Online Gambling Legislation in the US in 2021

online casino legislation in the us

The situation with online gambling in the United States has been quite complicated for some time now. Americans wanting to gamble on the internet have been out of luck ever since the UIGEA, but things are finally looking up.

After years of stalemate, there have been some significant movements in terms of online gambling regulation in the States in the past few years. Things are still moving somewhat slowly as laws are passed on state levels, but there seems to be a much brighter future ahead.

Online Casinos and Sports Betting in the US

When it comes to online gambling in the US, federal laws allow each state to regulate things as they see fit. In the past, states were slow to take advantage of this fact, but recently, there’s been a surge in regulation across the country.

There are currently five US states offering legal online gambling, namely New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, and Delaware. This list will probably become much longer in the near future, as there are more states looking to create a legal framework for the activity.

Almost all regulated casinos in the States have rather generous no deposit signup bonus offers for new players, which makes them that much more appealing to the players.

When it comes to sports betting, the historic decision of the US Supreme Court from 2018 finally lifted the ban on betting. This opened the door for the states to legalize the activity and, unlike casinos, it didn’t take long for sports betting laws to go live.

As of right now, there are fifteen US states where you can legally bet online. The list includes the four mentioned above (with the exception of Delaware), as well as Virginia, Illinois, Colorado, Iowa, Tennessee, Indiana, Nevada, Oregon, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Montana.

So, fans of sports betting in the States can finally wager on their favorite events in a safe and completely legal environment, which is a really big deal. Moving forward, more states will definitely pass betting bills as this is only the matter of time, given how popular the activity is in the country.

US Online Poker Scene

When it comes to online poker in the States, things are definitely moving in the right direction, with several states already offering the ability to play on regulated sites. New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware were pioneers in this regard, having passed online poker bills in 2013, but they have recently been joined by Michigan and Pennsylvania as well. West Virginia also offers legal online poker.

Several other states are currently looking into a potential legislation, but it’s hard to say who will jump ahead of the pack. California, for example, has been toying with the idea of regulation for some time now, but there hasn’t been any real progress there in a while.

However, there is another important topic in the US online poker debate right now, and that’s the interpretation of the Wire Act.

The Department of Justice came up with an interpretation that the Act is applicable to online poker, which means that states are only allowed to offer games within their respective borders. This prevents operators from creating multistate compacts and building larger networks.


This interpretation has been recently repelled by the court, though, so it seems like the ban on interstate poker might be lifted. If this happens, it could be just the gush of wind online poker in the US needs to pick up some speed and become a much more interesting point of discussion.