Online Casino Laws in the USA
In the ever-changing landscape governing online casino laws in the USA, the latest updates have plenty of reason for cheer among punters in the country. While regulations vary according to the type of gambling (depending on whether one wishes to indulge in sports betting or online casinos or online poker), what muddies the waters further is that the legality is governed differently by each state. So, while online sports betting is allowed in West Virginia, online casinos are not - as opposed to Delaware, where the reverse is true (online casinos are legal but sports betting is not).
History of Online Casino Laws in the USA
Online gambling in the USA was first introduced in the mid-1990s, soon mushrooming into an industry spanning hundreds of operators contributing to almost a billion USD worth of revenue in a few years by the turn of the century with no clear online casino laws directing the industry. Unfortunately, however, after a decade of attempts, the Department of Justice (DoJ) managed to come down hard and successfully ban all forms of online gambling which brought this once growing industry to a slowdown at the end of the first decade of the new century. Thankfully, over the next few years the DoJ's attitude towards internet gambling relaxed a little and the department ruled that the restrictions applied only to sports betting only and since then more and more states have started to allow online poker and online casino play, culminating in a Supreme Court over-rule in 2018/2019 which made provisions for sports betting and online gambling getting legalized once again.
Current Online Casino Laws in the USA
These recent changes have seen plenty of positives for players. While the entire industry had a dark cloud hanging over it in the first decade of this century after almost all internet gambling was outlawed, the country's and various states' lawmakers have recently opened up rules and regulations in a few states resulting in brisk business for the operators from the word go. The most gratifying aspect is that these new regulations along with the response from the public are sure to prompt other states to follow suit in the near future. At the moment, just three states have currently legalized internet gambling for the public:
- New Jersey: Currently the largest market in the USA with over a dozen operators projected to rake in over $200 million in the first year.
- Pennsylvania: A new entrant showing accelerated growth in the first few months.
- Delaware: One of the oldest and longest running states with has shown consistent popularity for online gambling over the years.
Of course, there is no federal law which prohibits gambling in general in any state and laws allow online gambling to be conducted in almost all states (except Washington, Montana, Oregon, Louisiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin) - however, online service providers need to have a license to operate in any jurisdiction, and it is these 3 states leading the way for (hopefully!) more states to follow soon.
Given the history of legislation in the USA, one can never say for certain which direction the industry is headed over the coming years. However, given the latest updates by the powers that be, coupled with the red-hot response from customers ever since the market re-opened recently, there is every reason to be optimistic about the future. For other important information, please visit our main page.