Online gambling has taken off in the United States thanks to a Supreme Court decision that struck down federal prohibitions. Since then, lawmakers and regulators have been rushing to establish new legal frameworks for the industry. As a result, more people than ever are able to place wagers on sports, casino games and poker with legitimate sites. In this article, we’ll take a look at can you gamble online legally and some of the major legal issues that continue to impact how U.S. residents wager on iGaming websites.
The first step to legally gambling on the internet is determining whether it’s legal in your state or territory. You can do this by reviewing the laws in your state and checking with local law enforcement agencies to ensure you’re not breaking any local, state or federal laws. It’s also important to be familiar with your state’s gaming regulatory body, which will oversee the legality of iGaming offerings.
Nevada and Delaware quickly embraced online casino games and legal sports betting following the Supreme Court’s ruling, followed by West Virginia in 2019. In 2021, Pennsylvania joined the party by passing a comprehensive iGaming bill that includes safe authorized sites like BetMGM, Caesars, and DraftKings. In 2022, Kentucky legalized sports betting and launched its own iGaming site partnered with Churchill Downs. New York has yet to approve legal iGaming, but that could change in 2023.
A big issue in many states is navigating the complex interplay between state and federal law. Federal law prohibits the transfer of funds used for gambling from banks to financial services providers, and that has led to an uneven playing field between states. In order to get around this obstacle, some states have opted to use payment processors that operate independently of financial institutions. However, these solutions aren’t without their risks and are only available in six states at this time.
In the meantime, players in most states are able to legally gamble on the internet by using a variety of other methods, including peer-to-peer payments, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, mobile wallets, and virtual credit cards. In fact, a number of reputable iGaming sites now accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as forms of deposit and withdrawal.
While online casinos aren’t available in Florida, the state did pass sports betting legislation in early 2021. And because the Seminole Tribe operates an iGaming brand in Florida, there are signs that the industry could launch there in the future.
It’s important to remember that gambling isn’t for everyone. If you have a problem with gambling, there are a number of resources available to help you get the help you need. These include the National Council on Problem Gambling, 1-800-GAMBLER and American Addiction Centers. Additionally, many of the iGaming sites you’ll find offer tools to help you limit your gaming activity and even self-exclude for a period of time.