Can You Gamble Online Legally?

Gambling has always been a popular pastime, but thanks to technological advances and the rise of the internet, you can now play your favorite casino games from the comfort of your home. While gambling online is legal in many states, it’s important to know the rules and regulations of your area before you start playing. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re gambling online.

Minimum Age Requirements

The minimum-age requirements for different formats of online gambling vary by state. In general, real-money sports betting and online casino gambling require bettors to be 21 or older, while other formats like horse race wagering, lottery, and daily fantasy sports (DFS) have lower minimum-age requirements. However, the age restrictions can sometimes change without notice. This is especially true if a state passes legislation that lowers the minimum-age requirement for a particular format.

States Are Getting More Receptive to iGaming

The U.S. federal government’s stance on gambling is changing as politicians and the public become more receptive to regulated online gaming. Although the majority of states have approved sports betting, they’ve been slower to adopt other forms of iGaming. The situation is improving, with New Jersey and Nevada becoming the first states to offer regulated online casinos and poker, while other types of iGaming are in development.

One major hurdle that has kept iGaming from being fully accepted by all states is the federal Wire Act of 1961, which makes it illegal to transmit wagers across state lines. In 2011, the Department of Justice issued a memo that changed how this law was interpreted, giving state lawmakers more freedom to introduce and regulate online gambling. Despite this, the number of states that allow real-money online gambling is still very small, with only New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia currently having legalized online poker and casinos.

Nevertheless, there are multiple efforts to bring iGaming to more states, including the most populous ones. For example, New York has tried to legalize iGaming several times in recent years, but its attempts have failed so far. Meanwhile, North Carolina is set to launch its first online sports betting site in 2023, and the state may be ready to consider other iGaming formats in the future. Until then, New Yorkers can gamble at several in-person casinos in the Empire State.