Legal New York NBA Betting

The NBA has quite the history in New York, with NYC boasting two of the league’s most historically significant teams in the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets. The league’s long history in the Empire State drives much of the enthusiasm for legal New York NBA betting, which converges with greater national interest in the pastime to create an environment ripe for the expansion of wagering on sports. Such a plan is being eyed by state legislatures even now, and in the near future we could see big changes in the way New York handles NBA betting within its borders.

For now, federal sports betting laws prohibit states like New York (and indeed every state except Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon) from regulating or even legalizing the practice. Those unfortunate realities are ultimately of little consequence for sports bettors, however, as a legal option outside the dictums of US law exists and is thriving. This option for legal New York NBA betting comes courtesy of sportsbook sites based in foreign countries, where they are licensed according to their own nations’ gaming regulatory bodies, enabling them to operate outside the chokehold on sports betting imposed by federal prohibitions.

Our goal is to give prospective sports bettors and veteran gamblers alike a bit of a refresher course on the opportunities afforded to Empire State hoops fans for legal New York NBA betting at the highest-ranked offshore sports betting shops – those being, and We will also take a closer look at what teams in the state are available for wagering at our recommended sportsbooks, and also give an overview of the legal challenges – and possibilities – of betting on the NBA in the nation’s most populous state. By the end of this comprehensive guide, you should have a thorough base-level understanding of how to go about getting started with your legal New York NBA betting pastime.

NBA Teams To Bet On At New York Sportsbooks

As we briefly mentioned in the introduction to our guide on legally betting on the NBA in New York, the state – or to be more precise the city of New York – has two of the league’s most accomplished and storied teams. Both franchises, the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets, are THE NBA teams to bet on at New York sportsbooks like BetOnline, SportsBetting and 5Dimes, and not just for the fact that their respective pedigrees have entrenched them in the psyche of sports fans throughout the Empire State. The Knicks and Net are also have solid records over the course of their half-century-long histories that makes them at the very least an interesting prospect when their names cross the odds board at a legal New York sportsbook site.

In the next few sections, we’ll dive deeper into the prospect of legal NBA betting, hopefully clearing up misconceptions about the offshore-based sports wagering sites that function as de facto New York sportbooks. In order to do that, we first need to explain the most pertinent question of all by examining just how betting on the NBA is legal in New York.

Is Betting On The NBA Legal In New York?

One of the most common questioned asked by prospective users of the offshore sportsbook sites we recommend for our readers is if betting on the NBA is legal in New York in the first place. This question is appropriate, given the generally unfavorable attitude toward sports betting enshrined in federal law and in the laws of most individual states as well. Though we’ll take a look at some of the particulars of the various federal laws that impact the prospect of legal New York NBA betting, it is important to clear the air right from the start regarding the popular pastime. Whatever the federal and state laws say about sports betting, users of New York sportsbooks like, and can rest assured that placing wagers on the Knicks or the Nets won’t get you in trouble with the authorities.

The first thing to know about sports betting laws in the US is that they go back a long way – in some cases all the way back to the original state constitutions when the British colonies declared independence and joined the union. Things didn’t get started in earnest at the federal level until much later – not until the late 1950s to be exact. It was around that time that the crusade against organized crime led by then Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (brother of President John F. Kenney) reach its climax with the passage of the Federal Wire Act of 1961, and the impacts of this law are still being felt today.

The Wire Act was originally intended to curtail access to a valuable revenue stream for the mob – sports rackets. The law achieved this by making it illegal for sports wagers or even any information that could be used for sports betting to be transmitted across state lines using the nation’s telecommunications networks (hence why it’s call the Wire Act). Now, while this law was well-intentioned and was even successful at putting a halt to criminal syndicates’ use of phone lines to cheat at sports betting, the Wire Act was nevertheless the first deleterious step toward undue federal encroachment into allowable activities when it came to wagering on sports.

Up next was the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (also known as PASPA), which, unlike the Wire Act, wasn’t concerned with prohibiting sports gambling as a means of taking on criminals, but instead attacked the practice on moral grounds. Also known as the Bradley Act due to its sponsorship by former NBA player-turned Democratic Senator Bill Bradley, PASPA’s crafters alleged that betting on the outcome of games somehow violated the sanctity of sports and access to sports wagering therefore had to be limited. And limit access it did – as of today the only states that can legally offer a regulated sports wagering market are Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon – so before offshore sportsbooks started taking Empire State hoops action there was no way to engage in legal New York NBA betting.

The latest, if not the last, word on the subject of federal prohibitions aimed at preventing wagering on sports was the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (mercifully shortened to UIGEA). This law has the dubious dual distinctions of being underhandedly tacked on at the last minute to unrelated anti-terrorism legislation and of singlehandedly dismantling the entire US-based online gambling industry. That’s because, unlike the other two federal sports betting laws we’ve looked at already, the UIGEA instead went after US financial institutions, preventing them from processing credit card transactions if they were related even tangentially related to gambling over the internet.

In summary, all three of these major pieces of federal anti-gambling legislation made life incredibly difficult for average sports fans who just wanted to make a few wagers on their favorite teams, even if none of the laws was specifically targeting individual bettors. However, as we’ll see in the next section, legal New York NBA betting, and indeed all other forms of sports wagering for players all around the country, was about to bounce back in a big way thanks to the services offered by betting shops located outside the US.

Best New York Betting Sites
  • BetOnline
SportsBetting Sportsbook
How Is Betting On The NBA Legal For New York Residents?

NBA betting in New York is legal in spite of federal prohibitions against it and even a fairly strong state-level stance against book-making and line-selling (that means no sportsbooks inside the state lines) found right in the Empire State’s constitution. How can both these things be true? It comes down to a total lack of language regarding internet-based betting in New York state laws pertaining to gambling.

Since the top-rated legal New York sportsbooks are actually websites and they’re all located overseas, the simple fact is there is no law against betting on the NBA so long as you use these sites. That being said, any prospective bettor should be aware that it is still illegal to try to bet on the NBA at a sportsbook or sports betting site that is actually based in New York, so don’t even waste your time seeking out a local bookie – you could get in some serious legal trouble for your efforts. Fortunately, there isn’t much of an incentive to do so, considering how good sites like BetOnline, SportsBetting and 5Dimes are at meeting the demands of New York’s basketball fans.

So matter whether your team is the Knicks or the Nets, the next time you want to get in the action of legal New York NBA betting, head on over to the sites we recommend. If your team does well you’ll cash big tickets and you’ll keep out of trouble with the law at the same time. That’s practically the textbook definition of a “win-win” scenario.

Top Sportsbooks for Betting in New York
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