Is US Online Gambling Regulated?
Regulated online gambling has been a topic of discussion and legislation across the United States.
With each state having the autonomy to decide on the legality and extent of US online gambling, the cyberspace betting landscape is continually evolving.
As of October 2023, several states have embraced various forms of online betting, contributing to a growing virtual cyber gambling industry in the country.
This post explores the states where USA virtual gambling is regulated, shedding light on the different online betting arenas, from US online casinos and poker rooms to sports betting sportsbook platforms and mobile gambling apps.
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Arizona: The Desert Blossoms with Online Sports Betting
Arizona ushered in a new era of gambling by legalizing online sports betting in April 2021, with the first bets being placed in September 2021. This move was part of a broader expansion of gambling within the state, although online casinos and poker rooms remain off-limits.
The Arizona Department of Gaming oversees all betting activities, ensuring a regulated environment for Arizonans to enjoy online sports betting.
Colorado: Mile High Betting Opportunities
In the Centennial State, online sports betting has been legal since 2019, following the passage of Proposition DD. While online casino services or poker games are yet to see the light of day, sports aficionados have a plethora of Colorado online sportsbooks to choose from. The legalization has not only provided residents with new entertainment avenues but also generated additional revenue for the state’s water plan.
Connecticut: A Compact for Online Gambling
Connecticut expanded its gambling horizon by legalizing online sports betting, casinos, and poker in May 2021, under a compact with the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes. The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection now oversees a thriving online gambling ecosystem, with operations beginning in October 2021. This compact marks a significant milestone, portraying a collaborative approach towards regulated online gambling.
Delaware: An Early Adopter
Delaware has been at the forefront of the online gambling movement in the US. Post-PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) era, Delaware became the second state to offer sports betting online. The state had already launched online casinos and poker rooms in 2013, making it a prime spot for gambling enthusiasts.
Illinois: Betting on the Future
Illinois legalized online sports betting in June 2019, and the first digital sportsbooks went live in 2020. However, the state mandates in-person registration for online sports gambling accounts, a requirement set to expire in 2022. While online casinos and poker rooms remain unregulated, the success of online sports betting hints at a potential expansion of the online gaming domain in the future.
Indiana: Betting on Sports
Indiana has carved out a niche for itself with legal online sports betting, even though it has shied away from legalizing online casinos or poker rooms. The Hoosier State legalized sports betting in 2019, providing a regulated platform for sports enthusiasts to place bets on various events, including in-state teams like Notre Dame or Purdue University.
Iowa: A Mixed Bag
Iowa legalized online sports betting in mid-2019, albeit with a unique twist. While cyber casinos and online poker rooms remain on the bench, the Hawkeye State allows residents to indulge in online sports betting, provided they register in person at one of the five registered online casinos.
Louisiana: A Sprinkle of Everything
Louisiana has embraced sports betting on the internet, daily fantasy sports, and online horse racing, providing a diverse online gambling landscape for residents. Although online casino games and poker are yet to be legalized, the state offers a taste of various online betting flavors, portraying a gradual shift towards a broader online gambling framework.
Maryland: A Fresh Start for Online Sports Betting
Maryland voters approved sports betting during the November 2020 election, with the legislation being finalized in May 2021. Online sports betting platforms are expected to go live in 2023, marking a fresh start in Maryland’s internet gambling journey. While online casinos and poker rooms are not yet in the picture, the state’s move towards online sports wagering is a step in the right direction.
Michigan: A Beacon of Online Gambling
Michigan stands as a beacon for online gambling enthusiasts, with the state legalizing online casinos, sports betting, and poker in 2019. The Great Lakes State has created a robust cyber gaming infrastructure, providing a blueprint for other states contemplating diving into the internet betting pool.
Montana: A Modest Entry into Online Betting
Montana has a modest online betting scene with sports betting being legalized in May 2019. The state lottery operates the sports betting platform, allowing residents to place bets via kiosks and mobile apps within licensed premises. Although poker sites and casinos online are not on the agenda, Montana’s step into online sports betting showcases a cautious approach towards digital gambling.
Nevada: The Pioneer State in Online Gambling
Nevada, known as the gambling capital, embraced online gambling quite early compared to other states. Online poker found its legality in the Silver State in 2013, with WSOP.com becoming a significant player in the online poker domain. Additionally, online sports gaming has been part of Nevada’s gambling portfolio since 2010. However, the state has yet to move forward with online casino legalization, thus keeping the online gambling spectrum not fully explored. The existing legislation mandates players to be within the state lines while engaging in online cyber betting, and all virtual gambling operations are overseen by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
New Hampshire: Sports Betting Takes the Lead
New Hampshire has kept its online gambling scene simple by legalizing online sports betting in December 2019. While NH online casinos and NH online poker rooms are yet to be introduced, sports betting provides a regulated online wagering avenue for residents.
