Definition of Beard
Among sports gamblers, “beard” is a slang term that refers to a person who places a wager on behalf of another in order to conceal the identity of the actual bettor. Typically, beard has a negative connotation due to the implications.
For instance, betting on a sports league that one participates in is usually against the rules. So if a referee, coach or player wanted to bet on a game in that league they were a member of, they would use a beard to avoid attention.
The term “Vegas beard” refers to a person in Las Vegas who makes bets on behalf of another. Often, there is a subtle distinction between beard and Vegas beard because gamblers have other uses for Vegas beards.
Gamblers often live in areas where gambling is illegal or inaccessible. Betting online is an option, but it has become more difficult since the UIGEA. In this scenario, a Vegas beard is someone who places the bets for a small fee.
In most states, betting by proxy falls into a legal gray area. It’s not technically illegal, but it does violate the spirit of state law. Anyone who intends to bet via a beard should first explore the legality of that action in his or her state.
Even in Las Vegas, betting by proxy is a gray area. However, there are no businesses that provide this service. Hiring a beard over the Internet is risky business because there is a great deal of fraud associated with this practice.