Gambling is legal in some form or another in 48 of the 50 states, with Utah and Hawaii being the only two jurisdictions to ban all forms of gaming. The rest of the United States, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania online gambling, allow a wide range of commercial gambling options like regulated real-money casino games, sports betting and digital slots. Nevertheless, the landscape is fluid as lawmakers, regulators and courts continue to update state-specific laws.
While the majority of US states have embraced iGaming, federal laws are more difficult to change. A number of major statutes are still in place, with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in particular holding significant clout. The UIGEA was introduced prior to the commercial inception of the internet, and while a 2011 re-interpretation made it less restrictive, the law has continued to limit gaming options for many players.
There are several other major obstacles to the expansion of real-money gambling online, especially in the United States. Centuries of gambling aversion have made it a difficult sell to politicians and the public, but things are beginning to change as the popularity of online casino games and other forms of iGaming has grown.
The Garden State has been ahead of the curve when it comes to iGaming, but there’s a problem brewing. The current 10-year legislative window will expire in 2023, meaning New Jersey online casinos will need to find a new solution to keep their doors open.
New York is a late bloomer when it comes to legalizing iGaming, but the state could soon join its northeastern neighbors in embracing the industry. The New York State Gaming Commission has until October 6 to select a gaming facility location board, and potential applicants will need to meet extremely stringent security and privacy requirements.
Once they have a site up and running, legal operators must also ensure that their sites are fully compliant with all relevant state and federal regulations. This includes ensuring that the platform is backed by an entity with a gaming license, and that the company has a strong track record of security and integrity. This is a major factor in why players should always use a licensed operator when playing online.
In addition to meeting regulatory standards, reputable online casinos will have high levels of transparency. This is why most reputable sites provide their license numbers and details on their websites. The information will typically be displayed on the homepage, as well as within their Terms and Conditions and Responsible Gambling sections. Lastly, the legal online casinos will have high customer service standards, with representatives available to help players navigate any issues they may face. This is one of the reasons why the vast majority of gamblers choose to play at a reputable online casino. In contrast, illegal casinos may not have these levels of transparency, and they often have egregious bonus playthrough requirements. For example, some rogue operators may require players to wager up to 50x their deposit plus bonus amount before they can withdraw the winnings.