Gambling laws in the United States in general haven’t been easy to follow over the years. There are many laws and regulations put in place that have an impact on online gambling and we’ll look at the most important ones below. Each of the federal laws listed has had or continues to have an impact on online gambling today.
federal wire act
To trace the origins of the Federal Wire Act, we have to go back to the 1960s. This law was introduced by President John F. Kennedy to help curb organized crime based on illegal sports betting activities. It prohibited businesses from using the telephone to accept bets on sports. In the context of online gambling today, Federal Wire Act still in force And this means that people can bet on sporting events online, but only using providers licensed in their own state, not those in other states that fall under a different jurisdiction.
Each state offering legal sports betting must operate independently and this means that sportsbooks cannot legally offer their services throughout the United States, they must apply for a license for each state in which they operate. want to do This applies to both sportsbook websites and mobile sportsbooks.
Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA) is no longer in effect But as of 2018, it banned all forms of sports betting outside the state of Nevada. This differed from the federal Wire Act, which focused on the transfer of sports betting funds at the state level because PAPSA prohibited anyone from outside Nevada from accepting sports bets online or in person.
In May 2018, the Supreme Court struck down this law and this means that each state is now responsible for making its own rules regarding online sports betting. However, it is important to note that the end of PAPSA does not mean that online sports betting has become legal in every state and there are still many states where online gambling has not been legalized.
Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act
In 2006, President George W. Bush introduced the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and made online payment processing for gambling illegal. The UIGEA stated that online gambling of any kind is illegal in the US, and this remained the case until 2011, when the Department of Justice’s Office of the Legal Counsel issued a new order on the UIGEA.
The Office of the Legal Counsel stated that online casinos were not illegal and could not be prohibited by the Federal Wire Act because the phone calls did not constitute any part of casino gaming.
What this means for online gambling and mobile casinos
Since US states can now legalize online gambling, we have six states (soon to be 7 states) where it is possible to play casino games using both website and mobile applications. As of June 2023, you can legally play online casino games in Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
There are a number of states where legal online sports betting is available, and, at the time of writing, legal online sports betting is being offered in 33 states. This is set to grow throughout the year and into 2024, with some states including Alabama, California, Florida and Kentucky getting closer to legalizing online sports betting.
It is clear that most people will be in a position where legal sports betting is available within the next two or three years. Although the same cannot be said about online casinos, legitimate online casinos are an option for those living outside the states.
Sweepstakes casinos do not require a license to operate in the US. Funrise Real Money Casino App To be a good example. It is possible to play online casino games using sweepstakes casinos without using any real money and this means they do not have to comply with the same laws as real money online casinos. Anyone in the US can legally join a sweepstakes casino and play the games, except for those who live in Idaho and Washington DC. However, it is always wise to check with game providers and independent iGaming bodies before joining, to ensure that the casino and games are of the highest standard.