Where Is Online Gambling Legal?

Legality of online gambling varies considerably among states and it’s often unclear what its regulations are or how they interact with federal laws. Sometimes state laws supersede federal ones while at other times state officials make their own decisions regarding what forms of gaming are permitted where. Therefore, it’s wise to remain up-to-date on state legislation changes if you plan on gambling within any particular jurisdiction.

Recent advances in this arena center around sports betting. Following a Supreme Court decision, several states have begun offering sports wagers online or via mobile apps; among these states are New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Regulating online casino gambling has taken longer, partly because some lawmakers remain resistant to wagers being placed on virtual games that don’t exist physically.

State-level disagreement over the federal Wire Act, which prohibits interstate sales of lottery tickets and sports bets, further complicated matters. When lottery officials in New York and Illinois sought guidance in 2011, Justice Department ruling that their online sales did not violate this statute aided legalization efforts in many states; but wasn’t sufficient to legalize online casino and poker sites across all 50 states.

Recent Supreme Court decisions overturning federal bans on sports betting have resulted in several states legalizing sports wagering through iGaming platforms, with Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey providing platforms allowing their residents to place real-money bets on various sporting and other events. Michigan and West Virginia then passed laws permitting their citizens to place bets through these iGaming platforms.

Alongside sports betting, several states have also approved online casino and poker gambling. Most operators provide these games alongside their sports bets; however, some states have decided to restrict certain forms of gambling such as limiting how long players spend playing each game or prohibiting certain age groups from engaging.

Colorado passed a law permitting online sports betting and casino gaming in 2022, opening up over 30 retail casinos to residents, as well as several large-scale ones operated by national companies. California remains resistant to most forms of online gambling despite attempts by some lawmakers to change this stance by showing how such games don’t cause social ills and can bring millions into state coffers.

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