Gambling online in the US is shrouded in mystery when it comes to being legal. At a broader level, some may say that gambling online in the US is legal while others say that it’s quite opposite, and the truth is that both of these may be correct. The reason behind this is that there is no law at federal level which bans gambling at a new casino online and at the same time, there is no law that recognises gambling online. It is for this reason that when looking to answer the issue of online gambling legality in the US, we have to look at two things i.e. the type of gambling and also the US state in question.

Types of Gambling

In general, online gambling comes in two forms i.e. casino games and sports betting. When it comes to playing at an online casino, there is no law in the US which prohibits players from doing so. As such, players interpret the lack of such regulation from the authorities as an ‘endorsement’ of online gambling from the US federal government. This is because without a law prohibiting online gambling, players cannot be prosecuted.

Another form of online gambling is sports betting and it is this form of gambling that the US federal government has mainly focused on over the years. Before 1992, sports betting, just like playing casino games, was not restricted in the US as there was no law that prohibited it. However, in 1992, the US federal government passed the Professional and Amateurs Sports Protection Act. This Act banned all forms of sports betting in its entirety. It was only in May this year that the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act during the Murphy vs. NCAA case. In essence, this means as from May 2018, sports betting is legal in the US at federal level.

Gambling Laws by State

While sports betting is now legal in the US at federal level and there is no law prohibiting playing casino games (meaning it’s to a larger degree perfectly legal), this does not give gamblers the greenlight to go ahead and indulge in any form of gambling. As a matter of fact, players still have to take a look at state laws governing gambling online.
In the US, all types of gambling are perfectly legal in Nevada where players can play a casino game of their choice and at the same time place sports betting bets. However, many states allow one form of gambling or another, while some have placed bans on all forms of gambling altogether. A brief look at US states shows that only Nevada, Las Vegas and New Jersey legalised all types of gambling. Delaware, Oregon and Montana legalised sports betting only, while all the other states in the US either have laws explicitly banning gambling online or have certain pieces of legislation that make it extremely impossible to gamble online.

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