The answer to can you gamble online legally depends on where you live in the United States. State laws and regulations differ, but the majority of states now offer some form of legal online gambling. You can play casino games, sports betting, poker and other forms of gaming at licensed sites that have been put through rigorous testing by state regulators.
The first step towards legal online gambling in the United States began in 2012 when a New York court ruled that online poker was a game of skill rather than chance. This paved the way for online poker and casino sites to launch in states like New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware. Sports betting became an option for gambling fans in 2021, following a Supreme Court ruling that struck down the federal ban on sports betting.
While many states have legalized some form of online gambling, there are still two holdouts: Utah and Hawaii. Both of these states have large Mormon populations and are deeply religious, so it is understandable that they would choose to limit their gambling options. However, the rest of the country seems to have little problem with allowing its residents to place wagers on their favorite teams and events at land-based and online gambling establishments.
It is important to note that when you visit any site, whether it be a casino, sportsbook or poker room, make sure you are at least 21 years of age. There are also a number of other restrictions that apply depending on where you live. For example, if you live in Texas, then you cannot play at an actual online casino that offers real money wagers, but you can register with a social casino that is licensed to operate within the state. These social casinos have a Facebook link on their website and are designed to help players get started playing right away.
If you are looking for a legitimate online gambling site, check out the licensing details at the bottom of the home page. The site should have a license number and other official details, including a name of the authority that regulates it. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, the Michigan Gaming Control Board and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board are just a few of the official authorities that regulate internet betting in their respective states.
In the 1990s, the federal government was concerned that the rise of the World Wide Web was creating an end-run around state regulations and prohibitions on gambling. With the growth of the Internet, anyone with a computer and access to a credit card could set up an online gambling business in a friendly offshore jurisdiction and accept wagers. The Department of Justice and Congress explored the applicability of existing law and the desirability of regulating this new form of gambling.