Gambling has been a popular pastime for years, but since the dawn of the internet age, it has made a major leap ahead. Today, you can choose not to make a trip to the casino or sporting event, and still place your bets from the comfort of your sofa! It is a more convenient and easy way to access gambling. 

However, just because you can access online gambling everywhere does not mean it is legal everywhere. Continue reading to find out which states allow online gambling and which do not. 

What Are The Different Types Of Online Gambling? 

There are several different types of online gambling that you should first understand before diving into the legal concerns, including online casinos, online sports betting, and online lottery tickets. 

Every state regulates these different gambling types differently. 

  • Online Casinos 

As with land-based casinos, online casinos allow you to play games like blackjack, roulette, poker, pai gow, red dog, and craps from home. See Here

  • Online Sports Betting

Online sports betting allows you to place wagers on certain sporting events, such as football, basketball, horse racing, tennis, and many more. 

  • Online Lotteries 

Online lotteries involve buying lottery tickets for drawings, such as MegaMillions or PowerBall, online rather than at retail stores. The prizes in national lotteries can go up to millions of dollars. 

Which States Allow Online Gambling? 

Typically, 48 states allow some form of gambling, with Utah and Hawaii being the only exceptions. Nonetheless, which states permit what forms of online gambling varies. 

  • Online Casinos 

Only 6 states currently let residents gamble in online casinos for poker games, and these include:

  • New Jersey
  • Delaware
  • West Virginia 
  • Nevada
  • Pennsylvania 
  • Michigan

Interestingly, Nevada does not allow online casino gambling, only online poker games, and Michigan will soon legalize online poker games.

  • Online Sports Betting 

35 states, including Washington D.C., allow online sports betting or will legalize it soon. These states include 

  • Arizona
  • Connecticut
  • New Mexico
  • West Virginia
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Wisconsin
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Nebraska
  • Mississippi
  • Maine
  • Arkansas
  • Maryland
  • Indiana
  • Washington DC
  • Michigan
  • Colorado
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • New Hampshire
  • Virginia
  • Pennsylvania
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Ohio
  • Rhode Island
  • Louisiana
  • Tennessee
  • Wyoming
  • Washington

Currently, New Mexico and Delaware only allow physical sports betting, but will most likely accept online betting soon. Nebraska, Massachusetts, and Florida have passed online sports betting, but are yet to launch it. 

  • Online Lottery 

As with online casinos, online lotteries are not as popular as online sports betting. Currently, only these 8 states have online lotteries:

  • Virginia
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Minnesota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Michigan
  • Kentucky
  • New Hampshire 

Several other states offer lotteries, but you must buy the tickets online, often with cash. 

Which States Ban Online Gambling?

Gambling of any form is currently illegal in Hawaii and Utah, and that is unlikely to change. Nonetheless, in some states, online gambling is still illegal, but in-person gambling is accepted. 

  • California
  • Alabama
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Alaska
  • Missouri 
  • Oklahoma 
  • Idaho
  • Vermont
  • South Carolina 

Any violation in these states results in a misdemeanor crime. 

What Are the Major Gambling Laws and Regulations on Online Gambling in the U.S.? 

It has been over a decade since Congress enacted a solid online gambling bill. Nevertheless, past initiatives from a century ago continue to influence how internet-based gaming is developed today.

  • Federal Wire Act 

The Federal Wire Act, also called the Interstate Wire Act, is still one of the most important gambling laws in the United States. While it was signed before the commercialization of the Internet, it is still used to govern online gambling. 

  • UIGEA 

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIEGA) also wields significant power over American gambling. The UIGEA was tacked on at the last minute by anti-gambling campaigners as part of an unrelated port security measure.

This law prohibits online gaming businesses from collecting funds. However, payment processors may still accept bets in jurisdictions that solely authorize real-money internet gambling.

  • The Illegal Gambling Business Act 

The Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA) is more related to the federal gambling laws. According to this law, anybody who runs, manages, directs, finances, or owns part or all of an illegal gambling business is subject to liability. 

Wrapping Up

The ethical implications of gambling are a point of contention and the most notable impediment to the expansion of online gambling in the United States. While some consider it a pastime or fun activity, others consider it a threat to people’s social and economic well-being.

Federal regulations on internet gambling in the U.S. do not seem to change anytime soon. Luckily, the states’ current capacity to allow these games is unlikely to be jeopardized. That creates a constantly developing American gambling market that will continue growing for years.