Online gambling is a rapidly growing sector. The industry is regulated on the state level, with three states already having legalized casinos and more allowing sports betting and poker sites. It is important for gamblers to understand state regulations before placing a wager online. The laws vary widely by state, so make sure to check out the online casino and poker sites you plan to play at.
While the US federal government has some control over the iGaming industry, most states are more than happy to let it flourish in their territories. While some have pushed for more regulation, others have blocked it outright. It is hard to blame these politicians for their lackadaisical attitude toward iGaming, as the platforms bring in massive revenue. For example, New Jersey enacted legislation in 2013 to allow online casino games and saw a surge in tax revenue immediately. This prompted other states to follow suit, with the New York City area now seeing an influx of these sites.
The state of Nevada does not allow online slots, but it does regulate land-based casinos and the lottery. It also allows interactive wagering on games like poker, table games, and sports through its own Lottery Interactive Wagering Act of 2019. As such, the state is not a major player in the online slot market, but it does have a strong presence in other online gambling verticals.
A major barrier to iGaming is the federal law called the Wire Act of 1961. While it does have some anti-racketeering purposes, it was drawn up before the commercial inception of the internet and has been difficult to apply to the digital world. However, a 2011 re-interpretation of the statute opened the door for online sports betting and other types of gaming. Unfortunately, the political climate is unlikely to change much in the near future, and the law remains a barrier to online gaming in many areas.
Another problem facing iGaming is its lack of specifics. While it is easy to regulate casino and sports betting, it is not as simple with poker and other game-specific applications. In addition, while many people enjoy the freedom of gambling online, they still want to know that their money is safe. In response, some companies have developed software that will flag users who may be trying to circumvent the law. However, this technology is not foolproof and will not stop some players from betting on illegal sites.
The lack of specifics makes it hard to regulate online gambling in any state, but iGaming continues to grow and expand. As more people become aware of the possibilities, legislators are more likely to consider a broader spectrum of options. In the meantime, the only holdouts are Utah and Hawaii. These states have strong religious and cultural values that may not allow for the expansion of iGaming. Despite this, residents have made an effort to change legislators’ attitudes toward iGaming, with the most notable success being in New Jersey.