Gambling has long been a popular pastime in the United States, and with the advent of the Internet, people now have the ability to bet real money from the comfort of their own homes. However, can you gamble online legally? The answer to this question depends on where you live, as gambling laws vary by state. Thankfully, more than 30 US jurisdictions have legalized sports betting online and via mobile apps, and the vast majority of other forms of online gambling are also available for players to enjoy in some fashion.
To learn more about can you gamble online legally, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide that covers the most important aspects of the topic. In addition to providing an overview of how different types of online gambling work, our guide covers state-specific gambling laws and provides information about what you need to know before placing a bet.
While it’s true that federal laws prohibit the majority of forms of online gambling, the good news is that a number of states have passed legislation to make many types of iGaming legal in their jurisdictions. The key to this change was a 2011 Justice Department memorandum that reinterpreted the federal Wire Act, which had previously made most forms of online gambling illegal in the United States.
Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, and New Jersey all have iGaming laws that allow residents to place wagers at a variety of licensed and regulated sites. In 2022, New York became the seventh state to legalize iGaming, and NY sports betting launched on January 8th of that year. With plenty of different sportsbooks to choose from, including DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, and Caesars Sportsbook, the New York iGaming market has already shattered numerous records in its short life span.
Colorado is another state that has legalized iGaming, with residents able to place bets at several operators. However, the state’s law does include some restrictions that limit player prop bets for in-state college games and prevent the state from offering lottery-style iGaming products like scratch-off tickets or video poker machines.
Despite being one of the largest and most populous states, California hasn’t moved to legalize online casino games or sports betting. This is probably due to the fact that the Sunshine State has more land-based casinos than any other U.S. state, and the state’s legislature is largely made up of pro-casino and anti-regulation lawmakers.
The only other state that hasn’t legalized online casino games or sports betting is Louisiana. However, the state has a complicated gambling situation, as the issue is being fought on a parish-by-parish basis. Despite this, most analysts believe that the Pine Tree State will eventually move to legalize online gambling at some point in the future. This is especially likely if the state can get its sports betting operation up and running successfully, which it has done so far in 2023.