US Online Sports Betting and Mobile Betting Apps

Reviewing the top sports betting apps, where to bet online and legal betting sites

Legal US sports betting is quickly coming to much of the country, after decades of Nevada having a near monopoly. Multiple states have launched online sports betting including Colorado, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. Next on the list is possibly New York.

In the legal states, choices abound for consumers. Retail sportsbooks have opened for business, and leading sportsbooks have unveiled some absolutely stellar online and mobile sports betting apps. Ready to get started?

You’ve come to the right place. Our complete guide to online sports betting will point you to the best sports betting sites and show you what to look for when comparing options. We also explain why you should steer clear of offshore operators, direct you to bonuses that are there for the taking and much more.

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Top US sports betting apps for 2021

It should come as no surprise that a number of the top operators in the sports betting industry have made entry into the online market a top priority. It’s a competitive landscape out there, but that has been a boon for users.

Players in legal sports betting states, like Michigan and Virginia,  have a wide selection of apps to choose from. They’re easy to use and quick to download, and function just as well as their browser-based counterparts. Even better, many of them come with very sweet sign-up bonuses for new users.

1. DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings Sportsbook

Bonus: $50 free bet + up to $1,000 on deposit

Bonus Code: None - Use Links

DraftKings was the first online and mobile operator available in NJ and quickly expanded into new markets. The mobile platform itself is slick and user-friendly. For users who sign up via our exclusive links, DraftKings knocks it out of the park with welcome offers to boot.

Once you have the site loaded on your phone, you can enter your mobile number to receive a direct link to download either app. Please note: DraftKings Sportsbook is not available on mobile web browser due to location services requirements. Mobile users must download the app to play.

The DraftKings sports betting app is available in a number of states, including Pennsylvania, Colorado and Illinois. New players joining DraftKings receive exclusive bonuses from PlayUSA, giving you a $50 free bet with a deposit of at least $5, plus up to $1,000 deposit match bonus. No bonus or promo code needed to take advantage of the free bet offer.

DraftKings legal states: AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, MI, NH, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV & WY

2. FanDuel Sportsbook

Fanduel sportsbook

Bonus: up to $1,000 risk-free bet

Promo Code: None - Use Links

FanDuel made its bones in the Daily Fantasy Sports industry by offering a simple but smooth platform and gaming experience. The company has managed to do the same on the sports betting side and is now one of the top operators across New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Colorado.

Through FanDuel, you can expect to find a full suite of betting options, markets and promotions. FanDuel offers daily odds boosts on your favorite teams, a fantastic app which is compatible with both iPhone and Android as well as a host of props.

If you’re looking for odds on special events like the Super Bowl, World Series or a UFC event, FanDuel is definitely a good choice. FanDuel is ahead of the competition when it comes to event promotions, giving away free bets on a regular basis.

If you sign up for an account via our exclusive links, you’ll be eligible for a risk-free bet of up to $1,000.

FanDuel legal states: AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA & WV

3. BetMGM Sportsbook

BetMGM Sportsbook App

Bonus: up to $1,000 bonus

Use bonus code: PLAYBONUS

Gaming giant MGM Resorts International has entered the NJ sports betting scene via its BetMGM app. The company’s casino and poker offerings have been big hits with users, and the aim is to do the same with sports. There are plenty of ongoing promotions to be found, and new users who sign up with our links can get a big risk-free bet.

Once you have signed up for BetMGM with our exclusive links, take a minute to get used to the lay of the land. While similar to other online sportsbooks, navigation is a little different. Next, visit BetMGM from the browser on your mobile device. You’ll see a link to download the app that correlates to your device, after which you can log in as normal.

Join BetMGM through our site and qualify for a 100% up to $1,000 on deposit . Remember to use our BetMGM Sportsbook bonus code to claim the offer.

BetMGM legal states: AZ, CO, DC, IN, IA, MI, MS, NV, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV & WY

4. Caesars Sportsbook

Bonus: $5,000

Use bonus code: LEGALRF

Caesars was formerly William Hill, the UK-based bookmaker that had established quite a presence in the Garden State. Caesars, which finished its acquisition of William Hill in 2021, operates across multiple states and has a slick web and mobile platform for users to play on. New users who sign up via our links are eligible for a risk free bet up to $5,000.

After signing up for an account with Caesars Sportsbook, you can download the mobile app for the device of your choice by simply visiting Caesars via your mobile web browser. From there, you’ll be prompted to download the corresponding app, after which you can log right in and play. Caesars Sportsook is compatible with iPhone / iPad and most Android devices.

