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Online Gambling in the United States

Many online casino sites in the United States and poker rooms offered their services to Americans in the early days of the industry, but their activities have since been shut down in the mid-2000's. While there are no specific laws banning online gambling, The Federal Wire Act of 1961 has been systematically interpreted and used in courts to disallow internet wagers.

In 2006, the US Federal government passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling and Enforcement Act, outlawing all forms of online gambling. After the bill passed, however, three major online poker sites in the United States – PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker – continued to offer their services, expecting that the law did not affect them. So in 2011, the US government initiated legal proceedings against the three, resulting in the outright banning of all online gambling.

American institutions continued to ruthlessly enforce this law until a new law was passed in 2012, allowing individual states to license online and mobile casinos, poker sites as well as on within their state borders.

While you would expect a rush of states to take the federal government up on that offer, in fact only 3 states have: Nevada, Delaware, and  New Jersey. Nevada was first, but only offered poker and the first one of the online betting sites in the United States, while Delaware went live at the start of November 2013, and New Jersey at the end, both offering a full range of gambling options.

The US continues to block foreign-based websites and does not allow interstate gambling, with individual states employing geo-location software to ensure these laws are adhered to. As such, your options for online gambling in the United States are somewhat restricted.

Gambling in the United States

According to a study by the American Gaming Association (AGA) the gaming sector in the United States had boasted revenues of over $261 billion in 2017, with a tax contribution of $40.8 billion. The industry employs nearly 1.8 million people and "remains a powerful economic engine and a dynamic job creator".

The United States of America is often portrayed as the gambling capital of the world, but this reputation is due to just a few gaming hotspots - mostly Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Gambling in the United States is legal under the US federal law, although there are some
major restriction regarding the online gambling sector and interstate gambling.

TheUnited States gambling laws are pretty diverse, being issued within the jurisdiction of each state. These laws differ drastically. For instance, while in Utah and Hawaii there is a
complete prohibition on gambling including lottery whereas in states such as Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey all or almost all forms of gambling are considered to be legal, including the variety of games that can be found on online gambling sites in the United States.

The Federal law provides leeway for Native American Trust Land to be used for games of chance. According to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, this can be the case only when there is an agreement between the State and the Tribal Government.