Is Betonline.ag legit? Is BetOnline poker legal? These are the questions this post tries to answer.
Open since 2001, Betonline.ag is a US-facing offshore betting site offering a sportsbook, poker room, casino, and racebook. Though they’ve changed their URL a few times and undergone several graphics and gameplay changes, Betonline.ag is essentially the same company they’ve been for twenty years. Though many gambling companies left the US market during the difficult days surrounding the Black Friday of online poker, Betonline remained and is a major player in the American-facing offshore gaming industry.
Is Betonline.ag legit?
Does it provide a fair service that’s legal and accessible to Americans who want to bet on sports, play poker, or enjoy a casino game?
I think Betonline.ag is a legit American-facing betting site, one of just a handful of offshore gambling sites in that valuable but legally difficult space.
The question of legitimacy is different from the question of legality. In other words, is Betonline poker legal? I cover that in this post, too.
Let’s look at Betonline.ag from a non-biased perspective.
I’ll start my investigation into the legitimacy of Betonline.ag with some frequently asked questions and answers.
Where are Betonline.ag’s headquarters?
The company is headquartered in Panama City, Panama.
Does Betonline.ag hold a gaming license?
Betonline.ag is licensed by the Panama Gaming Control Board.
What are the minimum and maximum deposits at Betonline.ag?
Online bettors can place bets as small as $1 – phone bets are limited to wagers of $25 or more. The maximum size of your wager depends on the kind of bet you’re placing. Check this chart for bet maximums on different kinds of wagers.
What deposit methods does Betonline.ag use?
You can deposit funds to your Betonline account using several cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, or Stellar, for example), any of the four major credit cards, money order, bank wire transfer, or cashier’s check. Deposit limits vary by method – crypto deposits range from $20 – $100,000, credit and debit cards range from $25 – $5,000, and the final three methods range from $300 to $10,000.
How can I withdraw funds from my Betonline.ag account?
Betonline.ag encourages users interested in withdrawal methods to contact customer service for their full range of options. The posted withdrawal methods include:
- cryptocurrencies ($20 – $100,000 per transaction)
- wire transfer ($500 – $25,000 per transaction)
- check-by-courier ($500 – $2,500 per transaction)
What betting options are available at Betonline.ag?
Betonline’s sportsbook hosts a variety of markets similar to their competitor sites – all the major four US sports plus a smattering of coverage for niche sports, eSports, politics, and futures markets. The casino runs on Betsoft software, with 130+ slots including Betsoft’s popular line of 3D video slot games.
The poker room isn’t one of the most popular for US poker players, but it has all the features you’d expect, including tournaments and a wide range of buy-ins, and even free poker play.
Is Betonline.ag Legit?
The big question of this post – is Betonline.ag a legitimate business or a scam?
I’ve spent decades gambling, reviewing games, reviewing casinos, and writing gambling strategy. I’m not going to say that you should have zero qualms about sending money to Betonline.ag.
That’s because technically Betonline.ag isn’t legal. It breaks several US gambling laws. Sending money to a business that conducts an illegal operation has to mean accepting a certain amount of risk.
Having said all that, Betonline.ag has plenty of good reviews online from real players. Search the forums for yourself. You’ll see the usual spray of bad reviews from customers angry over a bad beat, you’ll find a few customer service issues (which occasionally the company deals with successfully), and you’ll find some people saying basically “It’s a fine place to play.” They do legitimate business. I’ve won money at Betonline.ag, and I know other people who have.
Does that mean you’ll never have a customer service issue?
People have problems with legitimate businesses all the time. That doesn’t mean the business is running a scam. When I order fries at McDonald’s and they come unsalted, I can get upset, I can go talk to someone in the restaurant and try to correct the problem, or I can go nuts and scream “SCAM! SCAM! McDONALD’S IS A SCAM!”
Let’s take a look at the laws behind the illegal status of what Betonline.ag does, so you can see that there’s a huge difference between something being illegal and something being dangerous or a scam.
Is BetOnline Poker Legal?
Yes, Betonline.ag is technically an offshore gambling website. For whatever reason, that description brings with it a really negative connotation. Some Americans will always be wary of gambling businesses, no matter how above board their operations are. Still others assume that when a business is offshore, that means they’re planning on ripping you off. After all, if they’re not an American company, and if they’re offering an illegal product, it’d be pretty hard for you to sue them.
It’s technically not legal for Betonline.ag to offer their sports bets, poker games, and slot games to American customers. Other writers and salespeople will try to tell you that it’s legal because the book is located offshore.
That’s just not true, and I get mad when I read that.
Here’s the reasoning behind my belief on the site’s legality, and I’ll also share why you are totally safe placing bets at Betonline even if they’re breaking the law:
The Wire Act
The Interstate Wire Act of 1961 is the most relevant law here. It clearly states that “… placing … bets or wagers on any sporting event” is a felony. There’s no loophole here that says that if your business isn’t located on US soil, the law doesn’t apply. It very much still applies – in fact, the Department of Justice recently clarified that they’re happy to go after illegal providers of gambling, offshore or not. If I were trying to argue in favor of Betonline.ag’s legality, I’d have no answer to the Wire Act.
The UIGEA, or the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, is another big part of the reason why Betonline.ag is operating against US law. Basically, the UIGEA says that American banks, credit card companies, and other financial institutions are barred from doing business with known providers of illegal gambling. That means Betonline is breaking the law every time it accepts a deposit or pays a withdrawal involving an American customer.
There exists a small library of US gaming laws broken by Betonline.ag that go far beyond the scope of the Wire Act and the UIGEA. It’s not necessary for me to go into detail about the more obscure ways in which Betonline.ag exists outside the law – breaking the codes already mentioned is enough to prove my point.
What Could Happen to Betonline.ag Customers?
Here’s the best news of this entire post. Nothing will happen to you as a consequence of breaking the law by betting at Betonline.ag.
That’s because, in the eyes of the modern American legal system, you haven’t really committed a crime. At least, not a crime that’s at a level interesting to federal prosecutors.
Recent statements by federal prosecutors and bigwigs make it clear that individual bettors like you and me won’t get prosecuted for placing what may otherwise be considered an illegal bet. It’s never happened before that a bettor has been indicted for a crime related to placing an offshore wager. The government is far more interested in getting to the source of the illegal activity, shutting down the betting marketplace itself, than going after a few measly bucks from a sports fan.
Conclusion – Is Betonline.ag Legit?
Is Betonline.ag a legit business?
Yes, they offer the same services as other parts of the US-facing offshore betting industry, with competitive odds and financial options and tons of happy customers over twenty years of doing business. Is their service legal? That’s a different question with a different answer.
While it may be illegal for Betonline.ag to offer you online sports bets, poker games, slot machines, and such, it isn’t obvious that you the bettor are breaking any specific law by playing games of chance and skill hosted by Betonline. In fact, the government seems to have bent over backwards to say that individual customers of illegal betting shops won’t be targeted.
Use your own judgment. Read reviews of Betonline. Go to the site yourself and poke around. Contact their customer service department and ask pointed questions. If you like what you see, understand that you’re taking a risk any time you get your money involved in gambling, and that’s certainly true for offshore websites like Betonline.ag. Play responsibly, and acknowledge the existing risk, and you’ll be a happier customer.