US online gambling is easily one of the most profitable and largely expanding industries supported nowadays. With hardly two decades of operations and a number of discrepancies, turbulence, and hindrances along the way, its current success came much as a surprise to the opposing parties. Not to mention that, for a long period of time, the leading economic and industrial powerhouse, USA, took the lead at the anti-gambling front.
- Gambling has a long and prolific history in the US territory.
- Different regulations have been implemented for the various forms of gambling.
- Many inconsistencies are getting smoothed out, with each state taking matters into their own hands.
History of Gambling in the US
Gambling came into US territory along with the very first settlers, as both the French and the British brought along with them a long and diverse tradition. The former would introduce their original games of roulette and chemin de fer, while the latter introduced the whole concept as a social activity.
Over the years, the practice caught on and was considered to be a popular pastime, up until the mid-30s. Workers flocking into Nevada for the building of the Hoover Dam significantly boosted the potential for the development of such establishments. Ultimately, this would see Nevada turn into the gambling hub of the US, and continue the long-standing tradition of its first settlers.
Online Gambling in the US
Nevertheless, a centuries-old tradition wasn’t enough to keep the practice legal, especially in more conservative states where people had always been reluctant to wagers and gambling. Up until recently, even the most novel form of online gambling – sports betting, real money casinos, and poker included – was at a standstill.
The relevant legislation, mainly the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act (2005), made it illegal for payment processors to facilitate transactions that fund gambling activities. What is more, the Wire Act would prevent shared player pools across state borders, whilst the PASPA ultimately aimed to ban sports betting activities. These federal-level regulations, as well as local state-specific laws and provisions, would create the generally unwelcoming climate across the US.
All the while, Nevada locals would continue to enjoy legal gambling practices, and even went on to adopt legislation in order to move to online gambling. This called for further action on behalf of other states, and the government at that, ultimately seeing the US open up to the whole new interactive gambling industry.
What’s the Holdup Now?
Considering the largely benevolent climate for a general advancement in the industry, the question of the pertinent holdup inevitably arises. After all, each state gained the right to regulate their legal gambling practices within their borders, online gambling included.
So far, Nevada has taken the lead and legalized online poker which remains active to this day, while New Jersey and Delaware residents enjoy all forms of legal online gambling. Pennsylvania is set to launch online gambling on July 15, while West Virginia legislation will see some more work before ultimately reaping the benefits – economic stability and budget boosts.
Even at that, many conservative states are still largely shunning the gambling industry, while others avoid entrance into these waters due to the troublesome nature of the industry. After all, legal issues such as state-specific differences on the one hand, and major federal-level legal proceedings like the on-going Wire Act opinion are still holding legislators back.
Sports Betting’s Role
Sportsbetting was finally made legal in May 2018, as the Supreme Court ruled the PASPA act as unconstitutional. States were given the right to determine their specific stance towards the industry that was long considered to be a dangerous threat to sports integrity as such.
Nowadays, this refurbished image of sports betting has made it look like both the legislators’ and gamblers’ “shiny new toy”. The former see it as yet another form of state revenue; as for the latter, there is nothing more thrilling than the thought of a whole new world of wagers to be made.