New Jersey: A Full House of Online Gambling Options
New Jersey boasts a well-rounded online gambling landscape, encompassing internet casinos, poker, and mobile sports betting. With generous bonuses and a wide selection of online gambling platforms, the Garden State provides an exemplar of a comprehensive virtual gaming framework. As a leader in their role of US adapting friendly online gaming policies, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) overwatches all forms of gambling online for real money in the state of NJ
New York: On the Horizon of Online Betting
New York has taken initial steps towards the online gambling sphere by legalizing online sports betting. The state passed a bill in April 2021, and the first wagers were placed in 2022. Although online casinos and poker rooms are still awaiting legalization, the move towards online sports betting showcases a potential future where New York might embrace a broader online gambling landscape. The New York State Gaming Commission regulates all gambling activities, ensuring a safe and fair gambling environment.
North Carolina: A Tribal Embrace of Online Betting
North Carolina took a modest step into online gambling by legalizing sports betting at tribal casinos in July 2019. However, the state has not expanded the legal framework to include online platforms or other forms of online gambling. The tribal casinos offer a glimpse into the potential of a broader gambling landscape in the future.
Oregon: A State-Run Online Betting Platform
Oregon reintroduced sports betting through a state-run platform, Scoreboard, in October 2019. While online casino games and poker room bets remain prohibited, the state’s approach towards online sports betting under the Oregon Lottery’s management portrays a controlled venture into the online gambling domain.
Pennsylvania: A Rising Star in Online Gambling
Pennsylvania opened its doors to web based casinos, sports gambling, and poker in 2019, marking a significant milestone in its online gambling journey. The Keystone State has since become a hotspot for internet gambling aficionados, with a growing number of mobile casinos and sportsbooks.
Rhode Island: Sports Betting Takes Center Stage
Rhode Island introduced online sports betting in 2019, although online poker and casino sites have not been legalized. The Ocean State has taken a conservative yet significant step towards embracing online gambling.
South Dakota: Betting in Deadwood
South Dakota legalized sports betting in November 2020, although it’s confined to the historic town of Deadwood. The state has yet to venture into online gambling, reflecting a cautious approach towards expanding the gambling landscape.
Tennessee: Mobile Sports Betting Breaks Ground
Tennessee broke new ground by legalizing online sports betting in November 2020 as a mobile-only state. While online poker and casino games are yet to be legalized, the Volunteer State’s mobile sports betting platform offers a glimpse into the potential future of online gambling in the state.
Virginia: A New Entrant in Online Betting
Virginia joined the online gaming community by legalizing online sports betting in 2020. While online casinos and poker rooms are not on the cards yet, the state has shown a progressive approach towards online gambling. The Virginia Lottery Board oversees online sports betting, ensuring a regulated and secure betting environment for Virginians.
Washington: A Cautious Approach
Washington State has a complex relationship with web based gambling. While the state has numerous tribal casinos, it has stringent laws against online gambling. However, there has been a slight shift. In March 2020, the state legalized sports betting at tribal casinos, although online betting platforms are yet to see the light of day.
West Virginia: A Budding Online Gambling Landscape
West Virginia has been gradually expanding its online gambling portfolio. With online sports betting and casino action legalized, and online poker on the horizon, the Mountain State is steadily becoming a notable player in the online gambling domain.
Wyoming: The Cowboy State Rides into Online Sports Betting
Wyoming embraced online sports betting in 2021, marking its entry into the online gambling domain. However, online casino and poker games remain uncharted territories. The state’s move towards online sports betting reflects a growing acceptance of digital gambling platforms, albeit at a cautious pace.
Where is US Online Gambling Legal?
As the online gambling narrative continues to unfold across the United States, more states are expected to join the online gambling bandwagon. The evolving legal frameworks and the burgeoning USA cyber gambling market highlight the dynamic nature of internet gaming in the country.
While internet gaming was almost entirely illegal nationwide just a decade ago, many states have since begun legalizing and regulating various forms of real money online gambling.
Nevada enjoys a long legacy as the country’s gambling epicenter. The Silver State took its first steps towards welcoming online gaming by legalizing web poker in 2013.
