The US Gambling Laws explained
When it comes to rules and regulations, the gambling law US isn’t the easiest minefield to negotiate, which is why many people don’t have a clear answer to a question is online gambling legal in the US. There seem to be many wrong theories and misconceptions about gambling floating out there, giving people completely wrong ideas. So, in this article, we’ll try to answer some of the burning questions about when and why is gambling legal, and when is gambling illegal in the US.
Is Online Gambling Legal: Quick Facts
- In the US, gambling laws are decided on a state level
- Some states have legalized online gambling within their borders
- The Wire Act prevents gambling between the states
- There is no federal law addressing online gambling
- Playing at offshore sites is treated differently by different states
After a slow start, things are starting to move quicker on this front in 2021. Some states have passed online gambling laws, such as New jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania, and while many more are on the verge of doing so, with others expressing an interest. There are, however some conservative states with little-to-no interest in legal gambling, so, players in these states are out of luck if they want to play on a regulated online casino. It isn’t uncommon for laws with much bigger significance to drag out for years, collecting dust in drawers, so it is no surprise the online gambling legislation is treated this way in certain states.
Gambling Federal Law – The Wire Act
At the same time, the Wire Act prevents regulated states from taking action from players located in other states that don’t have these laws in place. While some states have entered compacts that allow them to mix their player pools (like Nevada and Delaware, for example), this is only possible between the states that have already established legal online gambling.
Online Gambling Laws & Offshore Operators
In this environment, some US players decide to give their action to offshore casino operators. These are gambling sites that decided to continue catering to the US market even after the passage of the UIGEA, knowingly acting against the federal rules and accepting the risk that comes with this decision.
While this may seem like a good idea in the situation where no alternatives are provided, we always emphasize that you should never play with offshore casinos. The fact they operate against the laws of the country they accept players from indicates their business priorities don’t necessarily correspond with what players expect from a gaming operator. Furthermore, should anything go sideways, there is no relevant body you can complain to since you’ve been playing with an unregulated site. So, if they go under or decided to shut down and simply take your money, there won’t be much you can do about it.
Legal Implications of Playing at Offshore Sites
Beyond these considerations, there are also certain legal implications that come into play if you decide to take your chances with an offshore operator. Once again, these may vary differently depending on your particular state as these, like the rest of online gambling laws, are primarily addressed on the state level.
As already mentioned, some states are so anti-gambling that people have often wondered is gambling between friends illegal, let alone going at an obscure online site and depositing money from your bank account there. In other states, lawmakers have taken a different approach or the subject of online gambling isn’t particularly addressed at all.
The long and the short of it is that state laws on this topic vary greatly. With most states, players can’t really get in trouble for just playing as laws only address “facilitators” or “organizers,” meaning they’re primarily concerned with online casinos and they are the ones that can get in trouble.
However, don’t take this as a general rule. There are several states where you could potentially face criminal charges if you decided to play at an offshore casino. While there haven’t been any actual cases of someone being brought to court for gambling online, the fact that laws make it possible in certain jurisdiction means it could happen at some point.
The goal of this article isn’t to scare you away by citing possible legal problems. The number one reason you shouldn’t play with these offshore casinos is, as already explained, the fact that you can’t really trust them given all the circumstances. If you still decide to do so, it would be wise to first check out your local state laws addressing this topic and make sure you can’t get in any serious problems.
It is also worth mentioning here that even if you play on an unregulated site and happen to win, you’re still liable for taxes on your winnings. Just because money was won on a site that shouldn’t even be accepting players from the States it doesn’t mean the taxman won’t request its share of the pie. Whether you consider it fair or not is an entirely different topic but that’s how things are right now and you should be aware of it.
Get gambling legal updates for your favorite sport
While most sports news is focused on the actual sporting action, it’s what happens in the governors’ offices and council rooms that determines whether you can legally bet on your favorite sport. This is why we’ll be examining the likelihood of sports betting getting legalized in your state. The good news is that more and more US states are legalizing sports betting, and we’ll make sure that you’re the first to know if your state gets the green light for legal sports betting.
