There have long been issues surrounding online sportsbooks and casinos in the United States. Due to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) that was established in 1992, the act of gambling on sports was prohibited. The Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act of 2006 made it illegal for companies to accept bets online, including casino games. So, what has changed and what can we expect from online casinos and betting in the future?
The issue with banning legal online casinos in the United States led many people to start using offshore casinos. These are casinos based outside the US but are accessible to people in the country using the internet. There are several problems when it comes to using offshore online casinos. Firstly, there are no regulations or licensing in place to ensure the online casinos are fair. If you were to use an offshore casino and the casino blocked your account and winnings, it is highly unlikely you will ever see that money again. In addition, all the money people are gambling and losing when playing games at offshore online casinos is going out of the United States. Instead of being used by the US government to improve the country, the money bet at offshore gambling websites leaves the US and, in most cases, will never filter back into the economy. Online gambling in this unregulated manner is one of the main reasons why the US government took steps to allow each state the opportunity to legalize online gambling should they wish to do so.
Thanks to the abolishment of PASPA in 2018, every state in the US can legalize sports betting, both online and in brick-and-mortar establishments. Indiana was one of the first states to legalize sports betting and have done an excellent job. New regulations in the state mean every land-based casino in Indiana can offer an online sportsbook. Most casinos in the Hoosier State have chosen to introduce online sportsbooks, meaning there is a wide range of options for sports betting enthusiasts in Indiana. In terms of success, Indiana has risen to the top for the way they have implemented online sportsbooks and other states could learn from the way Indiana have adapted to online sports betting.
There are many other states where online sports betting is legal, including New Jersey, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, and Nevada. New Jersey was at the forefront of the battle with the US Supreme Court to remove PAPSA. The Garden State worked hard to open the door for sports betting outside Nevada and is one of the leading states when it comes to online sportsbooks. We are sure to see more states legalizing online sports betting soon, with Kansas, Maine, Maryland, and Ohio just some of the states who are in the process of welcoming online sportsbooks.
While online sports betting is moving swiftly across the US, the same cannot be said for online casinos. As things stand at the time of writing, only 6 states offer legal online casinos, with those residing in Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia being the lucky ones. It may seem strange that so many states offer legal online sports betting but not online casinos. For example, according to Gamble Indiana, DraftKings casino is not legal in the state but it is possible to use DraftKings to bet on sport. The DraftKings Sportsbook is in a partnership with Ameristar Casino East Chicago and regulated by the Indiana Gaming Commission, yet the casino section of their website is unavailable.
It is not clear when Indiana will soften its stance on online casino gaming. There has been talk Illinois and Indiana might legalize online casinos in 2023 and if this were to happen, it could open the door for online casinos in many states across the country.