Regulated vs Offshore Sportsbooks: What's the Difference?

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In 2018 we saw the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) overturned, and with that the ability for bettors to access regulated (legal) sportsbooks alongside the previous only option - unregulated (offshore) sportsbooks. 

Whilst this regulation has led a growth in the quality and quantity of sportsbooks able to be accessed across the US, it's important to remember that unregulated sportsbooks still exist, and to be fully aware of the differences between the two when matched betting


Regulated (Legal) Sportsbooks

Regulated sportsbooks, also known as legal sportsbooks, operate under the oversight of the gaming commission (governing body) within the specific state or province where they are licensed.

This regulation is crucial because it establishes a safety net for bettors in case something goes wrong. Let's say a regulated sportsbook fails to honor a bet or violates  the terms and conditions of a promotion, bettors can seek assistance from the commission.

While the need to contact the gaming commission is rare, knowing that this option is available provides an extra layer of security for bettors. Most states/provinces maintain a gaming commission website that bettors can access for communication if necessary.

Read More:  Matched Betting: What is an Online Sportsbook?


Unregulated (Offshore) Sportsbooks

Unregulated sportsbooks, often referred to as offshore sportsbooks, exist in a legal gray area. In many states and provinces, there is no specific law that deems the placing of bets illegal, but rather the focus is on regulating the companies that accept bets.

This legal loophole allows the majority of Americans and Canadians to legally use unregulated sportsbooks, with only a few exceptions. However, it's crucial to understand that offshore sportsbooks are not bound by local laws and regulations.

As a result, should any issues arise, such as difficulties with withdrawals or disputes over bet grading, bettors are at the mercy of the sportsbook's customer service, with no governmental or third-party entity to turn to for support or resolution

Read More: 10 Tips to Avoid Your Sportsbook Account Being Limited


Which Should I Choose When Matched Betting?

While it's true that many unregulated sportsbooks have been in operation for decades and have built strong customer service reputations, the risk of relying solely on their goodwill can be a daunting and risky strategy for matched bettors.

That's why at ProfitDuel we only ever suggest fully licenced and regulated sportsbook offers for our members. Not only does this prioritise our members' security, but also how much they can make matched betting over the long term.

Sign up to our 7-day $1 Trial and see for yourself - the proof is in the pudding. 

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