As there are both federal and state prohibitions against online gambling in the US, its legality remains an ongoing debate. The answer largely depends on factors like type and state. Many states have legalized some form of online gaming while others still have restrictive laws which limit or forbid it. Additionally, federal Wire Act dictates any wager placed over the internet is illegal; as a result many sites opt to operate from countries with more permissive gambling regulations in order to bypass it.
Years ago, it appeared as though Internet gambling would become the next big trend in America. This was partly due to how it offered players an end run around existing gambling laws by enabling them to bet from any location using credit cards – providing players an ‘end run’ around gambling laws. Unfortunately as online gambling became more and more popular with American citizens, lawmakers began taking note and introduced legislation like Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), prohibiting U.S. players from placing bets through American sites.
The UIGEA made it illegal for financial institutions to process payments to online gambling sites; although there are ways around this restriction – for instance using a VPN service. Unfortunately, however, it remains in force today limiting gambling as much as possible in the US; several bills were proposed in Congress in an effort to soften it, but none has passed into law yet.
Nevada, New Jersey, Michigan and Pennsylvania have passed laws legalizing online gambling; Ohio recently launched sports betting online and may soon introduce casino play; Ohio currently maintains an anti-gambling stance but this may change once lawmakers realize how profitable online gaming and sports wagering can be.
Vermont recently legalized online gambling. This Northeastern state has already launched several retail casinos and it is anticipated that their iGaming market will soon go live as well.
Hawaii has long been known for being one of the strictest states when it comes to gambling, and this has not changed over time. Hawaii does not permit any form of online gambling – including social casino games like Fliff.
Texas stands out as an exception, permitting both online sports betting and casino gaming. Although no retail casinos operate within its borders, residents can visit tribal casinos for gambling entertainment.