Since the Supreme Court stricken down the federal sports betting prohibition in 2018, state laws have allowed a growing number of states to offer legal gambling options. While most of the focus has been on online sports wagering, many other forms of gambling have also become more widely available thanks to state-level legislation. It’s important to understand the differences between the various types of gambling and how they interact with each other, as well as federal law.
Gambling in some form is legal in 48 of the 50 U.S. states, with Utah and Hawaii being the only two that ban it completely. The state laws vary as to what kinds of gambling are permissible, where the gaming can occur, and the minimum age to place a wager. The states also differ in how they regulate and tax the industry. This makes it challenging to keep track of the latest developments, especially as new states introduce gambling laws and some of the existing ones change.
When it comes to online casinos, states have their own unique systems that are sometimes complicated by federal laws and regulations. For example, while an 18-year-old in New Jersey can play poker or bet on horse races, he or she cannot gamble in a casino until they are 21. Federal laws like the Wire Act and the Unlawful Internet Betting Act create broad frameworks of restrictions, but they leave states or smaller jurisdictions room to carve out exceptions.
One of the most interesting developments is that a growing number of states are allowing players to play in their own regulated online casinos. New Jersey was the first to do this in 2013 and was quickly followed by Nevada, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The growth of regulated online casinos has been spurred by the success of the regulated sports betting markets, which have proven very profitable for the states.
While Wyoming has legal sports betting, the state does not allow online casinos. However, its unique system allows for sports betting to be conducted through its land-based casinos on tribal lands. As a result, top operators like BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars are all able to operate their sportsbooks in the state.
Online casinos are currently illegal in Alabama, but that could change if a constitutional amendment is passed. The state’s constitution already prohibits lotteries and gambling, but that might not be enough to prevent the legislature from introducing a constitutional amendment to legalize online casinos in the future.
The Rodriguez Law Group is committed to defending the rights of individuals facing any kind of criminal charge, including those involving gambling laws. If you have been charged with a gambling-related offense, contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We can help you understand your rights and find the best possible solution for your case. You can’t afford to take chances with your freedom and your future, and you need a strong attorney on your side.