When it comes to online gambling, the United States is a mixed bag. Some states have put in place stricter regulations than others. In addition, many of these states allow gamblers to play on off-shore sites.
Despite the fact that many of these laws are ambiguous, there are a handful of states that have legalized online gambling. Several nations in the Caribbean Sea have also followed suit.
The federal government has yet to decide if and when it will regulate internet gambling. Until then, individual state governments will do the heavy lifting.
In the early 2000s, the US Department of Justice explored online gambling as part of their broader effort to combat Internet crime. A bill called the “Internet Gambling Prohibition Act” was introduced to the Senate in 1999. While this legislation was ultimately defeated, it did result in a few other significant legal developments.
For one thing, it imposed a ban on US-based payment processors from participating in online gaming transactions.
It also proposed a new office of “gambling oversight” to be attached to the Treasury Department. This would be the first step in regulating and taxing the growing sector.
The aforementioned Internet Gambling Prohibition Act was eventually ruled unconstitutional. That said, it does not preclude state legislatures from drafting their own legislation. Currently, Nevada, Delaware, and Pennsylvania are the only jurisdictions offering fully functioning online casinos.
Those seeking a legal leg up should consider moving their operations offshore. Many online gaming operators do so in order to avoid US federal laws.