Where Are We at with Online Gaming Laws in 2019?

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Posted: 31st July 2019 by
Lawyer Monthly
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Whether you’re a keen online gamer or not, it’s been almost impossible not to notice the rapid growth that’s been happening across the iGaming industry in recent years.

Online casinos, gaming hosts and sports bookmakers alike are attracting more clients than ever before, largely due to the ease of access and gameplay offered by mobile technology and wireless internet connections. According to research hub Statista, the US online casino market is predicted to hit a whopping $94 billion by the year 2024 – a clear sign of the level of investment that’s being pumped into the industry.

It’s now possible for players to log into their favourite online casino whenever they wish, whether that’s at home, on their lunch break, on the bus or, quite frankly, anywhere with a decent internet connection. Yet despite the growth in popularity, there’s certainly still some doubt among the general public in the United States regarding the legality of online casinos, particularly in certain states. Let's take a closer look.

Understanding US online gaming law

Since it was first considered and proposed at the turn of the millennium, online casino and gaming legislation has been through years of continual evolution and development. Back then, nobody could’ve predicted the speed at which technology would progress, which is ultimately what has enabled the online casino industry to expand so quickly.

In terms of legislation, most types of iGaming remain completely legal under US federal law; however, it’s important to be aware that there are significant differences in legalization under state law. Some states maintain that online casinos must be deemed as completely illegal; some have fully legalized the industry; some have partially legalized certain online casino games; some have steps in place for legalization.

Where is it completely legal to join an online casino?

As of July 2019, there are a total of three US states that have decided to fully legalize the online casino trade: New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. The online gambling industry is regulated at state level within each of these states, with Pennsylvania being the most recent state to reform its gambling laws in favour of regulating a very lucrative market.

That means that an adult of legal age within any of these three states can lawfully create an online casino account and enjoy the thrill of the casino floor from the comfort of their living room. In fact, many online hosts are dedicated to translating the classic casino atmosphere online. Sites like Magical Vegas have invested a lot in their branding, along with a great collection of casino and slot games and other classic table games, including live casino games, which use real-time streaming to link players to real-life tables, dealers and croupiers.

As one of the early adopters, New Jersey is known for having one of the most developed online gaming markets. Nevada is slightly different in that online poker rooms alone have legal status, rather than fully licensed online casinos, yet talks are ongoing regarding the relaxation of these laws even further.

An eye to the future

If the short but storied history of iGaming legislation has taught us anything, it’s that US state law is far more of a spectrum rather than being completely black and white. Of course, some states operate more progressive gaming laws than others, though it remains to be seen how the course of the industry will play out.

With so much investment now being pumped into the market, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see more changes approaching on the horizon.

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