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Online Gambling Laws: Where is it Legal to Gamble Online in the US?


The global gambling market is now worth over 40 billion US dollars. In fact, in 2018, this industry’s revenue has reached a value of 449.3 billion US dollars with a growth rate or CAGR of 4.1 percent. It is expected that the industry will be worth over 550 billion US dollars by 2022 with a CAGR of 5.9 percent.

Currently, around half of the gambling revenues worldwide now come from online gambling. This just makes sense because online casinos are now more accessible thanks to today’s technology and the internet.

Mobile technology has greatly helped this industry to gain more customers. Everybody can now access online casino sites anywhere they are in the world as long as they have a device and internet with them. However, online gambling regulations are still implemented in many parts of the world.

Generally, in the United States, locals can gamble online. The safest rule to follow is to place bets on online casinos that are located outside the US. What players really need to keep in mind is that there really is no specific law that says online gambling within the US is illegal.

What’s really illegal is operating an online casino in states where it isn’t legal to do so just yet. Currently, there are only three states where online casinos are allowed to operate with a license. These are the states of Nevada, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

Other states like New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Indiana, and West Virginia have limitations when it comes to this matter. Here is a more detailed look at how each of these three states allows online gambling within their territories.

  • Nevada

Nevada is the first state to allow all forms of gambling locally. However, there’s still no local online casino in the state that is licensed to operate. Only the land-based casinos are offering online betting services to the locals.

This means that local gamblers will first have to go into a casino to have themselves registered and able to access the website or their online account with the casino. Despite this, Nevada is still expected to issue licenses to local online casinos to operate. After all, it’s a state that embraces gambling quite well.

Nevada is basically the pioneer when it comes to regulating gambling in general. States that allow forms of gambling like sports betting usually look at where Nevada is at when it comes to regulation and just follow what this state is already doing.

  • Pennsylvania

Online sports betting and online casinos are only recently launched in the state of Pennsylvania. Online gambling was signed into law in this state since October 2017. It was Governor Tom Wolf who signed the gambling bill. It’s just this year of 2019 when online casinos and sportsbooks were launched locally.

The signing of the online gambling law in Pennsylvania makes it the second state, next to Nevada, to allow online gambling operators to offer their services locally. Its locals can play on the best online casinos in the USA that’s operating in its borders, and, of course, outside the country. Sports betting, online poker, online casinos, daily fantasy sports, and video lottery are all allowed in this state.

  • Delaware

It was I 2013 when the state of Delaware has legalized online gambling locally. With the law intact in this state with regard to online gambling, locals are allowed to play on local casinos that offer online video poker, online slots, table games, and many more.

The legal gambling age in this state is 18, but this is only for horse racing and the lottery. Other than those, only people of 21 years and above are allowed to play on casinos and sportsbooks online. This includes online poker rooms and video lotteries.

So far, only three states allow online gambling in any form within their territories. However, sports betting is a completely different story. More and more states are now legalizing sports betting, online and not.

In 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States has stricken down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 2002. This made sports betting legalization up to the local governments of all states. States like Illinois, New York, Nevada, West Virginia, and Colorado have already signed bills regarding this.

There is already a total of 13 states that allow sports betting within their territories. However, some of these 13 states are still waiting for launching online sports betting. Only around 5 more states remain unmoved when it comes to legalizing sports betting.