The United States is known around the world as a land full of promises in which anything is possible if you work diligently. Maybe this is why people are surprised when they hear that online gambling is not legal in all the states country consists of. However, when the country officials realized that US citizens could easily gamble online by visiting any of the offshore sites, they started working on their own regulations for online gambling legislation.
In 2019, the online gambling situation started transforming rapidly. To get a clear picture, we will cover online gambling by dividing it into two parts: online casino gambling and sports betting. In recent years, the status of both has changed across the US. To find out more about it, please read along.
Online Casino Gambling in the US
Online gambling in the US can indeed be very confusing. There is a federal law that covers the country as a whole, but apart from that, every state has the freedom to regulate online gaming as they consider it appropriate.
However, the fact is that no federal law prohibits online gambling. As a US citizen, you are legally allowed to place wagers online, but only if a site is not based on US soil. Considering the fact that offshore websites have no problem accepting punters from the US, there is nothing to worry about, as you will not get prosecuted for placing a bet online.
All this struggle to understand the legality of online gambling came from a wrong interpretation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. One part of the act mentions that it “… prohibits gambling businesses from knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in a bet or wager that involves the use of the Internet, and that is unlawful under any federal or state law.”
Simply said, this has nothing to do with you as a punter. It prohibits financial institutions from accepting payments connected to illegal gambling, but it says nothing about depositing funds. However, financial institutions have found their way around this law with the appearance of e-wallets and similar inventions.
Considering the revenue that online gambling produces, some US states decided it is time to jump into online gambling stories with both feet. At the moment, online casinos operate in a few states, and it is most definite that others will follow up soon.
New Jersey is one of a few states that ultimately accepted gambling and everything that goes along with it. Online casinos have been legal for quite some time and brought in revenue in billions. You can rest assured that playing any online casino game at New Jersey’s online gambling sites is completely legal. Even popular casino directory sites such as WorldCasinoDirectory have already begun listing online options for New Jersey Residents.
Michigan finally said yes to online gambling legislation when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed House Bill 4311 and approved the Lawful Internet Gaming Act. However, even though online gambling is officially legal according to law, online casinos are set to be launched next year. Michigan aims to make online versions of the existing brick-and-mortar casinos, which will take some time.
Another state that legally offers online gambling is Delaware. The only problem is that the revenue in this state is not matching up with the revenue generated by, for example, New Jersey, but it has been increasing slowly. Concerning a player’s perspective, you can choose any of the legal online casinos and enjoy your day off in peace.
There is no doubt that online gambling is completely legal and operational in Pennsylvania. The state rejoined the field recently when it comes to online poker in Pennsylvania. PokerStars made it happen by getting a license under the Mount Airy Casino, thus putting a smile on the faces of Pennsylvania residents.
On top of that, mobile casino apps are available and widely used in the state; however, that’s not necessary, as online casinos designed their sites in a way that they automatically adjust to your mobile phone screen.
Nevada is like a gambling base for the US. Whatever you have imagined a casino should have, you will find it here. However, when it comes to online gambling, the only form of it allowed in Nevada is online poker in designated poker rooms. They do have a legal WSOP site, but other online casino games are forbidden.
In New York, the situation that deals with the question of whether or not online gambling is legal can be a bit ambiguous. Although lawmakers have found some legal gaps that can be used to legalize online casinos, no official decision has been made. However, as Pennsylvania legalized online gambling, New York will have to do so as well, in order not to lose enormous amounts of potential revenue to their neighbor.
Online Sports Betting in the US
Legislation of sports betting in the US was a real pain in the neck for both operators and punters. At some point, people were confused about what they can and cannot do regarding betting at sports in the US.
Luckily, in May 2018, the Supreme Court ruled against PASPA, which represented the federal law meant to ban these wagers. As the federal law is no longer against online sports betting, it is up to every state to regulate the market within its borders. Some have already done so, and others are giving their best to make online sports betting possible for their residents.
The best-known sports betting market in the US is New Jersey, where almost all types of online gambling are legal at the moment. The most prominent online sports betting operators in the state are DraftKings and SportsDuel Sportsbooks, the latter one offering the mobile app as well.
Michigan has legalized online sports betting at the end of 2019, but it hasn’t put it into practice just yet. If everything goes as planned, 2020 should be the year when everything will fall into place.
Pennsylvania came back to life when many popular operators landed there. Now you can choose the site where you would like to try your luck with online sports betting. Some of your best options would be DraftKings and SportsDuel Sportsbooks, followed by Unibet, Fox Bet, Parx, or BetRivers. The forerunner for online sports betting in Pennsylvania is SugarHouse Sportsbook, while the latest one to join the group is BetAmerica.
Nevada stands strong with what they do best. However, the process of entering the online sports betting goes through the land-based casinos. Namely, you need to open an account in person and deposit a minimum amount. Then, when you log in, your phone will use geolocation technology to make sure you are indeed in Nevada. Once all this is done, you can start betting online.
Another stated that jumped into online sports betting is Indiana. At first, the sportsbooks like BetRivers, DraftKings, and Fanduel gave Indiana a chance and cleared the path for more to come.
Fresh from 2019, Iowa followed the example of other states. The downside is that it looked up to Nevada and copied the rule of physical registration at a land-based casino.
Online sports betting was present in West Virginia in 2018, with the help of the BetLucky mobile app. Unfortunately, the app got shut down and remained that way. Now online sports betting is back and works just fine.
Rhode Island is a state where online sports betting became a thing in 2019. The leading operator for sports betting in Rhode Island is William Hill, therefore, we can expect the launching of the app in the near future.
Online sports betting is considered legal in Mississippi, but the circumstances under which it can be done are kind of strange. You can bet via your mobile phone, but only while you are physically present at the casino — the one that has adopted this option.
Oregon has accepted online sports betting and launched its sports betting option — the Scoreboard. This is the primary app for placing bets online, but if you don’t like it, feel free to look for other options.
As 2019 was a year of sports betting, New Hampshire decided to follow the herd. Again, DraftKings Sportsbook has a central role in developing this type of entertainment in the US state.
The rules in Illinois are similar to those in Nevada and Iowa. If you want to bet online, you need to sign up at brick-and-mortar casinos. Also, racetracks and off-track betting facilities are places where you can do it. Rumor has it that, in the future, you will be able to do everything online, and we expect to witness it in 2020.
Last but not least, Tennessee is ready for online sports betting. They are set to develop it fully and offer many sites and apps for online sports betting throughout this year.