Ever since New Jersey legalized sports betting in 2018, there’s been a rapid take-up of states where it is now perfectly legal to bet on sport. From Arizona to New Hampshire, more and more people can now legally bet on anything from the NFL and NHL to the MLB, NBA and beyond. Plus sports fans from Colorado to Tennessee will be checking the soccer sports news for today to see what kinds of MLS bets they should be putting down. All of which paints a pretty positive picture for the rise of legal sports betting across the US. So keep it here to see whether your state will be the next to legalize online sports betting!
Read gambling legal news for casino gaming
There is no doubting the fact that online casino gaming is slowly but surely getting legalized across the US. What started back in New Jersey in 2013 has now spread to the point where people can legally enjoy playing online casino games for money from Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Michigan. This means that more and more people are now able to play everything from online slots to live dealer games of roulette, blackjack and baccarat.
We think that things are just getting started with the online casino revolution. OK so Hawaii probably isn’t going to legalize online casino gaming anytime soon, but there’s every chance that more states will join the fray. So we’ll be reporting on the news as the legislature in each state grapples with the legal tug-of-war about when casino gaming may or may not be introduced. All of which means that you’ll need to keep it here to get the latest casino legal updates.
Check out our gambling legality updates for online poker
No longer is Nevada the sole preserve of legal online poker gaming, as many more US states have legalized playing poker online for money. From Michigan and Pennsylvania to West Virginia, New Jersey and even Connecticut, there are plenty of states where people can legally play this classic card game online.
Our prediction is that plenty more states are set to legalize online poker in the coming years. This means that there’s every chance that you’ll legally be able to download poker software to play anything from Texas Hold’em to Omaha poker for real money. So make sure that you bookmark this page to see when legal poker gaming comes to your state.
Understand gambling legal updates for horse betting
Horse betting is legal in many more US states than regular sports betting. This is because many states offer parimutuel horse betting where your stakes are pooled together with those of other punters. As such, it’s a little different from how you may normally bet on sport, but it’s no less enjoyable.
We think that there’s nothing stopping horse betting from becoming even more widespread across the US. While it’s impressive that you can legally bet on horse racing anywhere from Idaho to Arkansas, there are many more states that have yet to welcome legal horse racing betting. So keep it here to make sure that you’re aware of any changes in the horse racing gambling laws.
Enjoy gambling legality updates for DFS
Few people would have predicted how successful daily fantasy sports would become over the past couple of decades. Whether you’re playing fantasy football, basketball or hockey, then the best DFS operators will always make you feel much closer to the action. While you can catch up with the latest NFL news to inspire your team selection, it’s also a good idea to understand where you stand in regard to the law.
This is because there has been plenty of confusion over whether fantasy sports should be classed as gambling or not. After all, the average DFS contest involves a lot more skill than spinning the reels of a slot machine. It’s this confusion that has helped fantasy sports become legal everywhere from North Dakota to Texas. However, the laws regarding online gambling are always changing. So make sure you keep updated with our DFS gambling news updates.
Understanding the legality of social casinos
You’ll see that there’s no shortage of social casinos all across the US. This means that you’ll be able to play social casino games even in states like Utah, Alaska and Mississippi that are usually quick to outlaw any kind of gambling. All of this is possible as social casinos operate very differently from regular online casino sites.
So we’ve made sure that you stay regularly updated with all of the legal news about how social casinos are allowed to operate. We’ll make sure that you’re kept aware about whether you can play with real money at these casinos, or whether you’ll have to keep playing with virtual credit. All of which should help you make the most of social casinos in the US.
Stay here for your gambling legal updates
By now you’ll recognize that things move fast when it comes to online gambling legislation. After all, we’ve seen lots of US states legalizing sports betting in less than a decade, and it’s anybody’s guess as to what will happen in the next few years. We’re not saying that Utah is going to legalize casino gaming anytime soon, but the overall trend is definitely one of greater freedom when it comes to gambling online. So make sure that you check back here to see what you can legally gamble on in your state!