The Caesars Sportsbook bonus varies on which state you’re betting in. If you’re in Illinois you’ll receive a $300 risk-free bet, while sports bettors in Colorado, New Jersey, Michigan, Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia, Iowa and Indiana qualify for $5,000 risk-free bet.

Caesars legal states: AZ, CO, IN, IA, IL, MI, NJ, TN, VA & WV

5. PointsBet Sportsbook

PointsBet sportsbook

Bonus: up to $2,000 in free bets

Bonus code: BETBONUS

Australia-based PointsBet entered the NJ market and quickly gained traction in other legal states. The company is solely focused on sports betting, and it has become known for offering odds which are among the best to be found for line shoppers. New users who click on our links and sign up are in line for a generous deposit bonus to boot.

Since the company is dedicated to sports betting, the expectation is that it delivers a functional platform which allows users to get right down to business. PointsBet does just that.

Once you have signed up and taken advantage of our bonus offer, scroll down to the bottom of the main page for iOS and Android download instructions.

PointsBet legal states: CO, IL, IN, IA, MI, NJ & WV

6. BetRivers Sportsbook

Bonus: up to $250 deposit bonus

Use bonus code: PLAY250

BetRivers offers one of the most highly-regarded rewards programs in the industry. Those who sign up for an account via our exclusive links are entitled to a generous deposit match. The browser-based version of BetRivers is laid out in crystal clear fashion.

You’ll find the same on the mobile side, albeit in condensed format which is optimized for smaller screens. To access the apps, simply scroll to the bottom of the main website after signing up for our exclusive offer. You’ll find download instructions for iOS and Android right there.

New sports bettors qualify for one of the easiest to clear sportsbook bonuses in the industry. Join Betrivers and receive a 100% match bonus up to $250. This bonus has a 1x playthrough requirement.

BetRivers legal states: CO, IL, IN, IA, MI, PA & VA

7. Unibet Sportsbook

Unibet Sportsbook

Bonus: $600 Risk-free bet

Bonus code: BETBONUS

Unibet is a well-known brand in international gaming that is beginning to make inroads in the US as well. One of the first markets it entered was PA. New Jersey, Indiana, and other states soon followed. New users who sign up with our links get free money to play with and a risk-free bet.

Unlike with other operators, there’s no hunting and pecking to find where to download the Unibet mobile apps. Once you have your account settings, you’ll see a direct link for mobile apps at the top of the main website. Click on that and you’ll be all set in no time.

Unibet legal states: AZ, IN, IA, NJ, PA & VA

Benefits of online sports betting apps vs. retail sportsbooks

Retail sports bettingWhen it comes to where to bet on sports in the US, there’s a lot to be said for the experience at a retail establishment. You’ll generally find massive screens to enjoy the action on, food and beverage options, and a staff that’s ready to take your bets – and hopefully cash out your winnings.

However, it’s also tough to top what online sports betting brings to the table. Here are just some of the features and benefits from that side of the coin.

  • Line shopping: On a mobile betting app, you can easily browse the odds at a number of different operators to find the most appealing prices.
  • Bet anywhere: No need to budget time to and from the sportsbook while hoping that you’ll make it on time. Log in to an online betting site and bet when you’re ready, that’s it.
  • Betting slip: You can easily add and remove items from the betting slip to see potential returns without having to place a real money wager.
  • Bonuses: In addition to sign-up bonuses, many of the best sports betting apps have ongoing rewards programs for users to join.
  • Banking: Add and remove funds as needed right from your device via numerous options, no trip to the ATM required.
  • Support: Help and support are generally just a click or swipe away, including a live chat feature at many operators.

Betting at a retail sportsbook can definitely be a great experience, but mobile sports betting wins out as the go-to option for scores of users.

How to choose the right online sportsbook for you

There are online sportsbooks out there that will fit you and your strategy perfectly. On the other hand, you’ll inevitably come across some that just don’t do it for you. Both scenarios are perfectly normal and fine.

After all, the best sportsbook for you is ultimately a personal choice. That said, there are still certain boxes that you’ll want to make sure are checked off regardless of where you ultimately play. Read on as we take a deep dive into the top points to consider.

Legal US sportsbooks

First, you’ll want to make sure that the sites you choose to play on are legal and regulated in the US. All of our recommended sports betting sites pass that test without issue. If you decide to take your business there, you can rest assured that they’re on the up and up.

So why does this matter so much? There are several reasons, but perhaps the most important one is this: Your funds will be safe with the legal online sportsbooks. There’s simply no guarantee that will be the case with offshore or unregulated books.

In order for USA sports betting sites to set up shop in a legal state, they have to go through a full vetting and application process. They invest heavily in a new market and are fully invested in its overall success.

