Is it legal to bet on UFL (XFL)? Betting on the UFL responsibly 2024

Mar 28, 2024

After the merger of the XFL and USFL last year, the inaugural season of the combined league known as the UFL (United Football League) kicks off this weekend. Featuring eight teams split across two conferences that will be called the XFL and USFL, the league’s first games will be played across this Saturday (March 30) and Sunday (March 31), with the UFL Championship game slated for June 16. 

Week 1 Schedule:

BIRMINGHAM STALLIONS VS ARLINGTON RENEGADES

Saturday, March 30 | 1:00 PM ET | Arlington, TX | Choctaw Stadium | FOX 

ST. LOUIS BATTLEHAWKS VS MICHIGAN PANTHERS

Saturday, March 30 | 4:00 PM ET | Detroit, MI | Ford Field | FOX 

D.C. DEFENDERS VS SAN ANTONIO BRAHMAS

Sunday, March 31 | 12:00 PM ET | San Antonio, TX | The Alamodome | ESPN 

MEMPHIS SHOWBOATS VS HOUSTON ROUGHNECKS

Sunday, March 31 | 3:00 PM ET | Houston, TX | Rice Stadium | ESPN

Despite the unknowns of the new league and its teams, sports betting is available in legalized states across the country. Bettors can already wager on this weekend’s upcoming Week 1 games, plus “futures” such as the championship winner. 

But where and how can you legally bet on the UFL? Let’s dig into the specifics, including how to make sure that if you do bet on it, you do so in a responsible manner. 

Is betting on the UFL - formerly XFL & USFL - legal?

The simplest answer is yes, it is legal; but that depends on a number of factors, mainly your location and age. Multiple online sportsbooks are offering bets on the new UFL, however your ability to place action on it is not guaranteed. 

Location Restrictions

First, you must be in a state that has access to legalized sports betting. Over three-quarters of the United States has now legalized some form of sports betting, either in-person or online. But only 30 states currently offer the online - or mobile - option, which allows for the ease of betting from your phone or computer. 

The 30 states where you can legally use an online sportsbook:

Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Some states have only legalized in-person, a.k.a. retail. sports gambling at brick-and-mortar casino and sportsbook locations. Those states include: Delaware, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin. 

And if you find yourself in one of these 12 states that have not legalized any form of sports betting, you will not be able to bet on the UFL from within state borders:

California, Texas, Idaho, Utah, Minnesota, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Alaska and Hawaii.

Age Restrictions

Along with being located in a state that has legalized sports betting, you must be of the minimum age required to gamble in that state. The large majority of states in the U.S. have a 21+ age restriction. However, states like Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Montana only require a person to only be 18 years old. 

Whether its location or age restrictions, bettors must obey the rules of the state in which they are located at that time. For example, a 19-year-old from Rhode Island cannot legally gamble if they’ve traveled across the border to Massachusetts because of MA’s 21+ age restriction. 

Prohibited from betting on UFL

As is the case with pretty much every other professional sports league, all players, coaches, staffers and league/team employees are prohibited from betting on the UFL. There have been multiple instances of players in other leagues breaching betting-related rules in the past two years, so this is likely a key area of focus for a startup football league like the UFL. Previously, the XFL partnered with Genius Sports on a sports gambling integrity program. It is more likely than not that the new UFL has a similar partnership with Genius or another entity. 

How to bet responsibly on the UFL (XFL): Tips & Advice

It cannot be overstated how difficult it is to turn a profit in the long term when betting on sports. The odds are naturally tilted strongly in the sportsbooks’ favor, and that advantage is magnified statistically as the sample size increases with more bets. Therefore, unless you have an analytical advantage, or “edge,” on the market, it’s very hard to just “break even” betting on sports. 

When betting on a new league like the UFL, some “sharp” and experienced bettors may believe they have that sort of advantage, especially early on in the season when information is limited. However, more casual recreational bettors who are just “throwing a few bucks” on a team somewhat randomly - or making guesses based on players or coaches whose names they recognize - must exercise extreme caution. Predicting a coin flip has a 50/50 chance of success each time, but it also has the potential to be wrong many times in a row. 

But if you are going to bet on the UFL this weekend or this 2024 season, make sure you first familiarize yourself Responsible Gaming tips:

  • Limit how many bets and how much time you spend betting each day

  • Set a bankroll (a betting budget), and be sure to never exceed it.

  • Choose what your unit size is (a unit is your standard bet size, and is generally 1-4% of your total bankroll) and always stick to it. 

  • NEVER chase losses, especially when there are more games that day tempting you to bat again. You should not view those blindly as opportunities to win back the money you lost, as they can just as easily compound your losses. 

  • Make sure you know all of the rules (especially with a new league like the UFL) and how they could affect the game or your bet

It’s also important to remember that the UFL season is a marathon, not a sprint. Even if you love betting on football, and the UFL is filling the gap during the NFL and college football offseason, be sure to never increase your unit size to try to make up for losses. 

Avoiding Gambling Addiction

Problem Gambling warning signs

Before betting, all gamblers should familiarize themselves with the warning signs of gambling addiction, so that whether it’s you or someone you know who may be heading down a dangerous path, you can stop it in its tracks. Some of the most obvious warning signals include:

  • Asking for money to gamble

  • Skipping time with friends or family to gamble

  • Spending more time in a casino or on an online sportsbook

  • Lying about gambling losses to friends

  • Hiding gambling debts

  • Trouble at work as a result of gambling

  • Borrowing or stealing money to bet

  • Unable to pay bills due to gambling losses

While every individual is different and can show varying signs, knowing all of the potential red flags is incredibly useful and could even ultimately help save a life. 

Critical resources and care for Gambling Addiction 

Sadly, gambling addiction rates across the United States have been on the rise significantly as more and more states have legalized online sports betting. Gambling addiction can ruin lives, families and friendships, so awareness of where to turn if issues arise is critically important. 

Fortunately, there are specialized, helpful resources available. Birches Health is a digital care provider that offers 100% confidential treatment. The intake process is seamless, with most individuals getting into treatment within 72 hours (much faster than the national average). Birches has a team of specially trained clinicians with decades of experience treating gambling addiction. Problem Gambling is not a battle that needs to be fought alone, and Birches Health is ready to help you or a loved one get through it. 

If you or someone you know may benefit from the Birches Health offerings, please call (833) 483-3838 or email hello@bircheshealth.com to speak with a care specialist today. 

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