The online gambling industry is a massive business that encompasses everything from real-money casinos to social games. Players can bet money on anything from sports teams to video poker and slots. Some states have regulated online casino games, while others have banned them. The US Supreme Court decision that PASPA is unconstitutional has opened the door for state-by-state regulation of the industry. However, federal laws such as the Federal Wire Act and UIGEA remain major obstacles to widespread legalization of iGaming.
A large percentage of the country’s casinos are run by Native American tribes, and they are adamantly opposed to any form of online gambling. Despite heavy defeats for attempts to legalize iGaming in the past, it is still possible that lawmakers will change their attitudes and allow the industry to expand. It is also likely that more tribal casinos will join forces with mainstream commercial operators in an attempt to gain a competitive advantage.
Most states have their own divisions or departments of gaming, while some have independent racing and gaming commissions. Any company that wishes to operate an iGaming operation in the United States must apply for a license from these state regulatory agencies. The agencies typically oversee everything from player protection to ensuring that the company is operating within the law. They may also regulate the types of games and minimum wagers that are offered to players.
Despite federal prohibitions, many US citizens play at iGaming sites that are outside of the regulated state channels. These sites are known as grey markets, and are mainly operated by international gambling companies. Players can avoid these sites by only playing at those that are licensed and regulated by their home state. Look for state regulator logos on the website to ensure that you are playing at a legitimate site.
Some states are moving closer to legalizing online casinos, but the issue remains a complicated one. There are a few significant barriers that must be overcome, including reinterpreting the Federal Wire Act and establishing a framework for legalizing online gambling. Some states, such as Illinois and Indiana, are currently working on this issue and will hopefully have iGaming laws in place by 2023.
Colorado legalized sports betting this year, but online casinos are still illegal. This could change in the future as legislators debate sports betting legislation, and as DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM make their presence felt through daily fantasy sports in the state.
New York has already made it legal to gamble on lotteries and horse races, but not yet on online poker or casino games. This could change in the near future as New York lawmakers consider legalizing online gambling, but the issue will remain controversial for some time to come.
Utah has strict laws against gambling, and even after the repeal of PASPA, it will be a long time before online casinos become legal in the state. At the moment, the only options for residents are sweepstakes and social gambling. However, sports betting is now available through online casinos like FanDuel and DraftKings, so the state is close to allowing legal iGaming.