The rise of the Internet has brought many changes to how we live. It has also changed how we gamble. In the past, most gambling was done at brick-and-mortar casinos or racetracks. However, with the advent of the World Wide Web, it became possible for anyone with a computer and a credit card to create an online casino or sportsbook and begin accepting wagers. Some states opted to prohibit this type of gambling, while others began to regulate it. This article explores whether you can gamble online legally, what types of gambling are legal in each state and how you can enjoy a variety of promotions that are available to you when you gamble online.
Gambling is legal in some form or another in 48 of the 50 states. The only states that completely ban it are Utah and Hawaii. The rest of the states either have specific regulations or allow certain forms of it, such as regulated casinos. Many states are also working on bringing in online sports betting and casinos, so that you can gamble from anywhere.
New Jersey was the first to offer regulated online gambling, launching its sites in November 2017. However, it took more than a year for other states to follow suit. Pennsylvania finally introduced its iGaming options in October 2017, though it took another 18 months for the first sites to go live. Other states, including Michigan, are expected to launch their own platforms soon.
Nevada, which is famous for its legal gambling, is a good example of how quickly states can move to provide regulated options for citizens. It started with a small number of casinos in the 1990s and now offers dozens of options, both for those who want to play from home and those who prefer to visit a physical establishment. Other states are moving in the same direction, with New Mexico planning to launch its online offerings shortly and Florida, Nebraska, and Delaware all set to follow soon after.
The biggest challenge facing states that have legalized gambling is how to get players to sign up. This is why it’s important for them to offer a variety of promotions, from free bets and spins to deposit match bonuses and cashback. These promotions can be hugely effective at attracting new players and retaining existing ones.
Alabama doesn’t have any regulated online casinos or sportsbooks, though it does have some of the strictest gambling laws in the country. A constitutional amendment would need to be passed to bring in these options, but it seems unlikely that anything will happen in this election year.
Tennessee is another state that doesn’t have regulated online gambling, but it does have an active greyhound racing industry and several large resorts. A bill to legalize sports betting was proposed in 2021, but it didn’t pass.