When it comes to gambling, there is a wide variety of options to choose from. Some states have opted to regulate the industry, while others have prohibited it entirely. There are also some that only allow certain types of games. Some of the more popular forms of gambling include bingo, lottery tickets and casino games. These games can be found in many different venues, from local community centers to large casinos. There are even some games that can be played on the internet. Some states have even chosen to make online slots legal.
The first US state to legalize online gaming was Delaware, followed by Nevada and New Jersey in 2013. Then in 2024, Connecticut joined the ranks by allowing players to wager on casino games and poker sites from their home computers.
Pennsylvania was slow to join the party, but it’s now a fully-functioning iGaming market. More than ten online casinos are now available for residents, and most major brick-and-mortar operators have an online division as well. DraftKings Casino and FanDuel Casino are the two big online operators in the state, and both have partnerships with the state’s two tribal casinos.
Other states have jumped on the iGaming bandwagon more recently, including Michigan and Ohio. Several more are expected to launch soon, including North Carolina and Virginia. But New York has yet to get on board, despite multiple efforts in recent years. It’s possible the Empire State will legalize iGaming in 2023, but for now, New Yorkers can only play at physical casinos and a few online social casinos.
In terms of the broader picture, 48 states have some form of legal gambling, with the exceptions being Hawaii and Utah. The latter two have religious and cultural reasons for not permitting any form of gambling. But most of the states that have legalized gambling have also passed laws to help regulate it. These include regulating the number of licensed operators and ensuring responsible gaming practices are implemented.
Some states have used gambling to raise money for a variety of purposes, from education to public safety and transportation. But critics have pointed to the high incidence of compulsive gambling and related problems. They have also argued that the revenue generated by gambling is a type of regressive tax on people in the communities where gambling takes place.
In addition, some states have outright bans on gambling or restrict it to certain locations, such as Atlantic City or Deadwood. Others, like Pennsylvania and Connecticut, have strict regulations and limits on the types of games that can be offered. And other states, such as Arizona, have legalized only some types of gambling, such as sports betting or lotteries. Then there are the Indian tribes, which have a unique legal protection under federal law. But even these have faced challenges to their operations.