The Legality of Online Gambling in the US
Residents can try their hand at online poker. Nevada Online Gambling Laws Nevada is presently one of the leading states within the Union in regards to the gambling industry. Platforms such as WorldWinner and King host many interactive puzzle games that allow residents to wager real money legally. Currently, there are two online poker websites that operate in the state. The laws that are on the books matter, not the ones that could be on the books at a later date. Offshore sites are still a problem in Nevada. Without further ado, let's go by each State and see what the status of online gambling actually is:.
Top 3 New Jersey Licensed Online Casinos
Questions of actual enforcement aside, Arkansas law makes it patently illegal to gamble on anything in which, "Any money or property may be won. California had four different bills introduced in that would have legalized and set a regulatory framework for intrastate online poker, but all four bills died a Legislative death due to inaction as of a few months ago. New bills may be reintroduced. Initiative to legalize and regulate sports betting for the November ballot was proposed on June 11th, Revenue generated via legal means and consumer protection were declared as main reasons to push for the legislation in time for the election.
Beyond that, California is completely ambiguous because there is no State law that would serve to explicitly prohibit players from gambling online, operators would be doing something illegal under California State Law but lower levels of Government than the State itself could enact Legislation making such an act illegal. The State of Colorado dictates that anti-gambling laws be construed, "Liberally," and other than Social Gambling or Gambling authorized by the State, any other form of gambling as a player is a petty offense that could result in a fine.
Gambling constitutes a Class 1 Petty Offense. The Colorado Department of Revenue site makes this clear:. Connecticut law is completely clear and unambiguous that Gambling is a crime, specifically, a Class B Misdemeanor. Until the State explicitly makes online gambling in any form legal, it is illegal. It is difficult to speculate whether or not the law is strictly enforced. Regulated online gambling is legal in Delaware, and nothing in that bill would tend to make it appear illegal to play at unregulated sites.
On the other hand, if they wanted to extend the definition of, 'Gambling Device,' to be a computer, then you could not play at their regulated sites which are definitely legal! I would encourage anyone in the State of Delaware to research the State Laws and decide for yourselves, but I would say it is probably legal to gamble online in Delaware. Florida has some regulated gambling, and it is a Second-Degree Misdemeanor to engage in any form of unregulated gambling within the State.
Since online casinos outside of the State of Florida fall under this purview, playing at them is patently illegal. It is difficult to say whether this law is really enforced, probably not. Many sites have tried to advance the argument that online gambling is not necessarily illegal in Georgia, whereas engaging in illegal gambling is a Misdemeanor, but they may not have fully studied the law:.
Notable are terms such as, "Any slot machine, simulations or variation thereof," and, "Any video game machine or device, operated for any consideration, for the game of poker, Blackjack, any other card game or Keno The long and short of it is, while Georgia law may not specifically address online gambling, it does address virtually every way an individual can possibly gamble online.
The State Legislature of Hawaii is completely out of its mind. If it were me, I would legalize every form of gambling imaginable immediately!
Combine that with how highly-praised Hawaii is as a tourist destination already, and you have a guaranteed cash cow. Instead, engaging in any form of gambling other than Social Gambling or Home Games is patently illegal under Hawaii law. The law restricts any form of betting in, "Contests of chance. All forms of gambling, except for those allowed by the State, are prohibited in the State of Idaho and gambling is a Misdemeanor. It is unknown whether or not this is ever enforced for online gambling.
The law is clear in the Land of Lincoln, other than State-Regulated forms of gambling, playing a game, "Of chance or skill for money or other thing of value," is patently illegal. It is a Misdemeanor under the law, but it is difficult to tell how strictly the law is enforced with respect to Online Gambling. Illinois has made several attempts at online gambling regulation and expansion, although these have all fallen short of realization for one reason or another, and the state legislature is still in the works without an end in sight.
How strictly the codes are enforced for Internet Gambling is unknown, but the laws are not ambiguous. Iowa has perhaps the strictest apparent laws on Online Gambling out there.
Other than regulated forms of Gambling, it is a crime to, "Make any bet," pursuant to Iowa law, and the penalties can range all the way up to a Felony dependent exclusively on the amounts involved. Furthermore, any monies garnered from online gambling are subject to seizure, as are any monies with any other illegal form of gambling in the State.
