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Online Casinos in the US: Regulations, Restrictions, Legislation & More

Gambling is legal on a federal level in the United States. However, that only means that states reserve the right to design regulations on their territories. Most states distinguish land-based gambling from playing casino games online.

This guide will be focusing on assessing the current legality situation of internet casinos. We’ll discuss the states that outlaw gambling, as well as those that allow it. Here is what you should know about internet gaming in the US!

How Many States Allow Online Gambling?

The gambling legality situation in the US is far more complex than in other countries. For example, visiting HEX™ Online Casino South Africa will suggest the best gaming platforms available throughout this country. But if you are in the United States, you need to check local regulations first. That way, you can confirm if online casinos are available in that location.

Approximately 20 states allow internet sports betting. It seems that most local governments have the most relaxed laws for this type of online wagering. The situation is not that promising for internet casinos as most states have strict regulations for these companies. Here is an overview of territories with fairly relaxed laws in the US!

New Jersey

It all started with New Jersey in 2013. This state was the first to issue a license to an online casino. The government made an excellent move since reports indicate it already earned over $519 million through taxes. The local authorities have had revenue of over $86.5 million, too.

The Division of Gaming Enforcement is in charge of regulating online casinos in New Jersey. You can pick from around ten internet gambling platforms, including reputable names like Golden Nugget and Borgata.

New Jersey considers many online gambling forms legal. That means you can play roulette and other casino games, spin slots, or enjoy blackjack. It’s also possible to play poker, wager on sports and participate in real money fantasy sports competitions. Horse racing and lotteries are both legal, too.

Michigan

If you love online poker, you can enjoy it in Michigan. The same applies to sports wagering and fantasy competitions. Michigan implemented the Lawful Internet Gaming Act in 2019. After Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed it, the state established the Michigan Gaming Control Board. It issues licenses to the state and monitors that they comply with the latest regulations.

West Virginia

Roulette, slots, and lottery fans will all love West Virginia. The state legalized online gambling in 2019 with its West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act. It’s interesting to note that you can play fantasy sports from 2016. That’s when the Attorney General officially released an opinion that those games are legal. It’s the WV Lottery that acts as the regulating authority in the gaming industry.

Which States Could Legalize Online Casinos Soon?

Illinois and New York asked for the opinion of the Department of Justice regarding online lottery sales in 2009. It took two years, but the response was positive. It’s important because the states now have full freedom to legalize internet gambling.

As we see more states legalizing internet gaming, the odds are we’ll see better online casino selection, too. That includes new game availability and more tempting new and loyal player bonuses. Some platforms might even accept some cryptocurrencies, especially dependent ones like Bitcoin and Altcoin.

Sports betting seems to be on the best path to legalization in most of the country. Some activity is noticeable in more than a dozen of states. And placing sports wagers is the first step to regulating online casinos, too.

Is Online Gambling Legal in California?

You’ll find Hollywood in California, so it’s no wonder this state is famous for its entertainment industry. And since Nevada is nearby, you might think gambling is popular here, too. The truth is different because the State of California considers online gambling illegal.

It was in 1872 when the state adopted the California Penal Code. It outlawed casinos and any house-banked games. However, citizens could still play games between themselves. That loophole saw many card houses opening throughout the state. Although the state imposed a freeze on opening new cardrooms, poker fans can enjoy this game in land-based facilities.

The US Supreme Court prevented California from banning gambling on tribal lands in 1987. That opened a path to establishing land-based gaming facilities. However, the state remains strict when it comes to online gambling regulations. That’s strange because California could benefit from this industry with huge revenue via taxes and other fees.

You can see some changes for the better in California legislation. In 2020, Adam Gray and Senator Bill Dodd proposed the legalization of sports betting. Apart from wagering on horse races, all forms of sports betting are currently illegal. Gray argues that California can deal with the budget deficit caused by pandemics by adjusting these laws. He claims revenue from sports betting would secure funds for public safety and education programs.

Online casinos will have to wait for sports betting legalization first. That means they will remain illegal for at least a couple more years. Until that happens, playing online might lead to fines and other legal issues.

Why States Should Consider Legalizing Online Casinos

Removing restrictions for online gambling platforms can be beneficial for the entire society. Here is how legalizing the internet gaming business can be a positive thing:

  • Additional governmental revenue. The money received from online gambling taxes can serve for important public projects. That could deliver an overall economic boost, which is important in post-COVID times.
  • Put things under control. Many states deal with illegal casinos. The state doesn’t earn from these facilities, and they are also unregulated. Players could be victims of financial fraud or identity theft if they use the services of illegal online casinos. But if the state legalizes the market, it also puts it under control. That improves overall player safety and protects citizens.
  • Enhancing service quality. Online casinos will have more competition. They’ll also need to comply with state regulations and acquire licenses. It will result in enhancing the service offered to players.

Final Thoughts

The situation regarding online casinos legality in the US could only change for the better. It’s hard to believe that any state that has already legalized internet gambling will change its regulations. We can only see the number of territories where you could play without restrictions increase. 

Despite the large morality issue regarding gambling, many consider it only a fun hobby. Now the pandemic limited traveling, and more players migrated to online casinos. The industry’s popularity will continue growing, which will force politicians to consider how to legalize the local market. It might take time, but most US states are likely to allow online gambling in the future.