USA Online Gambling: Is it Legal? What You Need to Know


USA online gambling is on the rise and is projected to become a $92.9 billion industry by 2023. That’s tremendous growth considering that revenue peaked in 2019 at $66.7 billion, according to market research.

However, not all casinos are the same across the United States, or the internet, for that matter. 

Online gambling laws in the United States are now determined on a state-by-state basis. Supreme Court cases within the last decade have stripped federal prohibitions on gambling. As a result, leaders in the field, like New Jersey, are now making many millions in tax revenue each month from the practice.

But consumers and eager bettors still need to take care, as where you make your bets and with whom still plays a significant factor.

In the following article, we’ll discuss legal online gambling in USA and how you can take part.

USA Online Gambling Basics

In 2011, the Department of Justice reworked regulations concerning the Wire Act of 1961. This was essentially an anti-racketeering and betting law that stopped people from phoning in bets to illegal bookies. The new guidance allowed for online gambling, as long as it was regulated by a state and carried out by residents of that state.

The second loosening of gambling laws came in 2018, when the United States Supreme Court sided with New Jersey and then Gov. Chris Christie, to revoke a ban on sports betting throughout the United States.

You may remember that sports betting was only legal in Nevada at that time. However, the Supreme Court found the carve out unconstitutional and overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. 

So by the end of 2018, states could now determine for themselves in what form and how to conduct gambling within their borders. 

Where to Play

New Jersey¬†was ready to go with online sports betting shortly after the Supreme Court’s ruling. This makes sense because New Jersey already had functioning brick-and-mortar casinos in places like Atlantic City. Also, New Jersey opened the first online casino in 2013, shortly after the Department of Justice adjusted its guidance on the Wire Act of 1961.

Today, New Jersey caters to players from New York streaming over its border every Sunday to make bets on football, and its revenue through taxes from online gambling is roughly $80 million a month.

In addition to New Jersey, Nevada, West Virginia, Delaware, Michigan, and Pennsylvania all offer online casino gambling. Seven more states are in the slow process of getting their operations online. These states include Nevada, California, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Indiana, and Illinois. 

And while many states offer some sort of sports or casino gambling, only two states remain with no games of chance at all, Utah and Hawaii. 

Where Not to Play

Many people still wager their money in offshore casinos with all these choices. This is not a recommended play. These often unregulated venues have little to no oversight. 

Without a governing body, the bettor has no recourse if they feel they were swindled out of legitimate bets or think the games are rigged. 

Also, it is not unheard of an offshore casino blocking or deactivating your account after a big win.

To ensure that you have a reputable site, you should always conduct a casino review first to make sure the business isn’t a scam or has the best odds. 

Ready to Gamble

Now that you know more about USA online gambling, you may be tempted to make a bet or play an online game of chance. Remember, this is a great idea, as long as you wager only as much as you can afford to lose comfortably.

If you feel you are over your head, there are plenty of gambling resources to consult, like calling 1-800-GAMBLER if you need help.

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