When Will Online Gambling Expand in The United States?

  • Online gambling is only state-regulated in six states.
  • Execs at the East Coast Gaming Conference expect four more states to regulate it in the near future.
  • There are some legal complications regarding server location thanks to The Wire Act.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - Online, state-regulated casino gambling is only up-and-running in six states: Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Speakers at the East Coast Gaming Congress believe that the time has come for rapid expansion in these markets.

Jeffrey Millar, the commercial director of NA Operations for casino provider Evolution, claimed that he was “confident there's plenty of room for growth” in the space.

While online sports betting has proliferated since the overturn of PASPA by the Supreme Court, online gambling has not reached the same level of market share.

David Reubuck, head of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, noted that “the growth in this industry is still in its infancy stages in the U.S.

Online casinos offer online betting to players in the US from outside of the US, and it is possible the threat of these casinos will force the hands of some states.

In sports betting, much hay is made of these offshore competitors, with the idea being that people are going to gamble anyway, and if they do, the state should get a cut.

While there are only two states that have a complete ban on all kinds of gambling, Utah and Hawaii, many states have been slow to embrace online gambling, even if they allow casinos to operate.

Some of these states only allow the casinos due to tribal agreements, and would otherwise not allow gambling.

Others appear to be worried that the introduction of online casino gambling would cannibalize what is already a cash cow in the form of casino gambling.

Still, the practice has proven to be lucrative. Since 2019, Pennsylvania’s online casinos have achieved more than $2.4 billion in winnings, with a significant tax burden on them giving the government a good chunk of that.

This seems like a model that other states should follow, but there are a few other logistical concerns to be aware of.

For example, due to The Wire Act, states must host their own servers for online gambling, as otherwise it becomes subject to The Wire Act, which limits it.

These concerns do matter, but the execs at the East Coast Gaming Congress still expect about four states to regulate online gambling in the near future.