Is Gambling Online Illegal in the United States?


For many years, gambling was a taboo subject in America. Most people thought the only places to visit a casino were in Las Vegas, Nevada, or Atlantic City, New Jersey. However, tribal casinos became legal in the 1980s, with Native American tribes opening land-based facilities in several states. Subsequently, commercial casinos began operating in states that allowed gambling.

The recent introduction of online gambling became possible once outdated federal laws were overturned, allowing it to happen. Once the federal obstacles were cleared, state legislatures could start enacting laws allowing online gambling. Therefore, online gambling is legal in the United States, depending on where you are in the country.

Here is a closer look and some clarification:

Legal online gambling

States with legal online gambling include Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Delaware, and Michigan. The Great Lake States is the most recent to join this exclusive club, and players can download a Michigan online gambling app to enjoy virtual casino games. State laws allow online gambling within their borders to residents and visitors. The gaming technology includes geotagging players to ensure that their location is within the latitude and longitude lines of a state’s territory.

Pennsylvania iGaming providers, as well as other operators in areas where internet gambling is allowed, also use this technology to stay on the right side of the state’s Gaming Control Board’s strict regulations and retain their licenses. Any instance of people outside the set parameters and borders accessing online gambling facilities is an offense that could get an operator’s license suspended.

Legal online gambling means that players can visit online casinos and play slots or table games like blackjack, poker, roulette, and craps. The software creates an authentic casino atmosphere and ambiance, as close to the real thing players can get without traveling to a land-based casino.

Other online gambling

Casinos are the home of conventional gambling, although some might argue that they are not this practice’s only form. For example, far more states allow online legal sports betting than those with legal online casinos. Therefore, users can access some online wagering through betting on their favorite sports, provided state legislatures approve them.

Others would argue that some practices like trading in forex market stocks or buying and selling cryptocurrency contain an element of gambling. However, they do not fall under the legal definition of gambling, where money must be exchanged in a game of chance or a wager on its outcome.

Social casinos

Most states allow players to enjoy playing online casino games, including table and slot games. However, these are social casinos because players do not bet with real money. Instead, they use tokens that they accumulate or buy. No real money exchanges hands when they bet on games, and they cannot withdraw winnings and convert them into cash. Again, this does not meet the legal definition of gambling.

However, social casinos are an ideal option if you enjoy casino games and want to boost your luck without putting any of your hard-earned money on the line. You are still enjoying casino action but without any associated financial risk.