How Has Online Gambling Developed in the USA

How Has Online Gambling Developed in the USA

Published Date · Sept. 30, 2021 · Last Updated · April 4, 2023 ·Read Time · 3 mins

Gambling in the USA can be a little bit tricky to understand. The USA is home to one of the most famous cities globally for casinos, Las Vegas, but depending on which state you live in, there can be massive restrictions to playing at an online casino.

The state of US gambling has changed a lot in recent years, and in this article, we will look at what has changed. 

Playing at Online Casinos in the USA

You have been able to play at an online casino in the UK since the early 90s, but it has been a different story in the US. The legislation for online gambling in the US has been in production since the late 90s and was introduced in the Senate but was never passed. However, in the early part of the noughties, an extension to the Federal Wire Act and the introduction of the Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 meant that the rules around gambling became tighter. Although this act didn’t outright ban gambling, it did prohibit financial firms from processing payments to and from Top merican online casinos. 

In 2010, New Jersey passed bill S490, making it the first state to legalize online poker, casino games, and slot games. Since then, other states have followed suit, legalizing various forms of gambling, but they are still in the minority.


What is Legal in the USA?

When you talk about online gambling in the UK, you will see that all online casino games and betting types are legal. However, here in the US, online gambling is split into several sections: sports betting, online casino gaming, poker, and daily fantasy sports, each of which may not be legal, depending on the state. 

At the time of writing, online sports betting has been widely adopted in many states, including Colorado, Delaware, Washington DC, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. However, traditional online casino gambling is only legal in the following states California, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. Online poker is allowed in even fewer states, but you can do daily fantasy sports across the country, barring a few states.

Differences between USA and UK Gambling

As previously mentioned, online gambling has been available in the UK since the early 90s. The online casino industry in the UK is heavily regulated by the UKGC and is one of the biggest and most successful markets in the world. The UKGC works to protect UK players and offer safe and equal opportunities. Since the US is so big and gambling rules vary from state to state, there isn’t one main regulator, and instead, each state makes the regulation. 

Sports betting and traditional online casino gaming remain the most popular activities in the UK, with thousands of operators for you to choose from. Both activities have become popular here in the US since some states legalized them. 

Both countries have similar technologies in use, and depending on the state you’re in, they have similar games on offer. The main difference is that the UK is miles ahead in terms of regulation and its availability.


What is Changing in the USA?

The dynamic of online gambling is forever changing. Several states have been legalizing various forms of online gambling in recent years, and some states are currently holding meetings about legalizing gambling. The most recent of these states is Arizona, which has allowed sports betting earlier this month. 

It will be interesting to see how many more states have started legalizing gambling activities in the coming months and years. Unfortunately, the USA has a long way to catch up with our friends across the pond regarding regulation and availability, but we will see how it goes.


Phoebe Greenwood

Content Writer