The subject of the legality of gambling at online casinos in the United States is a complicated affair. While the activity itself is not illegal, making financial transactions to an online casino or any other gambling site is illegal, according to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA).
This means people in the US can log onto gambling sites without fearing the law. But once they deposit money in their casino wallet from their bank, they have broken the law. That is what people mean when they say online gambling is illegal in the US. Because of this, many offshore operators have pulled out of the US.
However, some states in the US have managed to make it legal, and have online casinos that players gamble freely – as long as they are in that state.
In What States Can People Gamble on Online Casino?
Right now, three states in the US have legalized online gambling, which includes gambling at online casinos: Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey. However, online gambling industries in these states are heavily regulated on a state level. You simply can’t go there and just log on to any online casino and gamble – it needs to be approved to operate in that state.
Delaware was the first state to make online gambling legal in the US back in 2012. Although the online gambling community started out slow, it is now starting to pick up. Currently, people in the state can only gamble at three online casinos: Delaware Park Online, Dover Downs Online Gaming and Harrington Online.
Las Vegas got its first online casino in April 2013 through a joint collaborative effort between Station Casino and UltimatePoker. However, brick-and-mortar casinos still remain the biggest draws in the area since the involvement of key players is lacking when it comes to online casinos.
For example, Sheldon Adelson, CEO of Las Vegas Sands, which is one of the biggest names in the gambling industry, says online gambling as a whole is unconscionable. He says it easily creates problem gamblers and that is why he is against it. Without support from such people, the industry is crawling along.
New Jersey, home of Atlantic City, has allowed its residents to sign up and play at online casinos registered in the state since November 2013. Unlike Delaware, New Jersey has a number of online casino operators. Players can sign up on websites like CaesarsCasino.com, Pala Online Casino, Harrahscasino.com, SugarHouse Online, 888 US, Virgin Online and many more.
What About the Rest of the States?
Since last year, about 10 other states have been pushing for pro online gambling laws. Among these states are California, New York, Massachusetts and Michigan. The most pushed after online gambling activities are online poker and casinos, and some of them have made headway that can make one or both possible in 2019.
As you can see, there are legal online casinos in the US in a few states. And due to the illegality of online gambling in a majority of the states, offshore operators have stayed away. At least more states are pushing to legalize online gambling, meaning we might see more US legal online casinos in the future.