Online gambling has become increasingly popular, especially among Americans. Until recently, the vast majority of Americans did not have access to legal regulated gaming, but now most states have one or both forms of iGaming available to residents. With the success of sports betting and a number of major court rulings, more and more legislators are open to approving broader gaming laws that will allow for online poker, online casino games and other types of iGaming.
New York State lawmakers, for instance, are aware of how viable online casino options can be, and it appears that they’ll soon approve a regulated iGaming market that will allow players to gamble legally from the comfort of their own homes. In fact, this development could happen as early as 2020, and it would allow NY to join the ranks of other states that have legalized iGaming and taken advantage of the massive revenue opportunities associated with these types of online gambling sites.
As more state lawmakers warm up to the idea of legal online gambling, it will be important for them to remember that federal law still stands in the way of many forms of iGaming. One of the most significant statutes is the 1961 Interstate Wire Act, which was written before the commercial inception of the internet and specifically prohibits transmission (or “wiring”) of information regarding sports wagering across state lines. A 2011 re-interpretation of the bill opened the door for some types of iGaming, but it still prohibits sports betting and a few other forms of iGaming.
Another issue that impedes broader online gambling regulation is the morality of gaming, which remains a controversial topic in the United States. Some people feel that it is immoral to gamble, while others believe that the practice can help people to achieve life goals and provide a source of income. Whatever the case, reputable gaming websites ensure that their customers are protected, offering a variety of safety measures including loss-limits and self-exclude features.
Despite the fact that most US citizens are in support of regulating online gambling, some states have decided to ban it altogether. The most notable holdouts are Utah and Hawaii, whose residents are deeply religious and hesitant to endorse any form of gambling. These two states have also struggled to pass legal iGaming legislation because of their anti-tax attitudes. However, the recent UK model of imposing a point-of-purchase tax on offshore companies could be a catalyst for changing this dynamic. The more that the United States begins to embrace regulated gaming, the easier it will be to overcome these obstacles and make iGaming a national priority. This is why it is essential that we continue to push for changes at the federal level. This could mean removing the prohibition on sports betting and allowing for the creation of interstate compacts for iGaming. It could also involve enacting laws that make the financial benefits of online gambling clear to the public.