Traveling To (Or Through) a State With Online Sports Betting? Here’s What You Need to Know
Edwin Remsburg/VW Pics via Getty Images. Pictured: Welcome to Pennsylvania sign
While online sports betting may not be legal in your state, it’s infiltrating more and more every month. If you are traveling this Thanksgiving, you may find yourself in one of these sacred lands.
And great news: you can bet in many of these legal states even if you’re not a permanent resident.
So if you’re traveling to or through one of these states for the holidays, you can bet and withdraw money with ease.
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.
1. You can sign up and bet, even if you don’t live in that state full time
The main requirements for legal betting:
- Be 21 years old
- Be inside a state with legal betting
2. You can sign up and bet online in some states; others, you have to register (and bet) in person
Legal betting states fall into four buckets:
- Register online, bet online
- Register online, bet online (limited sportsbooks)
- Register in person, bet online
- Register in person, bet in person
Option 1 unlocks a world of possibilities. You can get access to multiple sportsbooks in seconds, making line shopping a breeze. You’ll also get access to hundreds of props and other markets you can’t get anywhere else.
Unfortunately, Option 1 is only available in a handful of states.
- New Jersey
- Illinois (for now)
- West Virginia
- Michigan (almost!)
Option 2 doesn’t give you all the choices you would have in one of the states above.
States with online betting but only one or two sportsbooks:
Option 3 isn’t bad if you live in that state, but if you’re just traveling through, it will likely be difficult to get to a casino to sign up. Most existing sports bettors are not willing to travel to a physical location to place their bets, and will continue betting illegally.
States with in-person registrations and online betting:
And Option 4 is just dreadful, especially during a pandemic — you can only bet at a casino or sportsbook, and not online.
3. You can withdraw money even if you’ve already left the state
Say you’re in Pennsylvania on Thursday and bet a few Sunday NFL games, but leave the state to go home to Ohio on Friday.
You’re in luck. Your money won’t be tied up until you return to Pennsylvania. You can cash it out while you’re at home.
The only thing you can’t do at a sportsbook like DraftKings if you’re not in a legal state is actually bet. You can register, look around, deposit and withdraw.
4. Should I put my real address?
Yes. There’s nothing illegal about betting in a legal state if you’re not from there. You just need to be within state borders.
If you try to use a “fake” address, or the address of the people you’re visiting, you’ll run into issues verifying your identity, and likely won’t be able to deposit and bet.
5. How do they know I’m in a legal state?
Sportsbooks use geo-location to ensure you’re in a legal betting state. If you’re using an iPhone, it should be pretty seamless given iOS’s built-in location services.
If you’re using a computer, you may have some issues with Geo-Comply, which you can troubleshoot here.
Sportsbooks are vigilant about users trying to circumvent these restrictions, so taking over someone’s computer, using a VPN and any other workarounds will likely end in failure.
6. Which books are legal where?
Check out our legal betting hub to find your state and see what’s available. DraftKings has the largest footprint in the U.S., while FanDuel isn’t far behind. Those should be good places to start if you’re in a state with online betting.