Is Online Gambling Legal?

Online gambling has recently made headlines, but is it legal? Unfortunately, the answer to that question can be complex. Gambling itself isn’t illegal in the US but certain forms have been banned at various points during history and current laws can be murky; each individual state decides whether to legalize certain forms of gambling within its borders.

The issue becomes even more convoluted when considering that the Federal Wire Act of 1961 prohibits gambling across state lines. Therefore, any bet placed with a bookie in another state via a website hosted there would likely be considered illegal under this act – although certain websites still accept wagers from US residents without breaching it explicitly.

A recent Department of Justice legal opinion altered how the government interprets the Wire Act, making it less of an impediment to states seeking to legalize online gambling. This has allowed many states to legalize sports betting online. As laws surrounding online gambling may change at any time, it is advisable to check your state laws prior to placing any bets online.

Legality varies significantly among states when it comes to various forms of gambling. Some take a more stringent stance while others allow more lax regulations; generally speaking though, online gambling regulations tend to mirror traditional establishments; including requiring websites that host gaming to display responsible gaming information and link to organizations offering help for problem gamblers.

New York law mandates that casinos display information and links related to responsible gambling, such as Gamblers Anonymous and the New York Council on Problem Gambling. Furthermore, all gambling websites operating within New York must obtain a license from the New York State Gaming Commission in order to remain operational and adhere to strict regulations set by them in order to remain profitable.

Colorado and Washington both allow more relaxed gambling laws, with Colorado permitting online casino play while Washington only permits tribal casinos to offer this service. Both states are working towards opening online casinos but have encountered obstacles, including needing licenses for video game terminal operators companies.

Expectedly, more states will legalize online gambling in the near future; however, some still only permit sports betting or no online gambling at all – this being particularly evident in Utah and Hawaii where all forms of gambling are banned but in-person casino play permitted. As this industry expands further it will be interesting to witness its legal developments over time.