Legal Online Gambling: Online poker is currently the only form of internet gambling allowed in Nevada. Players must be physically located within state lines to participate. Leading online poker sites like WSOP NV cater to Nevada residents and visitors.
Sports Betting: Despite being among the early pioneers of legal US online gambling, Nevada has been slow to embrace internet sports wagering. Wagering on sports online remains prohibited even after the landmark Supreme Court ruling in 2018 lifting the federal ban on sports betting. However, efforts are underway to potentially legalize casino gaming on the web. In the meantime, read about the best Las Vegas online casino alternatives.
New Jersey has established itself as the undisputed leader in legal real money online gambling in the United States. The Garden State offers a full spectrum of regulated gaming options via the internet.
Legal Online Gambling: New Jersey approved a wide range of gambling online in 2013. Today, licensed NJ online casinos, poker sites, and sportsbooks operate in a legal and regulated environment overseen by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE). Players can enjoy everything from online slots to table games, poker, and sports betting.
Sports Betting: New Jersey challenged the federal sports betting ban, leading to the pivotal Supreme Court ruling in 2018. The state moved quickly to legalize sports wagering online and now has over two dozen licensed online sportsbooks accepting bets on sporting events.
The Keystone State joined the online gaming revolution in 2019 when legislation came into effect legalizing internet casinos, poker, and sports betting.
Legal Online Gambling: Pennsylvania permits its land-based casinos to offer branded online gambling sites. Major casino operators like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Caesars now provide a wide selection of slots, table games, poker, and sports betting apps to players in PA.
Sports Betting: After the fall of PASPA, Pennsylvania passed legislation allowing sports betting online in addition to land-based sportsbooks. Over a dozen online sports wagering sites are now active in the state and legally accept bets on sporting events.
Michigan took a major leap by legalizing online gambling in 2019. The Lawful Internet Gaming Act opened the door to internet casinos, poker and sports betting in the Great Lakes State.
Legal Online Gambling: The commercial and tribal casinos in Michigan can now legally operate online gambling sites under the regulations set by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. Leading online gaming operators have launched their casino, poker and sports betting platforms in Michigan.
Sports Betting: Alongside internet casino games and poker, the state gaming law also legalized Michigan online sports betting. Both mobile and online sportsbooks are now live, in time for Michigan residents to place wagers on teams like the Detroit Lions and Detroit Red Wings.
West Virginia authorized certain forms of real money online gambling with the passage of legislation in 2019. The law permits online sportsbooks as well as internet poker and casinos.
Legal Online Gambling: The Mountain State allows its five licensed retail casinos to provide online poker, slots, table games and sports betting. Approved sites like BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel now operate in West Virginia with oversight from the state’s lottery commission.
Sports Betting: The West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act opened the door for legal sports betting online. Alongside internet poker and casinos, residents and visitors now have regulated options for wagering on sports via mobile and online sportsbooks.
Illinois took its first step into legal real money gambling online by approving sports betting throughout the state. The activity was officially legalized in June 2019.
Legal Online Gambling: As of now, Illinois online sports betting is the only form of internet wagering available in a legal and regulated setting. The state has over a dozen licensed online sportsbooks accepting bets.
Sports Betting: Illinois moved quickly after the repeal of PASPA to legalize sports wagering at land-based venues as well as online. Betting apps from FanDuel, DraftKings and PointsBet lead the thriving IL online sports betting market. Players must register in person before betting online.
Colorado became an early adopter of legal online sports betting. A referendum question to legalize sports wagering and create a regulated market passed in November 2019.
Legal Online Gambling: At present, sports betting via the internet is the sole legal form of online gambling available in Colorado. Major sportsbook operators have secured licenses and launched websites and apps for CO residents.
Proposition DD successfully opened the door for Colorado online sports betting after voters showed support. Legal sportsbooks like BetMGM, FanDuel and DraftKings now operate under a strict regulatory framework overseen by the Colorado Division of Gaming.
The Volunteer State carved a unique path in legal gambling by approving online sportsbooks without any retail component. A law was passed in 2019 to make Tennessee the first state with online-only sports wagering.
Legal Online Gambling: Tennessee online sports betting launched in November 2020. Licensed operators like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM and William Hill offer mobile sports betting apps under regulations from the TN Education Lottery.
Sports Betting: With no commercial or tribal casinos in the state, Tennessee went directly to online-only sportsbooks. The rules prohibit in-person registration, allowing players to conveniently sign up and bet from anywhere in Tennessee on their mobile device.
