Despite the fact that the federal government does not ban online gambling, there are significant restrictions pertaining to interstate and online casino gaming. Each state is free to regulate or prohibit casino games in its own borders. In fact, there are currently 48 states that allow some form of casino gambling including lotteries and sports betting, while Hawaii and Utah do not permit any gambling activity. Likewise, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 made it illegal to bet on sports events unless you’re a bookmaker, but that law was later declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court.
Fortunately, there are numerous reputable and legal casinos that offer an impressive variety of online casino games. These regulated sites are overseen by state and federal gambling regulators and offer responsible gambling measures that include deposit limits, time-outs, self-exclusion periods, and more. In addition, the tax revenue generated by regulated US casinos benefits local community programs, including problem gambling non-profits and charities. International or “offshore” casinos don’t have these same regulatory bodies, and so players who play at these establishments are subject to fewer safeguards and less protection.
The good news is that most states in the country now have regulated online casinos, and Pennsylvania is one of them. The iGaming industry is booming in this region thanks to the state’s massive population, and top operators like BetMGM and Caesars have set up shop here. In addition to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut also have legal iGaming options. Rhode Island hasn’t yet joined the party but it should launch soon.
While many media outlets have erroneously reported that Congress banned online gambling back in 2006, the truth is a bit more complicated. In actuality, the law passed by President George W. Bush prohibited banks from transferring funds to online gambling companies, but it did not make the act itself illegal.
In the US, there are six states where you can legally gamble on casino games online: Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, and West Virginia. In the state of Colorado, there is no regulated online casino as of 2019, but that may change in the future, especially if major operators like DraftKings and FanDuel strike deals with native tribes.
In Tennessee, online casinos are not yet available, but the state is inching closer to legalizing sports betting. It’s possible that the same could happen with online casinos, but that will require a constitutional amendment and a deal with the state’s native tribes. Until then, social casinos are the only option for players in the Volunteer State.