If you want to gamble online, it’s important to know whether it is legal in your state. The Inquirer sifted through all 50 states to find out the answer to that question.
The good news is that the majority of US states now allow some form of online gambling. The remaining two are Hawaii, where gambling was outlawed prior to statehood, and Utah, which has a large Latter-day Saint population and prohibits all forms of gambling in its constitution.
In addition to sports betting, the following states now offer online casino games: Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Rhode Island is expected to join the party soon, too.
Unlike some forms of gambling, online casino games require a state-issued license in order to operate. This process can be long and arduous, but it’s essential to the integrity of the iGaming industry. Each licensed casino is subject to rigorous testing, so players can be sure they’re playing at a safe and reputable site.
Another way that state-licensed casinos keep their patrons safe is by requiring age verification before they can place a wager. This helps prevent minors from gambling at unlicensed websites and is a vital part of the legal online casino experience.
One of the main reasons why many state-licensed casinos are so safe is because they are required to use third-party payment processors that are located in their jurisdiction. This ensures that the sites are monitored and regulated by local authorities, which is necessary to maintain consumer protection in the industry.
A number of federal laws relating to gambling and online casino games have come and gone over the years. The 1961 Wire Act outlawed interstate wagering on sports events, but it did not address other types of gambling. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 did not specifically ban online gambling, but it did warn that companies that advertise the activity could be violating the law. In an effort to combat the problem of online gambling, some search engines like Google and Yahoo! have taken the unusual step of removing gambling ads from their platforms.
Despite the fact that the vast majority of US states now allow some form of gambling, online casino and sports betting are moving at different rates. While the former has accelerated, the latter continues to lag behind. In 2023, Rhode Island will finally launch its iGaming market and New Mexico will follow suit in 2024. Florida and Nebraska will also likely launch their respective sportsbooks in the near future. Meanwhile, Michigan is set to add online poker to its lineup of gaming options, and Iowa has approved sports betting but does not plan to add online casino games at this time. A bill to authorize iGaming in Indiana failed in the current legislative session, but it may see further consideration in 2023.