The answer to is online slot gambling legal is not as clear cut as some would like. It is ultimately up to each state to decide whether to regulate online casino games. In states where gambling is regulated, players are offered many benefits including responsible gambling measures, such as time outs and self-exclusion periods. In addition, online casinos offer tax revenue that helps local communities and problem gambling non-profits. Furthermore, regulated sites are safe to play and are subject to strict age restrictions. Despite this, some states still prohibit online casino gambling altogether, leaving only sports betting as an option.
The first state to allow online casino games was New Jersey. The Garden State passed legislation to permit iGaming in February 2013, and the first online casinos went live shortly after that. In order to run a legitimate online casino, a license is required from the state gaming commission. The commission reviews applications and makes recommendations to the governor. Then, the governor must approve the licenses before the gambling site can accept real money bets.
Connecticut also recently made iGaming legal, though its offerings are much more limited than those in New Jersey. Only two operators are currently allowed to operate in the state, DraftKings and FanDuel, and they have partnerships with the state’s two tribal casinos. This limits the number of legitimate online casinos in Connecticut for the foreseeable future.
Massachusetts also allows online casino games, but they are limited to sweepstakes and social (free-play) gaming. The state’s gambling commission is working to bring in more options, but they may not be available for another year or so.
New York’s iGaming market could be next to launch. In Spring of 2022, the state budget included three iGaming licenses that could be awarded to major operators, such as Caesars, Hard Rock, Las Vegas Sands, Bally’s, Wynn, and MGM Empire City. However, the licensing process will be long and complicated, especially since iGaming has yet to be approved for sports betting.
The state’s iGaming laws are complicated, but the US Supreme Court ruling that PASPA is unconstitutional could help things move along. The state’s existing iGaming regulations require that sports bettors use land-based establishments, but the ruling could change that. In the meantime, lawmakers are discussing various bills to expand online casino gaming in the state.
Arkansas was the second state to legalize online sports betting, and its framework launched in November of 2020. Currently, the only way to place wagers in Tennessee is via mobile apps from BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel. The possibility of a broader offering is possible, but it will require a constitutional amendment or a deal with the state’s native tribes.