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US Continues to Make Progress with Online Gambling Legislation


Online gambling in the United States has been a hot issue for many years now. The country has shown a progressive but slow approach to the legalization of online betting with casinos and sportsbooks. The prospects for 2019 look promising with many states lining up to embrace online betting for real money. 

How Online Gambling Has Evolved in the US 

April 15, 2011 is a day that will forever be remembered as Black Friday for online gambling in the United States. On that day the federal government shut down Absolute Poker and Full Tilt Poker and seized the accounts of US players. It was a bleak moment, but in retrospect the event opened the door to online gambling legalization. 

It didn't take long for Nevada and New Jersey to move forward with bills that would permit residents of those states to bet online. Today, online poker and online casinos are thriving in both states. The revenues from gaming licenses and taxes on casino profits are helping Nevada and New Jersey in many ways. 

Other states like Pennsylvania recognized the potential of online gaming revenues and chose to follow suit. Online gambling has been legalized in Pennsylvania as well as Delaware, and at least five other states have chosen to allow online lottery play. 

In November of 2018 Louisiana became the latest state to approve online wagering for daily sports fantasy platforms, bringing the total number of states participating in this form of online gambling to 19. 

What is Next for US Online Gambling? 

As legislators prepare to return to work in January for new lawmaking sessions, online gambling will be at the forefront of many debates. The most popular measures at the moment seem to revolve around online sports betting, but many rightly point out that sportsbooks and online casinos go hand-in-hand. There is no logical reason to legalize one without legalizing the other. 

The momentum to legalize sports betting came as a result of a Supreme Court decision in 2018 that overturned a law that would prohibit states from making their own decisions on the legality of online sportsbooks. 

Massachusetts and Rhode Island are just two states that intend to consider online sports betting bills in 2019. Many other states have chosen to wait and see, but many experts are predicting that more than half the states in the US will make online gambling legal within the next five years.

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