For years, the online gambling industry has been holding its breath while riding the ocean waves of proposed legislation, lawsuits, and lobbying over the legality of online gaming. Far from beginner’s luck, progress has been hard-won and extremely hard-fought to bring us where we are today. And friends, the future is looking bright. Let’s recap where we’ve come from and examine where we’re going.
Long, Long Ago
June 2013, summertime. Just as the world was getting ready to launch into summer gaming campaigns and take those hard-earned vacation days, the online gambling industry was dealt a significant blow. Sheldon Adelson, a Las Vegas casino magnate, came out in favor of banning online gambling.
He launched a website to promote his views and began to lobby congress. In his efforts, Adelson cited the danger of online gaming for children and those who find the draw of internet betting irresistible. At the end of the year, his official appeal before congress fell flat.
The Wire Act
A bill from 1961, it was generally thought the Wire Act would have no bearing on internet gambling. But soon, opponents called for a restoration of this act. Through the years, anti-gaming lobbyists tried to get this act, which could severely restrict internet gambling, passed through congress. The Department of Justice eventually issued an opinion that the Wire Act could be used to limit all forms of internet gambling.
New Hampshire for the Win!
Almost immediately, lawsuits poured in with New Hampshire leading the way. After a rather lengthy and drawn out process, the final decision handed New Hampshire the win. What does this mean for you? It means you can now access sites like All Bets and place your favorite online gambling bids to your heart’s content! Read on for specifics regarding jurisdiction and a state-by-state breakdown for where you legally can play.
Where Can you Play?
The past few years have seen slow progress in individual state adoption of online gambling legislation. Here are the few places where you can play poker, blackjack, and slots online.
- Delaware: Online Casino and Poker
- Nevada: Online Poker
- New Jersey: Online Casino, Poker, and Online Sportsbook
- Pennsylvania: Online Casino, Poker, and Online Sportsbook
- West Virginia, Rhode Island, Oregon, and Indiana: Online Sportsbook
The catch: If you want to jump into the world of online gambling, you have to be physically present inside state lines to play. You don’t have to reside within the state, but you most prove presence at the time of gameplay.
Every online gambling app and website has geolocation software, ensuring you are, indeed, located inside state lines.
And be aware! If you try and to access online gambling sites with a VPN when you are not in a legal state, you could get yourself banned for life. VPNs are strictly prohibited, and many online gambling sites will automatically reject your IPN from their server if you try.
When, not if you get caught, the penalty can range from severe fines to lifetime banishment from online gambling sites. So, take our advice and carve out a few vacation days if you are dying to play in Pennsylvania but reside in California.
More States Jump Onboard
Six states are on tap to approve legislation that will legalize internet sports betting or improve current offerings. Here is the latest on what you can expect soon.
Illinois: Though embattled over legislation to allow legal internet gambling, it seems proponents see a shift in favor of the industry. With the introduction of sports betting into the legislative conversation, the total freeze of internet gambling appears to be thawing.
Indiana: With the introduction of online legal sports betting in October of this year, this is a state to watch. Once one form of online gambling is legalized, other types are sure to follow!
Massachusetts: Massachusetts is a baby state when it comes to the gambling scene. But while their brick-and-mortar casinos are only a few years old, online gambling is already being discussed in the political circles. Online sports betting could be the first foothold for this state with other options to follow. Keep an eye on Massachusetts, and we will too!
Michigan: In 2018, a bill legalizing online gambling in all forms – poker, sports, and casino – was passed. The governor quickly vetoed the measure, but with legislation already drawn up, it’s likely to make a recurrence.
New Hampshire: While you can play the online lottery here, there are no other forms of legalized internet gambling. However, plans are being constructed to put through an initiative for online sports betting. As we’ve seen with other states, once online sports betting takes off, other opportunities are usually right around the corner.
New York: Of all states to consider passing legislation to legalize online gambling, New York is the least likely to do so. Several reasons place New York in the “least likely” category, but perhaps the most significant is the fact their brick-and-mortar casinos are not turning enough profit.
General opinion stemming from this realization leads to the idea that opening internet gambling will take what little revenue is available away from land-based casinos. To navigate around the profit-sharing issue, lawmakers are looking at a different avenue for online gambling: the sports industry.
While sports betting is allowed in commercial casinos, online sports betting is still a subject for debate.
Initial progress for online gambling has been slow but steady. In the next year, be on the lookout for new legislation to pass through any number of the states listed above.