Gambling in America: A Guide on Online Gambling Laws in the U.S.
The sights and sounds of your favorite local casino aren’t confined to the physical floor. The online casino market is already worth $46 billion and is expected to grow to $94 billion by 2024!
Now you can enjoy the convenience of hitting the slots while you hit the couch.
Or can you?
Gambling in America is a complicated matter. And while the laws are changing all the time, we’ve compiled info on what you need to know right now!
Gambling in America: What’s Legal?
It’s clear that people love to gamble. It’s a time-honored tradition, whether you’re placing your bets in person or via a computer or smartphone.
But what does the law have to say about online gambling? Well, that’s an intricate and complicated question.
To find our answer, we’ll have to go back to 1961 and the passing of the Federal Wire Act. Under the law, things like betting via phone became illegal. It was a huge blow, especially to the world of sports betting.
Cut to a few decades later and the rise of the Internet.
The U.S. has always had trouble determining what limits should apply to the web, and online casinos presented a unique problem. Lawmakers had a brand-new medium to explore. And with it came new opportunities and freedoms for gambling enthusiasts to enjoy.
Over the years, lawyers duked it out and weighed the pros and cons of online gambling. It could bring in a lot of revenue, sure, but how would that work?
Ultimately, it became a states’ rights issue. New Jersey took the lead into the digital world, becoming one of the first states to allow online gambling alongside Delaware.
However, restrictions surrounding online gambling are quite strict. For instance, New Jersey only allows gambling through certain pre-approved websites, like Unibet, which is affiliated with Hard Rock Hotel And Casino.
As of now, states with legal online gambling in some capacity include:
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
- Rhode Island
As for the rest of the U.S.? Well, here’s where things get tricky…
If you thought the legalities surrounding online gambling were complicated already, you haven’t seen anything yet.
For starters, what qualifies as ‘gambling’ varies from state to state. Georgia, for example, has an outright ban on online casinos. However, they allow citizens to play online lottery games.
The same goes for most states. While you can’t head to an online casino, you can, in most cases, play online slots or participate in sports betting.
To further complicate matters, the act of placing a bet online isn’t illegal in and of itself. However, that comes with a pretty big caveat: the website you’re using must be based outside of the U.S.
Happy Gambling: Final Thoughts on U.S. Casino Laws
Suffice to say, the law is tricky when it comes to online gambling in America. While it’s technically legal, the extent to which you can wager online will vary from state to state.
Make sure you check your state’s specific rules. And be sure to follow legislation closely, as more states are looking to loosen restrictions on online gambling in the future.
Curious to see what happens next? You’ll have to keep checking back with our blog to find out!