US Local & Online Gambling Laws: State-by-State 2023

Online and retail sports betting likely won’t be legal in every state any time soon because of longstanding political and cultural opposition to gambling in many states. Still, with PASPA repealed, a majority of states will likely be taking bets as early as 2020. The Wire Act will continue to prohibit interstate sports wagering transactions, but there appears there will be an increasing number of options for bettors thanks to state-level legislation. In May 2018, the Supreme Court ruled the law violated the 10th Amendment of the constitution, which allowed individual states to change their own gambling laws to take wagers, though it didn’t allow wagering automatically in every state.

The Seminoles’ victory gave birth to the modern commercial Indian gaming in the United States. These events eventually led to the enactment of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) of 1988, signed by President Reagan. The situation escalated to such an extent that the tribe took the matters to the District Court, insisting it had sovereign rights over their reservation. Said rights were granted by the federal government and could not be interfered with by the state government. The District Court ruled in favor of the Seminoles and their bingo hall subsequently reopened in December 1979.

Despite the state’s nimble and open-minded approach to online gambling and sports betting, brick-and-mortar gambling remains non-existent in West Virginia. Vermont has legal fantasy sports and online horseracing betting, but that’s about as far as it goes when it comes to regulated online gambling. Online sports betting is available within the state but, for now, that’s where the line is drawn. In fact, the state has a law that explicitly forbids the establishment of an internet gambling business within it. While commercial betting legislation is yet to pass, with the most recent attempt in late 2021, tribal operators do offer betting lines at four sportsbooks. With legal mobile betting also available, it’s widely considered that the next bill to move forward should be successful.

Montana’s legal code, updated in 2005, explicitly forbids the running of an online gambling operation within state lines; even fantasy sports are outlawed here. Mississippi legalized gambling in the ‘90s, with the caveat that casinos had to operate on the water rather than on dry land. Despite tweaks to that law, land-based casinos must still be built very close to the water. Due to this, and the lack of regulated sites to play with, many players in Mississippi choose to avoid online gambling entirely. Native American venues can offer high-stakes bingo games, but don’t have the same range of games available at tribal casinos in other states.

The 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) also heavily influenced the US online gambling industry. The act was added at the last minute before the Congress adjourned for the 2006 elections, meaning no one from the committee saw the final draft before the bill was passed. Delaware, which was one of the four states initially exempt from PASPA, has also embraced gambling over the Internet.

Michigan lawmakers are still pushing for iGaming options, and several other states may consider authorizing these games in years to come. continues to monitor developments in statehouses nationwide and will update key details as they emerge. Unfortunately, there is very little case law dealing with the types of skill games that are most prevalent online today, and therefore it is unknown how these tests would apply to those games if challenged. Other potentially relevant statutes include conspiracy and bank or wire fraud.52 In all of these cases, liability arises only if the defendant is violating some other federal or state statute. [229]    See id.; see also Champion, 188 U.S. at 354 (carriage of lottery tickets between states by an independent carrier constitutes interstate commerce).

First developed in 2012 and updated several times including in 2021 to keep up with new regulations and technology, these standards have driven responsible gambling regulation in a number of states as online gambling has developed in the US. The NCPG standards are continually evolving, as internet gambling-related legislation, regulation and technology are rapidly being introduced. It is intended to apply across all platforms (including web, desktop, mobile, app and any other device that can be used for internet gambling).

Gambling regulations

As such, there is potential for more brick-and-mortar gambling operations to spring up in Nebraska. As of yet, any similar attempts to legalize and regulate even limited forms of online gambling have all failed. In 2021, though, changes to Nebraska law came into effect that allow some expansion of land-based gambling. Online and retail sports betting are available in Montana using the Montana Lottery’s wagering platform – SportsBet Montana. Land-based players in Michigan have lots of choices for in-state betting, with both commercial casinos and many Native American casinos available. Legal sports betting in Maryland became reality when Governor Larry Hogan signed it into law in May 2021.

However, KS sports betting was legalized in July 2022 and both retail and online sportsbooks launched in September 2022. Land-based gamblers can enjoy betting at a few racinos, but there are no tribal casinos or commercial venues within state lines. Despite commercial gambling being illegal in Connecticut, the state is home to two popular land-based casinos.

  • The state enacted the Sports Wagering Act a year later, which permitted sports books at casinos and racetracks.
  • While sports betting is one of the most popular forms of gambling around the world, the US has yet to fully embrace it.
  • Self-exclusion lists are checked during the registration process and excluded players are denied access.
  • There are also no US federal gambling laws that indicate betting with licensed offshore sportsbooks is illegal.
  • Among other things, this will regulate racino and sportsbook operations within the state.

There’s a possibility that other exceptions could be made, but no guarantees have been made. The legal status of gambling in Virginia is up in the air right now – there are no offline gambling facilities here currently, but that’s set to change in the coming years. Brick-and-mortar gambling in South Dakota centers heavily around the area of Deadwood, but there are some tribal casinos within state lines too. Brick-and-mortar gambling has a significant presence in the state of Pennsylvania, with no reliance on tribal casinos. The state is home to several racinos in addition to these fully-fledged casinos but all of them offer video lottery terminals only, with no table games available.