In the US, it is not just the federal government that has a say in the legalization of online casinos. Each individual state has the ability to regulate online gambling and decide whether to allow sites to operate. The laws in each state will differ and are often quite vague. Before the online gambling industry became popular. The federal government had laws in place that would affect the industry. Even as online casinos are legalized, they still have to comply with federal regulations.
There are multiple laws that have been passed over the years that attempted to regulate online gambling. The first was the Wire Act of 1961. This law was created to help states in the US enforce local gambling laws and to prevent any form of gambling in organized events. The original law states that anyone who placed a bet using wire communications would be breaking the law. In 2011 there was a change to that when the DOJ allowed states more authority in deciding how to handle online gambling.
The Interstate Transportation of Wagering Paraphernalia Act was also passed in 1961 and this made it illegal to transport any slips, records, tickets, or any other device that could be used to accept wagers for sports betting.
The UIGEA is perhaps the most known law regarding online gambling and this was passed to restrict US players from conducting payments at online gambling sites. The intent was to prevent fraud and money laundering. The law did not make it illegal for US residents to gamble online. However, it did make it impossible for players to use bank accounts or major credit cards to fund any casino accounts online.
Every state in the country is able to pass laws that regulate online gambling, including casino sites as well as online sports betting. States can choose to prohibit residents from engaging in such acts or can offer legal online casinos to residents within a state. In 2012, states started looking at legalizing online casinos and Delaware was the first to launch a real money site for residents.
Since then, only four more states have legalized the operation of online casinos and poker rooms. These include New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Online gambling is legal in more than half of the US states, but most of these laws focus on the offering of legal sports betting sites and not online casinos.
Other states have seen the increase in revenue from legal online casinos and are considering passing bills that would allow sites to begin operating. Currently, a number of states are looking at regulating online casinos in the next year, including:
• New York
In order for any casino site to operate in a US state, it must be licensed in the state where it is operating. It is also required that any operating site has an affiliation with a land casino in the state. Each state will have a regulatory body that will oversee the operation of any gambling site, These bodies ensure the sites operate according to local gambling laws while ensuring that player protection is offered. They are also used to settle any disputes that may arise.
Online sites that are licensed in the US will meet industry standards and have to operate under strict guidelines from each licensing state. These casinos are responsible for ensuring that all members are of the legal gambling age and that players are physically located within the border of the state where the casino is operating.