When online gambling was first introduced in the 1990s, the United States proved to be one of the industry’s biggest markets. The indulgence was already popularized by brick-and-mortar establishments, making it easy for players to embrace the new niche. However, a significant law change in 2006 delivered a significant blow to the sector that continues to influence it to date. The federal government put the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in place that barred gamblers from making transactions with online casinos. The law did not directly attach casinos or players. Instead, it restricted banking institutions from transacting gambling money. The move pushed many casino operators out of the market and pushed players into seeking illegal gambling services elsewhere.
While the online gambling industry is not back to what it was before the UIGEA law, it is slowly moving towards legalizing the activity one way or another. This intention is made possible by state governments taking control of the laws surrounding the activity. Here are some that have already embraced the sector:
New Jersey is currently the leading gambling market in the United States. The jurisdiction’s online gambling law has been in place since 2013, and it allows Atlantic City casinos to apply for online gaming permits. The law lets players access online casinos, sports betting, and poker services. As a result, the market churns in more than $225 million annually. This openness has made New Jersey the state with more online casino sites that any other state in the gambling union. Also, nearly every major casino operator within its borders runs an online gambling site, and all online clubs must run through a location-based licensee. There are dozens of web casinos to choose from in Garden State, and they include;
- Virgin Casino – Virgin is among the most massive global gambling brands, and it runs under Sir Richard Branson’s multimedia conglomerate. The gambling den can easily be identified by its signature red brand that welcomes players to a vast collection of slots, table sets, and instant titles. Various bonuses and promotions sweeten the deal.
- Golden Nugget Casino – Golden Nugget is another globally accessible gambling site that considers New Jersey gamblers. The gambling den successfully provides traditional options like slots and table games alongside contemporary ones like live dealer games.
- Tropicana Casino – this gambling destination offers services with old-school gamblers in mind. The simple design and traditional games make it the perfect place for anyone looking for relaxing sessions accompanied by reasonable boons.
Sports betting is also a popular online activity offered on numerous sites. Some of the most popular sportsbook to access the service include William Hill, FanDuel, and DraftKings. Poker Stars can also head on to WSOP.com, 888 Poker, and PokerStars for some real money gambling fun.
This state recently joined the list of legal regions where online gambling is allowed. Online casinos 2017, but the first gaming dens did not launch until 2019. The first casino sites to open their doors were Parx Online and Hollywood Casino, tied to land-based destinations. The region already had a thriving brick-and-mortar industry, and most major establishments rolled out websites when online gambling was launched. BetRivers and Unibet are other prominent international names that offer services to Pennsylvania residents.
The state’s government also moved to legalize online poker in November 2019, four months after the first online casino launches. PokerStars, the world leader in online poker services, did not hesitate to dominate the region with its services. PA broke the record for the most players from any state joined in one night, beating even New York, which had been open since 2013. The site maintains a de facto monopoly status since no other websites have been opened. However, several land-based dens have acquired online poker licenses and are expected to launch any time, including;
- Mount Airy
- Hollywood Casino
- Wind Creek
- Rivers Casino
- Hollywood Casino
The Mountain State does not come up often during the conversation about gambling expansion in the United States. However, it comes up right behind New Jersey in pushing the agenda. The region holds the distinction of being the only jurisdiction that has launched sports betting twice, and the first time was in December 2018. After the first launch, the debut was followed by some controversy that saw gamblers only enjoy the BetLucky app for four months. The matter was resolved not long after, and several active sportsbooks have been running since, including DraftKings and FanDuel.
West Virginia legalized online casinos in 2019, making it the fifth state to do so in the USA. This door opened when the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act was passed, allowing the five casinos in the region to open casino and poker sites and applications. The list of online casinos in West Virginia is not extensive, but most land-based gambling clubs continue to acquire licenses for the service. The state is also set to expand its online gaming services list to accommodate poker sometime this year.
Indiana is also a gambling state in some ways, but not all. Online sports betting was legalized in 2019 in both retail and mobile sectors. The Hoosier State is home to several popular sportsbooks, including BetRivers, DraftKings, and FanDuel. Sports betting is currently the only form of online gambling legal in the state—currently, no plans in the works to legalize online poker and casinos. As of now, accessing such services is considered a criminal act.
Being the home of the world’s gambling capital, Las Vegas, one would expect Nevada to be at the forefront of online gambling legalization. However, it is some ways behind states like New Jersey and West Virginia. Nonetheless, it has been at the forefront of legalizing sports betting and poker. The Silver State legalized the former in August 2010 and the later in April 2013. However, online casinos are still illegal, and there are no plans to legalize them. This move allows brick-and-mortar establishments to enjoy a virtual monopoly.
Delaware, Oregon, Colorado, Tennessee, and Rhodes Island are other states with one form or another of legal gambling. Many other states are also considering adjusting their laws to allow the activity, including Florida, California, Kentucky, Missouri, and Maine.