Is it illegal to be a bookie?

It feels like illegal bookies are popping up all the time. The stories get more prevalent during football season, and illegal betting is a major problem with events like the Superbowl, but it raises the very interesting question of “is it illegal to be a bookie?” Unfortunately, this is not an easy question to answer because there are some factors that can affect it. Let’s take a closer look.

Location

So you’ve given it a lot of thought and decided you want to be a bookie. The first thing to consider is your location. Location is a major issue when you’re considering becoming a bookmaker. The fact of the matter is that gambling is illegal in most states. One of the few states where it isn’t illegal is Nevada because of Las Vegas. More places are opening up to the idea of legalising gambling, but it’s still impossible to legally become a bookie in several states. Make sure that you read up on the gambling laws of your state. If you hear about an illegal bookie there’s a good chance they operated out of a state where gambling is illegal.

Licenses

Even if you live in a state where gambling is legal and it’s possible to become a bookie legally, you still can’t start taking bets and hoping for the best. The reality is that you still need to get some licenses. Just like you would need a license to sell beer, you would need one to take bets. The licenses you need, and indeed the cost and process of acquiring these licenses, can also depend on the state you live in. If you haven’t worked it out by now, it takes a fair bit of research and paperwork to become a legal bookie in your state. Even being a gambler can take doing a little research, like reading through a Betfair guide.

Regulations

Gambling is a highly regulated industry. As a legal bookmaker you would be expected to file several forms. You may find it easier to have a lawyer on staff who can take care of all of this far you and stay on top of the legalities. Even a legal bookmaker can take illegal bets as well. Make sure that you only take bets from people within your state. This is why online gambling is such an issue in the United States. Some states have come together to combine their player pools and it’s okay to take players from a wider gambling pool, but these agreements only apply to certain states and even certain games. It depends entirely on the kind of bets you take and the area you service.

Summary

The question of whether it’s illegal to be a bookie or not depends entirely on a range of factors. The biggest one is your location. Different states have their own gambling regulation and licensing laws. Do a little research to learn more. Then you need to stay on top of fees and other regulations, meaning you might need a lawyer. You may find that being a bookie just isn’t worth the hassle, even if it’s legal where you live.

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