The United States remains far from fully legalizing online gambling, yet recent developments show it may be possible for individual states to establish legal markets for this industry.
Rhode Island became the first US state to legalize both online casino gaming and iLottery products in 2023, although their market will only allow one operator to operate within. Still, its introduction is an encouraging sign for those in the industry who seek widespread legalization across America.
Most forms of online gambling are governed at the state level due to unsuccessful federal legislation attempts and illegality variance across jurisdictions; state governments often create their own gaming laws in response.
This has led to an ever-evolving US market, as each state approaches gambling differently and with unique systems and quirks that make each market so dynamic and fascinating for online gambling. Some states require live dealers while others only offer virtual tables. It all makes the US so fascinating as a market for gambling online!
Since the repeal of PASPA, most states have moved towards legal sports gambling. Nevada was among the early adopters in 2018, followed by New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Colorado officially inaugurated its inaugural sportsbook in 2019 and now permits online wagering – although bets on in-state collegiate teams and player prop bets remain prohibited.
Now that 2024 is here, a number of states are taking active steps to expand their iGaming industries through legislation. New York recently proposed legislation which would legalise online poker and casino games while Illinois and Indiana both introduced similar measures that would legalize these forms of entertainment for residents.
No matter these ongoing efforts, none are likely to pass comprehensive iGaming laws this year. In 2025 it will be crucial to observe their progress as they move closer towards full legalization of iLottery, online casinos, and poker.