Is Online Gambling Legal in the US?

is online gambling legal in the us

After decades of legal battles and prohibitions, US state governments are finally taking steps to regulate online gambling. Some have passed laws to legalize sports betting while others have granted licenses for casinos to operate legally and safely. Some have even legalized daily fantasy sports betting – a major source of revenue for many operators.

As attempts at passing uniform federal gambling legislation have failed, the United States has adopted a state-by-state approach for developing online gambling policy. As of 2022, online casinos and sportsbooks are legal in New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, Pennsylvania as well as Michigan Illinois West Virginia with lotteries being operated regulated lotteries; other states either prohibit online gambling altogether or have not addressed it at all.

The Wire Act of 1961 is the primary federal gambling regulation law. A 2011 interpretation opened the door for certain forms of Internet gaming; however, its application still has broad implications. To more directly regulate illegal online gambling activities and to detect and block unwarranted transactions associated with them is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA), while advertising of gambling services within US borders is banned as well.

As a result of UIGEA, most state-regulated websites and casinos have eliminated U.S. players from their lists of accepted customers, prompting many states to investigate online gambling options; some even proposing legislation which would legalize and tax this form of entertainment again.

State lawmakers are now trying to capitalize on the billions generated from legal sports betting and casinos, following the Supreme Court’s ruling that PASPA violated the 10th Amendment. They can take this opportunity to change gambling laws and capitalize on this potential source of revenue.

As state legislatures grapple with how best to regulate online gambling, other federal agencies have taken decisive action. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit and announced it was probing several major casinos and payment processing services for violating its consumer protection rules – its findings may have far-reaching ramifications on the industry as a whole.

As of early 2019, multiple bills in the House would soften federal law to make iGaming easier for states. Bills like the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act and Skill Game Protection Act could make licensing, regulating and taxing of iGaming businesses easier in individual states; whether or not these bills become law is still unknown, but regardless of their fate iGaming still needs much regulation before fully becoming mainstream in America – until that occurs it is best to avoid sites which advertise directly to US residents.