Rewind the clock just 10 years when gambling was a salacious activity confined to a few scant locations in the U.S. by law. Now, fast forward to present day and online gambling is steamrolling forward at a pace, not unlike the legalization of gambling in Nevada in the middle of the 20th century.
Online mobile casino game apps and other platforms are popping up faster than regulations can keep up. This makes sense considering the wins the gambling industry has racked up in recent years. The general consensus seems to lean toward a laxer regulatory approach to all forms of gambling. Just last year, the Supreme Court even threw out a federal law that all but banned sports gambling. The federal government would rather defer to the judgment of the state as to whether or not they want to legalize various forms of gambling.
Many states have chosen to embrace the new freedom of choice. It’s not hard to see why when you consider the fact that gambling is a multi-billion dollar a year industry that creates a huge revenue stream for the state through taxes. In 2016, casinos contributed a reported $8.85 billion in taxes on both local and state levels.
When it comes to online gambling there are still a number of regulations that require new or overturned laws to lift them. Online casinos are still regulated by the state in which they are played. For example, if you’re in New Jersey you have several options to gamble, including online sports betting and online poker. Home of Atlantic City, the state features the largest market for online gambling.
Now, if you’re in Virginia it’s a different story altogether. There are currently no options for online gambling in “Old Dominion.” There are ongoing efforts to change that but no sign of any virtual poker rooms popping up anytime soon. While the two states are only a couple of hundred miles away from each other, their laws couldn’t be any more different.
Your best bet if you’re located in Virginia is to pop over to West Virginia where online sports betting has been legal since 2018 with a number of apps that support it. If you’re in need of a little more action you can head up to Pennsylvania where they’ve just legalized online casinos and sports betting. Lucky for you, you don’t have to be a resident of those states to take advantage of these online options, you only need to be within the state’s borders when you place your bet.
With the number of states that currently allow online gambling and those in the process of passing legislation, the future of the industry is looking bright. Good luck and gamble responsibly!