Online gambling rules in the United States can be very complex and confusing. It does not appear to make sense that online gambling can be legal in one state and not the next, meaning towns within a few miles of each other can have very different rules and regulations.
But this is how it works in America, a country that can have the world’s gambling capital in the form of Las Vegas but ban betting in many states if it takes place over the internet.
Let’s take a look at the current state of play regarding legalization plans for online gambling.
Should online gambling even be legalized?
There has been a huge amount of debate across America over online gambling in recent years. Even the decision of the Supreme Court in 2018, paving the way for sports betting to be legalized throughout the country, has seemingly not cleaned up this divisive issue.
It is worth noting that online casinos have become safer places for gamblers since they operate under stricter regulations. But it is still not legal to use these sites in many states.
While it seems likely online gambling will gradually be legalized throughout America in the coming years, the pace of progress so far has been slow. Here are some of the legalization plans that are ongoing in the country right now.
States where online gambling is already legal
This is the list of states where steps to legalize online gambling in at least one form, such as sports betting or online casinos, have already been taken:
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
States where online gambling legalization is imminent
In addition to the 14 states above where online gambling has been legalized already, steps are being taken to bring three other states into line: Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina.
Online and mobile sports wagering is set to be available in Tennessee from the fall, with November 1 set as the latest date for such a move to happen in the state.
Virginia passed legislation in April 2020 to make online gambling legal while the same measure happened in West Virginia around a year ago.
Online gambling in Alabama
Lawmakers in Alabama are still grappling with online gambling, with no progress on the issue expected to be imminent.
Online gambling in Alaska
Alaska has some of the most restrictive gambling laws in America. It seems very unlikely online gambling will be legalized in the state any time soon.
Online gambling in Arizona
Recent attempts to make online gambling legal in Arizona have all failed to make progress.
Online gambling in Arkansas
Gambling laws in Arkansas are restrictive so legalizing online betting is not expected soon.
Online gambling in California
Legalizing online gambling has been touted as a way to raise revenues in California, but there is opposition from the state’s land-based casinos and cardrooms.
Online gambling in Connecticut
Calls for online gambling in Connecticut to be legalized due to COVID-19 were rejected.
Online gambling in Florida
Efforts to legalize online gambling in Florida have so far been rejected by the state.
Online gambling in Georgia
Georgia is not taking any steps to legalize online gambling at this time.
Online gambling in Hawaii
Local legislators have stated they are against legalizing online gambling in Hawaii.
Online gambling in Idaho
Idaho is one of the few states to remain strongly opposed to legalizing online gambling.
Online gambling in Kansas
There has been no progress so far on making online gambling in Kansas legal.
Online gambling in Kentucky
Kentucky is yet to take any measures to legalize online gambling either.
Online gambling in Louisiana
Louisiana is yet to legalize online gambling despite many land-based casinos operating there. Giving the green light to sports betting will be on November’s ballot.
Online gambling in Maine
Maine legalized online gambling on horse racing this year due to COVID-19 but other measures to legalize online betting in the state have been blocked.
Online gambling in Maryland
Voters will get the chance to legalize sports betting in Maryland at the November elections.
Online gambling in Massachusetts
A bill to legalize sports betting is currently active in Massachusetts.
Online gambling in Minnesota
No progress has been made on the legalization of online gambling in Minnesota.
Online gambling in Mississippi
With the state legislature currently closed, there is no progress in Mississippi right now.
Online gambling in Missouri
Missouri is not currently taking steps to legalize online gambling.
Online gambling in Nebraska
With the legislature on an indefinite recess, no plans to legalize online gambling are imminent.
Online gambling in New Mexico
The legislative session has ended in New Mexico, so no changes will happen any time soon.
Online gambling in New York
Governor Andrew Cuomo is known to be against legalizing online gambling in the state.
Online gambling in North Dakota
State legislature will not meet again until 2021, when online gambling may be on the agenda.
Online gambling in Ohio
Ohio is progressing with the legalization of online gambling, with bills in the Senate right now.
Online gambling in Oklahoma
Oklahoma is yet to take measures to legalize online gambling in the state.
Online gambling in South Carolina
South Carolina has not moved to legalize online gambling in any way as of yet.
Online gambling in South Dakota
Sports betting will be part of the November election in South Dakota this year.
Online gambling in Texas
State legislature will not meet again in Texas until 2021, so no changes are imminent.
Online gambling in Utah
In Utah, legislators have stated they are against legalizing online gambling in the state.
Online gambling in Vermont
A sports betting bill was introduced in Vermont, but it has not been passed yet.
Online gambling in Wisconsin
Online gambling in Wisconsin is unlikely any time soon with the state against legalization.
Online gambling in Wyoming
No plans to legalize online gambling in the state of Wyoming are imminent.