What States Made Gambling Legal in the US?


Gambling is becoming a hot button issue in the United States of America thanks to a recent wave of laws.

Many states have passed measures to legalize sports betting and/or online gambling through apps and casino sites.

Among those, several have already put their platforms into place and are collecting millions in revenue.

These big sums are making local headlines as well as getting economy experts talking about this fast-growing new industry. But why now? And which states are taking part?

The truth is that online gambling has been mostly prohibited in the US up until 2018. There were some online poker sites and sketchy international gambling sites, but US companies could not run online gambling. Sports betting was also heavily restricted.

The 2018 change was the Supreme Court repealing the prohibition, allowing individual states to put forth their own gambling laws.

The US is a sprawling land of varying opinions, so the process has unfolded in many different ways. Some states got right to passing gambling measures, some only approved sports betting laws, others are stuck in negotiations with Native American tribes, and Utah is saying no gambling at all.

At this point in time, it’s easier to say which states do not allow gambling in some form. Every state but Utah has lottery systems.

When it comes to online gambling/sports betting, these states don’t allow them: Alaska, Idaho, California, Utah, Minnesota, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine.

It’s worth noting that sports betting often has a chance to get legalized separate from casinos.

That’s the case with New York, where lawmakers specifically didn’t want online gambling but just approved sports betting for January 2022.

California is a similar, but slightly different, case where sports betting is likely to pass but is being held up by the specifics of the law.

The tribes that operate casinos in California wanted certain stipulations in the measure, and the back-and-forth has slowed the voting process.

After that, the federal government needs to ensure the state law still holds to the national agreement with tribal lands, a step that held Florida in check for some time.

Why Online Gambling Has Taken Off

States like Michigan and Pennsylvania have already made millions per month in sports betting and online casino revenue.

Michigan gets a big boost from its passionate football fans, and during some months even surpassed New Jersey for sports betting revenue.

Michigan online gambling gives those outside of Detroit and other cities a chance to gamble without travel.

The desire to gamble and take part in sports wagers has always been there, but keeping the games trapped in casinos limited who could participate.

As Michigan shows, there’s plenty of money to be made by offering people in smaller towns the chance to play from their phone.

The legalization of online gambling includes many of these spread out users in the excitement of gambling and sports betting.

And as we know by now, smartphone apps are incredibly convenient parts of our daily lives. Since betting is now as easy as opening an app and making a few swipes and taps, the barrier to entry is basically none.

This erases some of the hesitation people might feel about entering a casino and parting with too much of their money in high-stakes games.

Sportsbook and casino apps allow you to place smaller bets and even offer rewards programs with free bets or bonus money.

Expect to see this list grow as 2022 goes on. Online gambling is a wonderfully profitable industry, and the states that are missing out will want to get on board soon.

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