Meanwhile, offshore sites operate on what they purport to be a legal gray area. Through the years, many have risen and disappeared without anything resembling notice to players. Any funds held on-site went with them.

Unfortunately for the players on those sites, they just didn’t have much in the way of legal recourse to help them out. It’s a different story with the legal sites. If you run into any problems, there’s a clear path to resolution. Your funds are protected as a result.

Best legal sports betting site: DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings was one of the many companies waiting for sports betting to become legal. It’s quite clear that it spent the time on the sidelines wisely, as it has quickly emerged as an industry leader in a short period of time.

DraftKings has a wealth of tech experience behind the scenes, and it shows in its product offerings. Odds and lines are competitive, and there are plenty of great features and ongoing promo offerings for users to enjoy and take advantage of.

Live betting on sports

Online Sports Betting AppsThis is one of the most significant innovations that the sports betting industry has seen in recent years. Also known as live betting, in-game betting affords users the chance to wager along in real time as the action plays out.

Before live betting was introduced, those who didn’t get their wagers in before an event started were out of luck. That’s no longer the case. Thanks to live betting, you’ll have even more ways to get in the game.

There are updated odds and lines on the outcome, as well as plenty of prop-type bets to consider. As you may imagine, it’s a fast-moving market. Industry-leading operators are up to the task and allow you to seamlessly stay on top of what’s going on.

Live betting has become a featured offering, so you’ll find dedicated sections for current and upcoming opportunities at online sportsbooks. It’s a great way to get even closer to the games and events you love while providing even more potential ways to win at sports betting.

Best live sports betting site: DraftKings Sportsbook

Many operators have gone the extra mile with live betting, but DraftKings has managed to separate itself from the pack. The company has dedicated a great deal of time and effort toward providing a stellar live betting experience, and it certainly shows.

Odds and lines update in an instant, and winning bets are paid out right away. There’s always an awesome selection of opportunities to consider. The DraftKings online and mobile live betting feature is designed specifically so that you don’t miss anything.

Bonuses, free bets and promos

The explosive growth of sports betting has led to lots of competition. That’s a great thing for users, as leading operators are doing all that they can to attract attention. To do so, they aren’t shy about offering up incentives for users to take advantage of. 

All of our recommended operators are offering some outstanding sign-up bonuses exclusively for our readers. Additionally, many of the top sites dish out a range of ongoing promotional offerings for users to consider. Here’s a peek at what you’ll see.

  • Deposit bonuses: Online sportsbooks will match your first deposit up to a certain amount, sometimes by as much as 100%.
  • Free bets: Some books will provide you with free site credit upon initial sign-up to try out their offerings.
  • Risk-free bets: After you make your first deposit, some sites will let you place your first bet in risk-free fashion, which means you get site credit if it’s a loser.
  • Promos: Ongoing promotional offerings are common across the industry, including things such as odds boosts and parlay insurance. 

There are even a handful of sports betting operators that offer up rewards programs for their users where you can rack up points just for betting on sports. You’ll find plenty of great stuff out there for the taking, so be sure to take the time to research the possibilities.

Best sports betting site for promotions: BetRivers Sportsbook

BetRivers is one of the sites that checks off all of the boxes on this front, including a loyalty program for registered users. Known as iRush Rewards, it allows bettors to earn points based on how much they bet and redeem those points for goodies.

Beyond that, BetRivers is also generous with exclusive sign-up offers for our readers, as well as a great selection of ongoing promotions. If you’re looking for a spot that will reward you for loyalty, this is the one to check out.

Futures and props

As a general rule, you’ll find plenty of markets and bet types to consider at online sportsbooks and apps. Beyond the main bet types on the outcomes of contests and events, you should take the time to explore sites’ futures and props.

Futures are wagers you can place on an outcome that’ll be decided at a later date, such as the winner of the next World Series. A prop bet is an additional way to wager on a game or event, with many props revolving around player performances.

The odds for the biggest futures markets come out in the offseason. When you click on your sport of choice from the menu of available options, you should see a futures link for available offerings.

Odds for props will usually come out closer to game time. You can find them by clicking on the individual game listings. Some operators offer a variety of props, while others just stick to the basics.

Best sports betting site for futures and props: BetMGM Sportsbook

The team behind the BetMGM sports betting app has been around the block several times with online gaming. The site’s odds are on point, and it offers a host of markets and bet types to choose from. Included on that list is a top-notch selection of futures and props.

You’ll find all of the futures you could ask for, from NFL to tennis and all points in between. There will also be many props for you to consider for each individual game and event. BetMGM has become a go-to spot for scores of bettors as a result.

