Despite the fact that online gambling has been around for quite some time now, it has experienced slow progression throughout the United States. Some states, like Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey, legalized online casino games, poker sites, and sports betting while others were a bit more hesitant to adopt iGaming laws.
The first major state to legalize online casino games was New Jersey in 2013. This was followed by Pennsylvania in 2017, and West Virginia in 2019, putting them among the most advanced iGaming markets in the country.
Montana has legalized sports betting but kept its ban on online casinos in place, likely hoping to protect its land-based operators. It’s not likely that this will change any time soon, although the state could potentially introduce social gaming sometime in the future.
New Hampshire is another state that has a no-online-gambling law in place, although this was amended somewhat last year by the legislature. This allowed for the creation of social gambling and sweepstakes websites, but only after a few amendments were made. This is still a very restrictive measure and it looks unlikely that the state will ever relax its online gambling laws.
Despite being one of the most populous states in the country, California is very strict when it comes to its online gambling laws. Despite this, the state does allow for online lotteries and the sale of lottery tickets via the internet, but that’s about it. The state is also home to a number of tribal casinos, so residents have the option of gambling in person and participating in other activities that aren’t technically considered gambling.
Arizona has a fairly comprehensive online gambling law, although some of the details are confusing. The law does require that players be physically present in the state to use online casinos, but it allows for remote play through web browsers and mobile apps. It’s also possible to use virtual reality headsets to gamble, but this is only legal if the player is of legal age to do so.
In the state of Tennessee, it’s legal to gamble online through some websites and apps. The state’s gambling laws aren’t clear on whether it is legal to use any other method of online gambling, but the most important thing for gamblers in the state is that they have to be 21 or older.
The final state to legalize online casino games is Rhode Island, which did so in 2023. This puts the state on par with most Northeastern states and gives the Ocean State access to some of the biggest names in the industry, including BetMGM, FanDuel, and Caesars. However, the state is expected to face some regulatory hurdles as it considers its next steps in iGaming. The same goes for Indiana, which may have to drop its ban on online sports betting and poker in order to allow for iGaming to be introduced. This is a very complicated issue that will be worth keeping an eye on in the coming years.