Can You Gamble Online Legally in the US?

Online gambling is legal in some form or another in 48 of the 50 US states. The two holdouts that still ban the activity in its entirety are Utah and Hawaii. The latter has a deeply religious population that doesn’t see the games as a positive for their social and economic well-being. The rest of the country is more liberal in its outlook and sees online gaming as a fun and exciting pastime that can help boost state coffers.

While some lawmakers still have moral issues with the idea of regulating online casino games, most have come to realize that these sites do not encourage social ills and are regulated by reputable bodies that protect players’ safety and privacy. The fact that these platforms can contribute millions in tax revenue helps sway legislators towards accepting them.

The first wave of states to make gambling legally available online were Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey, which launched their regulated online casinos and poker sites in 2013. Since then, more states have followed suit, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and West Virginia. New Jersey in particular has seen a huge rise in revenues since the iGaming industry came to the Garden State, with online gambling sites now generating over $80 million per month in taxes alone.

Despite the lackadaisical attitude of some politicians, there is hope that more states will join in. New York, for example, rolled out sports betting on January 8, 2022 and has seen its revenues skyrocket since then. This is a sign that other legislators are starting to take note of what is happening in the other New Jersey.

Online gambling will also likely become more widely accepted in Alaska, where it is currently illegal. The state constitution bars lotteries and other forms of gambling, but it may become more widely available if a constitutional amendment is passed in the future. A bill proposal aimed at doing so failed to gain traction in 2020, but more efforts are expected after the election year.

Gambling is legal in Wyoming, but only at the state’s tribal casinos. It has a relatively unique system that only allows sports wagers through its casinos, but the likes of BetMGM, FanDuel, and Caesars could launch if a sportsbook is made legal in the state.

Alabama remains one of the most conservative states in terms of its gambling laws. While it does allow international cruise ship gambling, there has been no legislative progress on allowing land-based or online casinos in the state. It is possible that more legislative movements will be put forward after the elections in 2022, but it is uncertain whether that will be enough to make online casinos a reality in the state. Until then, residents can play at social casinos and use free-play slots to try their luck. The legal status of these games is different in each state, so it’s best to check your local laws before you start playing.