Sports betting apps and features

Once upon a time, it was nothing more than a pipe dream to have a legal sportsbook at your fingertips. It’s a reality today. Sports betting has been legal in a growing number of states, and one of the top ways to get in on the fun is via apps.

A sports betting app is with you all the time. You can check out the lines on the go, manage your account, place bets and much more. In a nutshell, anything you can do at an online or retail book, you can also take care of via an app.

An app also serves as an outstanding companion while watching games. You can check out future events or the live betting markets at any time, and even jump in to place some bets whenever you’re ready.

Betting apps from the industry leaders work seamlessly and help to ensure that you don’t miss anything. There have been many innovations in sports betting in recent years, but sportsbook apps have been a real game changer.

Best sports betting app: FanDuel Sportsbook

When considering a sports betting app, the perfect scenario calls for one that’s visually appealing, easy to use and devoid of clutter. FanDuel hits all of those notes and many more with an absolutely outstanding betting app.

The company has quickly become a leader in all the markets it has entered to date, and its mobile offering has been a big part of the reason why. The FanDuel app lets you get down to business quickly and easily without any unnecessary clicking or swiping getting in the way.

Other things to consider

We’ve already covered many of the top items on the checklist, but that’s not it by a long shot. When you’re looking for a place to play, the spots you consider should also be nailing the basics. Here are some of the top things to look for.

  • Odds and lines: While the numbers will not always be exactly the same at every shop, you’ll want your go-to options to at least be in line with what the market supports. Operators that miss the mark with lines that are less than competitive should be avoided, while those that are dedicated to efficiency are ones to keep in mind.
  • Bet slip: When it’s time to place bets, you shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to do so. The betting slip function should be smooth and simple. That means that adding and deleting items should be easy, as should actually placing bets and seeing what the potential payout is for winning wagers.
  • Banking options: Leading operators offer a wide range of funding options for users to consider. However, not every method is available everywhere. When exploring new options, be sure to see how you can add and withdraw funds quickly. For example, if you prefer PayPal, sites that don’t offer it as an option may not work well for you.
  • Navigation and usability: If you visit a random website that’s a pain in the neck to get around or cluttered with junk, then there’s a good chance you won’t be back often. You should apply the same standards to online sportsbooks and apps. Navigation should be smooth, and you shouldn’t have to do a ton of hunting and pecking to find what you want.
  • Customer support: No matter how well-run a sportsbook is, you may still come across issues or have questions. Knowing that you can get answers quickly and painlessly is a huge bonus. There are operators that go all out with dedicated support lines and live chat. Others leave something to be desired, so shop carefully.

When putting a new online sportsbook through its paces, remember that the bottom line is that it should work for you and your situation. Thankfully, there are plenty of choices to consider in legal and regulated states, so there’s a great chance you’ll find what you’re looking for.

How to start sports betting online

Getting started with online sports betting is a quick and painless process in legal states. There are typically several sites to consider, and the sign-up process works in a similar fashion at each. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Click through on our links to begin the process. This will give you access to our exclusive sign-up offers.
  • You’ll arrive at a new page, where you’ll have to enter some basic information, including name, address and date of birth.
  • After you’ve entered everything and checked off any relevant boxes, click submit and your new account will be created right away.
  • Once you’ve browsed around a little, take the time to download the sports betting app for your iOS or Android device directly from the sportsbook website.
  • Log in on mobile for the first time, and you’ll now have access to the sportsbook both online and via the app.
  • Make your first deposit, find what you want to wager on, and place your first bet.

The entire process takes just a few minutes from start to finish. Please note that you’ll need to be of legal age and located within the borders of a legal state to use the online and mobile platforms available in that locale.

Sites will verify your age and identity as part of the initial sign-up process. They’ll also make sure that you are where you say you are before you can begin placing bets. We’ll explain how they do so in a bit.

How legal sports betting works in the US

legal us sports bettingWhen the Supreme Court ruled on sports betting in May 2018, the justices effectively left the decision up to individual states. Many have chosen to legalize sports betting, and now they have thriving industries to show for it.

Since the legalization and regulation is happening at the state level, there’s not complete uniformity in the US. For example, the majority of legal states require bettors to be 21 or older, but a few outliers set the bar at 18 as the minimum age to legally gamble.

While the laws aren’t exactly the same in each state, they’re in line on many of the major points. As for differences, here are some of the key areas to keep your eyes on.

