the legal offshore PGA betting sites that we recommend – those being Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, BetDSI, 5Dimes and Bet365 - have all managed to get around these restrictions by using their own in house processing servers to handle credit card transactions so their account holders can more easily bankroll their betting accounts. Thanks to this devotion to unmatched customer service, the legal PGA sportsbooks we recommend commonly accept credit cards types including Mastercard, VISA and, in some rarer cases, American Express.

The Future Of Legal PGA Betting In The US

Much like other forms of wagering on sports, the future of legal PGA betting in the US looks rosy, all things considered. The ongoing US Supreme Court case brought forward by the state of New Jersey to have the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) stricken down on a constitutional basis, if successful, could lead to the widespread legalization of sports betting throughout the nation. This would naturally include the possibility of legally placing wagers on the US PGA Tour, which attracts billions of dollars in annual betting handle from around the world, and repeal of PASPA would naturally make it much easier to find brick-and-mortar sportsbooks where you can place bets on your favorite golfers and tournaments.

However, we would be remiss if we did not concede that not all states are as keenly interested in making sports betting widely legal as the Garden State and several of its supporters are. Some states have such explicitly anti-sports betting language on the legal rolls (and have for decades), so even if the PASPA repeal is successful it is not likely that we are suddenly going to legal sportsbooks popping up everywhere. For that reason (and because nothing is for certain regarding this contentious Supreme Court case), we recommend that our readers stick with legal PGA betting sites like Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, BetDSI, 5Dimes and Bet365 for their wagering needs. These sites, being based in foreign countries, are not behold to overly restrictive US federal and state laws in the first place.

Legal PGA Betting Sportsbook Sites

As we have mentioned throughout this article, the best legal PGA betting sportsbook sites are all based in offshore locations – typically in Europe and in the Caribbean region. These sites – of which we think Bovada, SportsBetting, BetDSI, BetOnline, 5Dimes and Bet365 are the best bet for bettors looking to wager on the US PGA Tour – are 100 percent legal, being based in foreign countries, where the US anti-gambling laws don’t have any effect. But, best of all, they are simultaneously fully licensed and regulated by the gaming authorities in their home nations, which means they are reputable businesses organizations, not shady around the corner bookies like you might know about.

While all of these aforementioned sites have numerous distinct advantages (check out the reviews of some of our favorite sites below for more information about those), the general rule is that our most highly trusted legal PGA betting sites offer more odds and more competitive odds at that. They can be relied on to have current odds on every PGA Tour event, including odds on which golfer will win the tournament outright, the finishing order of the players in the field, the overall money leader odds by the end of the season, special betting lines just in time for bigger events like the Major Championships and player-specific prop bets. Additionally, serious bettors will doubtlessly be able to make good use of 2-ball, 3-ball and head-to-head betting lines that are formed prior to the start of most tournaments and are updated throughout the course of each event.

Bovada - Best Site To Bet On The PGA

$5,000 bonus offer for new deposits made with Bitcoin

Bovada is unquestionably the leader in the hotly contested legal offshore PGA betting site market, and it gets to that level due to several key considerations. First, there is no denying that Bovada oozes professionalism with its slick design aesthetic that is as easy to use as it is appealing to look at – seriously, if you can’t find the odds you are looking for on golf at Bovada then chances are they are no going to be found anywhere. Secondly, Bovada does indeed have some of the widest varieties of betting lines on most PGA Tour events, predominantly in the area of PGA Tour futures odds on evens like the Masters and the British Open, just to name a few.

However, Bovada’s most recent claim to fame is that way it has embraced new technologies in regard to placing wagers as well as in simple matters like bankrolling your betting account. For instance, Bovada users can enjoy an award winning mobile PGA betting app that is free to download directly through the main site (and it works equally well on smartphones and other devices running Android and Apple operating systems too). Bovada also offers an industry leading bonus offer on new deposits made using the cryptocurrency leader Bitcoin, with a 100 percent cash match worth up to $5,000 in free wagers with no questions asked. There are of course some stipulations and other requirements as far as when you can withdraw your winnings if you take the offer, but for long term bettors this offer represents a tremendous value to those players looking to legally bet on the PGA Tour. This combination of solid features makes Bovada one of the best answers to the question “is betting on the PGA betting legal in the US?”