When online gambling first emerged in the late 90s, it seemed to provide an easy way around state prohibitions and government control. All a site needed to get going was setting up in an offshore jurisdiction and accepting wagers through credit cards; soon the industry flourished. Unfortunately, US federal lawmakers saw online gambling as a threat and passed several laws including UIGEA and PASPA to try to restrict its expansion; PASPA targeted any company advertising online gambling services and promoted online gaming services directly while UIGEA targeted only operators directly; consequently most forms of regulated gaming have been adopted by states while online gaming remains grey market in many parts of America.
However, the internet has proven an invaluable asset to both players and operators alike. Industry regulations have tightened significantly due to an emphasis on responsible gambling – though still far from perfect; social media and mobile technology make keeping tabs on bets much simpler than before.
Since the repeal of PASPA, online gambling has seen rapid expansion across the U.S. Since Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware legalized casinos under state jurisdiction; Pennsylvania and West Virginia added sports betting. Still, federal law prevents people from betting unregulated sites in most other states despite Supreme Court ruling that this violates their 10th Amendment rights to change local laws regarding gambling.
New Hampshire currently has a bill to legalize online casinos on its legislative agenda while Rhode Island has established an exclusive iGaming and iLottery market. California, Illinois, Indiana and Massachusetts were unsuccessful this year with their efforts. It’s expected that 2023 legislative session will bring big strides forward when it comes to gaming/lottery legalization – though most likely with some efforts taking the form of discussions rather than full legalization efforts.
Another complicating factor is that the Justice Department recently revised their previous Wire Act opinion, making it harder for some states to implement their plans – particularly those participating in interstate gaming compacts like Michigan and Delaware. At present, some states have begun offering online lottery games.