  • Betting on college sports is a big area of variance from state to state. In some, there are no restrictions, while others prohibit betting on any in-state programs or events.
  • Props and live betting on college sports can also be a sticking point, but it also varies by state.
  • You can’t bet on US presidential elections, but that’s not state-specific. It’s prohibited across the US for the legal and regulated shops.
  • Betting on high school and amateur sports is mostly frowned upon, while eSports rules can vary by state. The same goes for betting on the Olympic Games.
  • Most states have strict requirements that wagers are only available on sports, so there’s no wagering on reality TV, weather, etc.

For the exact rules and regulations in your area, you can check out our detailed state-by-state betting guides. Additionally, all legal states publish their specific sports betting rules and regulations online.

To bet on sports in a legal state, you must be within state lines while doing so. There’s generally not a residency requirement to worry about, but you’ll have to be within the borders to actually place bets

If you’re at a brick-and-mortar casino, you won’t have to worry about any hassles outside of showing the proper ID as needed. But how does it work when you’re playing online or via app?

Legal online sports betting sites must verify that users are within state lines. To do so, they use what’s known as geolocation technology, which tracks your location for the purposes of placing bets. If you’re outside the state, you can’t place bets, but you will still be able to manage your account.

Additionally, those in neighboring states that have yet to allow sports betting can hop across state lines to play. For example, if you’re interested in sports betting in New York, you can download the app, set up an account and head to New Jersey to place bets online.

When you head back to NY, you’ll no longer be able to bet, but they can do things like check the lines or make a withdrawal. In a perfect world, more states will come online quickly, but this is a great workaround for those in nearby states in the interim.

List of states with legal online sports betting

The legal sports betting landscape has undergone a major evolution over the past few years. While Nevada had things on lockdown for decades, that’s no longer the case. Many states have gotten in the game, and even more will follow. Here’s the current list of where you can legally and safely place your bets online:

  • ArizonaArizona online sports betting went live in 2021. Six well-known sportsbook apps went live on the first day of the 2021 NFL season.
  • Colorado: Colorado online sports betting launched during 2020. Colorado saw four new sports betting apps on launch day, with BetRivers, BetMGM, FanDuel and DraftKings accepting bets.
  • Indiana: Both the BetRivers and DraftKings Indiana sports betting apps launched on the same day in 2019.
  • Illinois: Illinois online sports betting went live during the summer of 2020.
  • New Hampshire: Mobile sports betting in New Hampshire went live in early 2020, with the launch of the DraftKings app.
  • Michigan: Michigan sports betting sites launched Jan. 2021, with multiple apps going live on the same day.
  • Nevada: This was the first state in the US to offer online sports betting inside its state lines. The first NV sports betting app went live back in 2010.
  • New Jersey: NJ online sports betting went live in 2018 and paved the way for other states to legalize and regulate mobile betting apps. The first sports betting app to go live in this state was DraftKings, followed by FanDuel.
  • Oregon: Oregon online sports betting started in 2019, with the launch of the Scoreboard sports betting app.
  • Pennsylvania: Online sports betting in Pennsylvania went live during the Spring of 2019 with the launch of the Sugarhouse sports betting app.
  • Rhode Island: Mobile sports betting in RI began in 2019 requiring in-person registration.
  • Iowa: The state legalized sports betting in 2019, with online sports betting in Iowa going live a few months later.
  • Tennessee: TN sports betting apps went live Nov. 2020, with DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM launching simultaneously.
  • Virginia: VA sports betting launched Jan. 2021, with FanDuel as the first app in the state.
  • Washington, DC: Online sports wagering is technically allowed in Washington, but only on tribal land.
  • West Virginia: WV sports betting went online during the summer of 2019, and again, the DraftKings sports betting app was the first to launch.
  • Wyoming: Mobile sports betting in WY kicked off with only DraftKings Sportsbook on Sept. 1, 2021. Several additional operators are set to follow shortly.

Other states have given a green light to sports betting, albeit only in person. New Mexico, South Dakota, Mississippi and Montana do have online options available, but users have to be located at a retail betting establishment to use them. Here’s the list of the mainly brick-and-mortar states:

  • Delaware
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • Arkansas
  • New York
  • Montana
  • South Dakota
  • Connecticut (the online component of CT betting is currently in a testing phase and is scheduled to debut to the public on Oct. 19, 2021)

Lastly, there’s another group of states that have passed sports betting legislation but have yet to officially launch. Timelines vary, but several of them could be launching soon. Here are the states where legal sports betting is coming next:

Add it all up, and that’s 24 states plus the District of Columbia. That leaves over half of the US still to come, but the good news is that many of the other states are at least considering sports betting legislation. Said another way, we can expect the list of legal states to continue to grow in the months and years ahead.

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