Are US Citizen free to gamble?
Article by Brian Grady
June 25, 2013
Updated August, 2014
I was part of a spirited discussion group the other day when the topic of whether the US was truly the land of the “Free”. Specifically the topic centered on was whether an adult US Citizen was allowed to play casino games online and wager real cash just like in a Vegas Casino. One of the interesting points to come out of this discussion was the total difference of opinion these so called educated participants believed about on line gaming.
Beliefs ran from all gambling is illegal on the Internet to others saying it is wide open and legal. While there were those that said buying lottery tickets online was OK but it is not OK to play the internet slot machines. I have research online gaming within the United States and here is what I have found.
Gambling within the United States is a huge industry with legal forms of gambling (Lotteries, Casinos, Riverboats or Indian Reservations) available in 48 of the 50 States. Only the states of Hawaii and Utah have no forms of legal gambling. While a large portion of the United States population may believe that there is a Federal law against a US Citizen gambling on the Internet that is in fact a misnomer. So why is there so much confusion and disagreement as to whether we are free to gamble online?
It does not take much searching to find online casino games or online casinos that offer real online casino gambling. A good example for this article is Casinogames.com (http://www.casinogames.com). As its’ name implies this is a site about casino games and more specifically where to play casino games online for fun or for real cash. Contained within the site are reviews of online casinos some of which take US Players and others that do not. You can also see reviews on an astonishing amount of online slot games with well known themes such as Monopoly and even The Hulk. This site is just one of thousands that promote online gaming all with promotions of free bonuses very similar to promotions from land based casinos in Las Vegas.
Established online casinos are sophisticated entertainment networks several of which are publicly traded companies located outside the United States. With the introduction of online poker the number and size of these gaming centers has exploded. So what’s the answer, are you as an adult US citizen free to use your own money to gamble online? The short answer is it depends on the state you are in.
For the most part the United States leaves the legality of gambling and gambling laws as an issue for each State to decide. One clear point is that there is no Federal Law that states that it is illegal for a United States Citizen to gamble (play casino games) online or on the Internet. There are a number of States, for example Utah, that has specific laws banning Internet gaming or some online gaming activities.
At this time there are multiple states with a host of Internet gaming laws pending or being debated upon. One thing is for sure that several new laws will come to pass affecting the legality of US Citizens being able to play casino games online. Most recently the states of New Jersey and Delaware have passed online gaming laws allowing intrastate (gaming within the state) internet casino play. It is only a matter of time for additional states to follow. These states are also having discussions to allow interstate online gaming arrangements as well
In conclusion some states do have laws restricting online betting but these states are in the minority. I believe it is safe to say an adult US citizen is safe playing online or internet slot games unless they are in a state that specifically makes it illegal to do so. The future towards legal online gambling in the US is gaining momentum with states such as New Jersey and Delaware legalizing and implementing online gaming. Just use common sense, don’t play online casino games in an Internet Casino in Utah and shout “Jackpot”.
Good luck & Have fun,
The Casino Games Team
About Brian Grady
Brian has been an Internet Consultant and Author specializing in the online gaming marketplace since October, 1987. He is involved in website development, design, marketing and all aspects of running an online gaming website. Brian is a regular contributor of online game reviews and writes meaningful articles about the online gaming world for high profiles sites such as http://www.CasinoGames.com