Iowa moved forward with legalizing online sportsbooks in May 2019 when legislation was approved permitting sports betting throughout the state.
Legal Online Gambling: At this time, Iowa sports betting sites represent the only regulated form of real money internet gambling available to players located in Iowa. Players must register in person before accessing online sportsbooks.
Both retail and online sports wagering is permitted under IA sports betting regulations. Popular mobile sportsbooks like FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, PointsBet and William Hill operate legally in the Hawkeye State with oversight from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
Indiana took its first step towards legal online gambling by passing a sports betting bill in 2019 that authorized launching online sportsbooks along with retail locations.
Legal Online Gambling:
The current status of internet gaming in Indiana is limited to regulated online sportsbooks. No other forms of gambling online have been legalized at this time. Nevertheless, sports fans can place legal wagers through apps and sites.
Sports Betting: After some delays, the first licensed online sports betting apps launched in Indiana in October 2019. FanDuel, DraftKings and BetRivers were among the first regulated IN internet sportsbooks and remain major players in the market.
Virginia embraced the movement towards legal online sports betting relatively early. Lawmakers in the Commonwealth passed legislation in 2020 permitting online sports wagering.
Legal Online Gambling: At this stage, Virginia has authorized only online sportsbooks to offer legal real money gambling via the internet. No other form of gaming is allowed online.
Sports Betting: The legislation directing the VA Lottery to construct a regulatory framework paved the way for the launch of VA online sportsbooks starting in January 2021. Popular mobile sportsbooks like FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and William Hill operate legally in Virginia.
In July 2019, New Hampshire became the second state, after Oregon, to solely offer an in-house online and mobile sports betting platform. The state-controlled platform is the only one available.
Legal Online Gambling: The lone legal option for betting online in New Hampshire is through the New Hampshire Lottery’s Sports Book app. This regulatory approach is unique compared to a competitive marketplace in many other states.
Sports Betting: Under state law, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission retains control over sports betting including mobile wagering. The Sports Book app provides a singular place for bettors to legally wager on sports online rather than having access to multiple sportsbooks.
Washington became an early adopter of legal online sports betting in 2020. The state passed legislation permitting sports wagering including online-only sportsbooks.
Legal Online Gambling: At present, sports fans and bettors in Washington can only legally gamble online through licensed mobile sportsbooks. Online casino gaming and poker have not yet been legalized.
Sports Betting: Regulated online sports betting in Washington launched in March 2020. A dozen operators now offer mobile sports wagering including FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, BetRivers and Caesars. Wagering is currently limited to players within state lines.
Oregon carved a unique path as one of the only states to launch an online sportsbook operated directly through the state lottery. The Scoreboard online betting app launched in October 2019.
Legal Online Gambling:
At this stage, the lone legal gaming website or mobile app available to players in Oregon is the Oregon State Lottery’s Scoreboard. This makes Oregon’s sports betting landscape different compared to states with multiple operators.
Sports Betting: While Oregon took an unusual route, it nevertheless has legal online sports betting available through Scoreboard. This state-controlled platform gives Oregonians access to betting on a variety of sports online in a regulated setting.
In July 2019, the House in North Carolina officially passed legislation to permit sports betting, both retail and online. However, no official sportsbooks have launched yet while regulations are still under review.
Legal Online Gambling: There are no operational regulated online sportsbooks or other gambling websites available in North Carolina at this point. However, the state is progressing towards approving sports betting.
Sports Betting: Legal sports betting appears to be on the horizon. The legislation allows for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to offer retail sportsbooks on tribal lands. Online sportsbooks will also be permitted, but further regulatory approvals are still needed before launch.
Wyoming moved to legalize mobile sports betting apps and sites in 2021, joining other states accepting bets online. The market officially opened in September 2021.
Legal Online Gambling:
As of now, legal online gambling in Wyoming is limited solely to licensed mobile sportsbooks. No other form of gaming is operational. However, residents can access various sports betting apps.
Sports Betting: The Wyoming Gaming Commission set rules to allow approved operators like FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and PointsBet to offer mobile sports betting. As in other states, players need to undergo identity verification and be physically within state lines.
Louisiana took steps towards legal sports betting when a bill was passed in June 2021 authorizing sports wagering operators to partner with the state’s land-based casinos.
Legal Online Gambling: At present, Louisiana has no fully operational legal online sportsbooks. However, the legislation does open the door for regulated real money online sports betting in the future.
