The History and Evolution of Online Casinos in the USA
The US is comprised of 50 states, each having its own approach to gambling, and indeed online gambling. Some allow gambling to take place at proper venues but not online, and others may allow the opposite. With different rules on sports betting alongside casinos, it's no wonder it has become such a complex topic.
From the beginning
Las Vegas is at the heart of American casino life, but it wasn't until the Nineties that gambling was first seen at an online casino. Unfortunately, the progress made in this arena was stopped in 2006, when an Act was passed that made it illegal for people to make deposits at these websites and to withdraw anything won. It seems a strange way to outlaw casinos, but that was the route chosen. It also meant other casinos in other countries that catered toward the American market decided not to do so any longer.
Which US states have legalized online casino gambling?
To date, seven states allow such gambling to take place. Connecticut, Delaware, and Michigan head the list, followed by Nevada (an obvious choice), New Jersey, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. A handful of other states are considering following the same path, so we'll watch for news of anything like this occurring in future.
Offshore casinos also cater to the American casino market
You may already know that many US players make bets at numerous online casinos - even those living in states that do not allow online casino play. This has occurred because there are many casinos with offshore licenses that cater to the US market.
While this does provide more scope for American players to play their favorite casino games, it does offer them less protection too. If the casino were to fold or refuse to pay a withdrawal request, the player would have little chance of comeback as they would not have protection under US law.
Washington state does have a law that, while it has yet to lead to prosecution, does ban individuals from taking part in any offshore gambling. A person could be convicted of a felony offense in this case.
The history of US online casinos is still being made
Watch for news of other US states considering adding legalized online casino gambling to their statute books in future. We'll be first with news of any states that end up doing this.