The United States online gambling industry is barely 2 years old, as of June this year, but a lot of USA residents are unclear as to exactly what is legal and what is illegal. Quickly, federal statutes do not allow any US-based company to offer sports gambling online. And while there is no single piece of federal legislation which regulates a nationwide online casino or poker industry, those Internet gambling options are available at the state level. Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey all deliver regulated and state-based Internet gambling offerings, with a caveat. You must be located inside those state boundaries to enjoy cyber gambling that is run and provided by those states. With such a young but confusing industry, we thought we would provide a United States online gambling timeline which covers the last couple of years. We have to start all the way back in late 2011, when the most significant piece of federal legislation laid the groundwork for US states deciding their own online gambling destiny.
Flip-flopping Feds Open the Online Gambling Doors
December 23, 2011 – The miserly and usually anti-gambling Department of Justice releases an opinion which is destined to change the face of United States gambling online. Two days before Christmas, the biggest holiday celebrated across the United States, the Feds announce that games of skill should not be covered by the 1961 Wire Act. The Wire Act, in the eyes of the DOJ, only applies to sports gambling offered by United States companies. They then announced that it is up to individual states in the US to either outlaw or legalize online casino games and poker. This paved the way for US-based and regulated online gambling, which began in 2012. Legal USA online sports betting is available through licensed offshore online sportsbooks.
Delaware Makes History as First US State to Legalize Online Gambling
February and June of 2012 – The District of Columbia had originally legalized online gambling in early 2011. But before they could even introduce casino style virtual gambling options to their residents, they repealed their earlier gambling-friendly legislation before it ever became live. In June of 2012, Delaware officially became the first state to legalize online gambling in the new post-DOJ-ruling era. Delaware gaming officials and legislators decided to offer both Internet poker and online casino table games to state residents. While Delaware officially legalized Internet gambling first, the fact that they have only 1 million residents has hampered their efforts to make online gambling a viable financial industry.
Nevada and New Jersey Join US Online Gambling Industry, Nevada Goes Live First
February, April and November 2013 – Only days apart, New Jersey and Nevada adopted legal Internet gambling legislation. Like Delaware, both of those states had to relegate their Internet gambling options to state residents and visitors located inside their state boundaries. Nevada adopted online poker legislation on February 21, with New Jersey legalizing both cyber poker and casino gaming on February 26. On April 30 the first regulated US-based gambling operation officially launched, with online poker in Nevada. On November 25 New Jersey rolled out its Internet gambling options. The state that actually passed cyber gambling before any other, Delaware, went live on November 26.
Pennsylvania, California, New York Among Next Likely Internet Gambling Candidates
Fast-forward to present time, and you see Pennsylvania, California, Massachusetts, New York, Mississippi and Illinois attempting to become the fourth state in the United States online gambling industry. And currently, reputable and legitimately licensed offshore gambling providers deliver Internet poker, sports gambling, horse racing, casino games and slots, and the top operators support US players. With a global online gambling market estimated at more than $450 billion, and United States citizens contributing a good chunk of that revenue, keep your eye on the ever-changing United States gambling online industry, and check back here frequently for late breaking updates.