It is unknown how frequently these laws are enforced. Kentucky law makes it illegal to, "Advance Gambling Activity," which is something that would apply to operators, rather than players. Kentucky law does not seem to prescribe a penalty for the mere act of gambling as a player whatsoever.
This says it all, "Whoever commits the crime of Gambling by Computer shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
While unlawful gambling is considered criminal in Maine, there do not appear to be any penalties associated with the act of merely being a player gambling online. An absence of any penalties effectively makes the act not illegal. Pursuant to Maryland Law, both the use of a, "Gambling Device," and the possession of a Gambling Device are crimes that can result in various fines and even up to two years in prison for playing a gaming device.
This State is an interesting one because it has a plethora of laws in place to prevent gambling for operators. One should also keep in mind that the law prohibits gambling in a public place explicitly.
One of the most striking Sections to me:. Essentially states that individuals doing any form of gambling and winning five or more dollars except State authorized gambling under Chapter 23K could be fined double the amount of the money that was won gambling. As online gambling would fall under the purview of, "Illegal Gambling," under Michigan law. While an individual who, "Makes a bet," has committed a Misdemeanor pursuant to State Law, it does not seem to carry any penalties.
Minnesota proscribes a number of penalties for, "Gross Misdemeanors," in the next section of the law, but none of those would seem to apply to online players:. Other than specifically permitted forms of gambling in Missouri, any other form of gambling is a Misdemeanor:. This state defines gambling as risking, "Something of value," on any game that has an element of chance and any form of gambling not specifically permitted by the State is illegal.
Section also provides that it is not a defense to contend that the gambling is conducted outside of the State in a jurisdiction in which gambling is permitted. Finally, Section calls for forfeiture of any monies used for the purpose of illegal gambling to the State. Besides that, the offers are likely better at other online casinos. Other forms of online wagering are addressed by Other than modes of gambling specifically authorized by the State, Because the State has no legal means of Online Gambling specifically permitted, any form of online gambling is illegal.
New Jersey is one of the few States to have fully legal online casinos which fall under the Licensing and Regulation of the State. While any gambling activity not specifically authorized by the State is unlawful:. Any specific crimes outlined in the New Jersey code focus on operators rather than players. In fact, any provisions under 2C 37 seem to specifically absolve mere players from any wrongdoing. Unless specifically authorized by the State, all forms of gambling are illegal and are a Misdemeanor.
New York defines illegal gambling broadly enough that it would cover any form of gambling not specifically permitted by the State, but a careful perusal of the laws therewith associated focus entirely on online gambling operators as opposed to players:. New York currently has a Bill before the Senate that might specifically allow certain interactive Poker games to be characterized as games of skill, but it is hard to tell whether or not that Bill will see a vote by the end of the current Legislative Session:.
Is there a catch? This article looks at the specifics of American online gambling law as it relates to casino-style betting. Bear in mind that laws are likely to change over time, as is the way those laws are enforced. That means check appropriate sources if you need legitimate legal counsel. After the passage of the UIGEA, anti-gaming lawmakers were emboldened to the point that hearings were held on the issue of Internet betting. Not as far as I can tell. It is explicitly against US federal law for websites to accept wagers on sporting events from American citizens.
This comes from the Federal Wire Act of , which has recently been interpreted by the Department of Justice to have no bearing on Web-based wagers on casino or head-to-head poker bets. It is also explicitly against US federal law for a bank to knowingly handle a transaction between a US-based customer and a known Web-based gambling business. This was the purpose of the much-grumbled-about UIGEA — notice that it is not a crime for the player to request or make the transaction, just for the bank to handle it.
The intended result of this attack on banks was to make life difficult for Americans who gamble online — and the UIGEA has certainly accomplished that.
If federal law was all that Americans had to consider, the legality of Internet gambling would be a lot easier to talk about. Unfortunately for me and for some US-based gamblers , American state law is more restrictive in some cases than federal law. So how tough are US state laws on Internet gambling enthusiasts?
Some US states have laws explicitly outlawing all forms of online gambling. Residents of Illinois , Louisiana , Montana , Oregon , Washington , and Wisconsin are prohibited, by state law, from placing any type of bet over the Internet, regardless of federal law.