Sports Betting: While final regulatory approvals are still pending, Louisiana sports betting legislation permits mobile wagering. The law will require bettors to be on casino premises to register accounts before being able to bet via the internet. Mobile wagering must use geo-fencing to confirm location.
South Dakota authorized legal sports betting in Deadwood in November 2020 after a ballot measure passed permitting wagering in the town’s casinos. Mobile sports betting throughout the state was subsequently approved in March 2021.
Legal Online Gambling: At present, there are no operational regulated online sportsbooks accepting wagers in South Dakota. However, the groundwork has been laid to launch mobile betting.
Sports Betting: While pending the official launch of sports betting apps and sites, South Dakota residents cannot currently place legal bets online. However, approved operators will likely begin rolling out mobile sportsbooks once all regulatory procedures are finalized.
Connecticut pursued a comprehensive online gambling expansion by legalizing sports betting, online casinos and poker in 2021. However, launch is still pending final regulatory steps.
Legal Online Gambling: No regulated real money gambling websites or apps are live yet in Connecticut. But the legislation will permit online poker, casino games and sports betting.
Sports Betting: The law authorizes the CT Lottery along with tribal groups to operate retail and online sports betting. This will include mobile wagering, as well as allowing the tribes to open two retail sportsbooks each in the state.
Arizona moved rapidly from legalizing sports betting in 2021 to approving licenses for online operators shortly thereafter. The goal is to launch mobile wagering in time for NFL season kickoff.
Legal Online Gambling: At this time, Arizona has authorized only online sportsbooks. Online casino gaming and poker are not yet included, though they may be considered later.
Sports Betting: The AZ sports betting bill passed in April 2021 allows event wagering statewide including via mobile apps. Arizona regulators have cleared operators like DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, WynnBET and BetMGM to offer mobile sports wagering in the state.
While only a fraction of states currently regulate gambling on the web, the market is expected to continue expanding as more states consider legislation and launch their own legal betting sites and apps. With this growth will likely come more diverse regulations, some states maintaining monopolies while others favor competitive markets and strict geo-fencing around state borders.
The diverse regulatory frameworks across these states reflect the evolving narrative of online gambling in the United States. As legal frameworks continue to change, the USA online gambling domain is likely to see more states joining the fold, each with its unique set of rules and regulations.
Legal US Online Gambling Regulation FAQs
1. Is online gambling legal in the United States?
Online gambling legality varies from state to state in the US. Some states have legalized online gambling in various forms, while others have not. It’s crucial to check the laws in your specific state to understand the legal landscape.
2. What federal laws affect online gambling in the US?
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and the Federal Wire Act are two primary federal laws that impact online gambling. UIGEA restricts banks from processing transactions related to illegal online gambling, while the Federal Wire Act has been interpreted to restrict interstate online sports betting.
3. How do states regulate online gambling?
States regulate online gambling through legislation and the establishment of regulatory bodies to oversee operations, ensure compliance with laws, and protect consumers.
4. What is the legal gambling age in the US?
The legal gambling age varies by state and by type of gambling. It’s typically 18 or 21, depending on the state and the form of gambling.
5. How do I know if an online gambling site is regulated?
Regulated online gambling sites are required to display their licensing information on their websites. You can also check with your state’s gaming regulatory body to verify a site’s regulatory status.
6. Can I gamble online if it’s illegal in my state?
Engaging in online gambling when it’s illegal in your state can lead to penalties under the law. It’s advisable to adhere to your state’s gambling laws.
7. Are offshore online gambling sites legal?
Offshore gambling sites operate in a legal grey area. While not authorized by the US government, many Americans use these sites. However, they come with risks, such as lack of consumer protections.
8. Is online sports betting legal in the US?
Online sports betting legality varies by state. Many states have legalized online sports betting, while others have not.
9. Are online lottery games legal in the US?
Online lottery sales are legal in some states, allowing residents to purchase lottery tickets online. However, this too varies by state.
10. How do states ensure the integrity of online gambling?
States use regulatory bodies to oversee operations, enforce compliance with laws, audit financial operations, and ensure the fairness and integrity of games.
11. How can I find out if online gambling is legal in my state?
You can check your state government’s official website or contact your local gambling regulatory authority to understand the legal status of online gambling in your state.
12. Are winnings from online gambling taxable?
Yes, winnings from online gambling are subject to federal and possibly state taxes. It’s advisable to keep records of your gambling activities and consult a tax professional for guidance.
Absolutely! Here are 12 FAQs concerning US Online Gambling Regulation: