When the Internet first exploded in popularity in the 1990s, many people believed that online gambling represented an end-run around government prohibition. After all, in order to gamble online, players only needed to find a website that offered the games they were interested in and then place their wagers using credit cards. Obviously, this was a massive challenge to American policy makers. As a result, the Department of Justice and Congress began to explore whether or not to regulate online gambling.
In the early 2000s, Bob Goodlatte and Jon Kyl introduced legislation in the House to curb online gambling activities except for those involving horse and dog races and state lotteries. However, these bills did not pass. In the meantime, state legislators have been passing laws that legalize and regulate a variety of different forms of online gambling.
While some states only offer sports betting or online poker, others have much broader offerings that include casino games and daily fantasy sports. Several of these states have also started to offer legal lottery games online.
But even if a state has passed laws that allow for various types of online gambling, it is important to note that not all sites are created equal. In fact, it is important for consumers to research the reputation and track record of a site before depositing any money. In addition, consumers should look for a license from the state in which they live to ensure that the site is operating legally.
Currently, twenty-eight states have made it legal to gamble online in some form. The two holdouts are Utah and Hawaii, which both have deeply religious communities that refuse to allow for any form of gambling, including online sports betting and casino games.
When it comes to other forms of online gambling, some states have more progressive policies than others. For example, Michigan recently became the fifth US state to legalize online poker. In addition, the Great Lakes State now offers retail sports betting and is poised to launch a Las Vegas-style online casino. Meanwhile, Delaware was one of the first to make it legal to gamble online and is partnered with 888 for its gambling apps.
In addition to the legalities of online gambling, it is important to understand that age restrictions apply. In most cases, players must be at least 21 years old to gamble. Those younger than that may find themselves in trouble with the law and could face a fine or jail time if caught. It is important to check with a state’s gambling commission to ensure that they have up-to-date information on their age restrictions. While it may seem like a hassle to constantly check with a state’s gaming commission, it is worth the effort so that you can gamble safely and responsibly. This is the best way to protect yourself from any unforeseen problems that may arise while gambling online.