Mobile Sports Betting Regulation in America


The regulation of mobile sports betting is an issue that state legislators across the country have grappled with for years. As new technologies develop, new questions arise regarding those technologies and their regulation. One of these issues is the regulation of mobile sports betting through mobile applications, also known as “apps”.


Currently, most states have legalized sports betting. Some form of gambling like is legal in 42 of the 50 United States. The legality of an activity does not always mean that it is state-regulated or even permitted on private property. A variety of factors are considered when deciding whether to allow a type of gambling on private property within a state.


These factors include the state’s population, revenue that could be generated in a county or municipality, community opinion, and even difficulty in enforcing such private property regulations.

Why regulation matters

Regulation has continuously been significant in America. As technology continues to evolve, states that legalize gambling are finding it increasingly difficult to apply laws within their jurisdictions. There are often problems with permitting or enforcing private property that is not owned by the state. This makes these types of companies even more difficult to regulate.


The Federal Wire Act of 1961 prohibits placing wagers on a sporting event while the game is in progress. This restriction was construed to include online betting and has created significant legal problems for internet sportsbooks operating throughout the United States.


As a result, states have introduced a standard prohibiting any type of interstate gambling activity. This would include placing wagers on sporting events with an out-of-state person. An attempt by Congress to legalize all forms of sports betting nationwide was initiated but ultimately failed.

Betting Customer License

A number of states have taken a different approach to regulation by requiring bettors to obtain a license prior to engaging in any form of gambling, including online sports betting. This usually requires that an individual’s name, address and other information be transmitted to a state before permission to wager is granted.


Customers may be required to pay an upfront payment and annual fees to keep this license valid. States have also regulated websites based on the types of bets offered and the people who can engage in betting activities. This ordinance was a focus for legal challenges.