The Internet, as we know it today, has been around for less than 30 years. It has reshaped our society in many ways. The entertainment industry is just one of the many sectors that were revolutionized by the World Wide Web. All the different games we could only play in person, are now available on the web, including casino games.
If you look back at the history of online casinos, you’ll see that regulated gambling in the US has gone through a long and winding path to get where it is today.
- The road to legal online casinos has been long and complicated.
- Several US states today offer legal online gambling.
- What does the future hold for online casino betting?
The Dawn of Online Gambling
The World Wide Web opened its doors back in the early 1990s, and the world has ever been the same. Who would’ve thought that today, 30 years later, we would be able to play and bet at an online casino with a simple click on our smartphone?
The First Online Casino Site
It was a long journey before online gambling in the USA became legal and regulated. In 1996, InterCasino was the first casino site that started taking wagers online. A few others began at that time, such as the Australian Centrebet.com.
As people began using the Internet to place wagers instead of going to land-based casinos, the online betting industry became increasingly popular. By 1998 it had exceeded $830 million and counted over 700 online casinos.
Online Casino Regulation
With the number of casino sites, the number of software developers grew, and the need for regulation. In 1994, Antigua and Barbuda made the first step towards regulating online casinos. Then in the 2000s, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom followed suit. The first state in the US to regulate online betting was New Jersey, with players only able to wager with state-based companies.
The Slow and Rocky Road to Legal US Gambling Online
Although New Jersey made the first move, other states weren’t as lucky. In 2011, the US authorities busted a major offshore online wagering provider network. Later that year, the Department of Justice made a surprising announcement stating that it reinterpreted the Wire Act, implying it would officially regulate online gambling.
Several states jumped on board and pushed for the legislation. First, it was Delaware in 2012 and then Nevada in 2013. However, things did not go as smoothly as expected. iGaming bills went back and forth across the US, with lawmakers uncertain whether to open up the online betting industry in their states.
US States With Regulated Online Betting
In 2017, states formed interstate compacts, and online gaming for money saw its way in the US. The following is a list of the current states with legal online casino gaming:
A Closer Look at US States With Legal Internet Gambling
Check out the following list to learn more about when online gambling was regulated in US states.
The Future of Online Casinos
Online gambling is evolving and expanding quickly, so it’s no surprise to see many other US states on the road to regulation. Sure, many of them have still not shown interest in doing so, but considering internet betting is one of the fastest-growing and largest industries globally, chances are they will change direction.
Online casinos have gone through a long path to get where it is today. US players can also play at legit offshore casinos that provide significant advantages over the regulated market, like fewer restrictions and higher bonuses. Additionally, with mobile casino betting and diverse banking methods, there’s no doubt that real money virtual casinos will continue to expand.