Several other states have passed legislation to legalize online sports betting, with the actual launch of those platforms yet to come. Online casino ratings this is the official ranking of real casinos, with excellent technical support and big jackpots.
The U.S. sports betting industry appears to be in the beginning stages of a boom period, and those states offering legal mobile betting are poised to be at the forefront.
New Jersey, for example, has seen 80 percent of its sports betting handle produced from online and mobile bettors since launching its mobile platforms in August 2018. New Jersey’s overall sports betting revenue is second only to Nevada, and the impact of mobile betting on those totals could be an indicator of things to come in other states.
Legal sports betting (both retail and mobile) produced nearly $1.4 billion in revenue in the U.S. from June 2018 through March 2020, and those numbers should continue to rise.
US ONLINE CASINO
In the three states that do offer legal online casino games, all online and mobile platforms are tied to land-based properties in some fashion. In Delaware, the state’s three land-based casinos offer online gambling through a unified platform, operated by 888 Holdings.
New Jersey hosts more than 20 online casinos, all tied to retail properties in Atlantic City. Pennsylvania, the newest player in the online casino game, currently has four casinos offering real-money games, and more to come.
Online casino revenue hasn’t made the same impact as sports betting, but both New Jersey and Delaware saw an upswing in revenue growth for 2019.
US ONLINE POKER
The same four states (Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania) that allow for online gambling aside from sports betting also offer legal online poker.
WSOP.com is the biggest online poker site in the U.S. and is the only legal real money online poker network allowing for players from multiple states to play against each other. WSOP Nevada, WSOP New Jersey, 888 Poker NJ, and the 888 Poker network of sites in Delaware all have access to a shared online poker client, which allows for players within those states to play against a merged player pool.
While WSOP.com is the only option for online poker in Nevada, New Jersey has other options in addition to the WSOP/888 network. Those platforms include PokerStars NJ and a partypoker NJ network.
Pennsylvania is expected to see several of its approved online gambling operators roll out online poker clients within the next year. The first of these platforms, PokerStars PA, launched in November 2019. For both PokerStars and partypoker, their U.S. poker clients only allow access to players from within the states in which they’re based and are not linked to either company’s international poker sites.
The prospects of future shared liquidity/interstate poker networks is uncertain. In January 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a reversal of opinion on its 2011 interpretation of the 1961 Wire Act. The 2011 ruling effectively legalized gambling transactions conducted across state lines, as long as those transactions weren’t related to sports wagering. The 2019 reversal of that ruling is now attempting to restore the original language of the act.
If enforced, all state-regulated online poker sites would only be able to offer access to players located within the borders of their respective states.
ONLINE SWEEPSTAKES CASINOS, SPORTSBOOK & POKER SITES FOR CASH PRIZES
For players who don’t reside in states with legal, regulated gambling options, online sweepstakes sites offer casino games, sports, and poker to all U.S. states, apart from some restrictive regulations in Washington state.
All of the sites use the same model, which allows players to purchase “Gold Coins” for use in play-money games. Gold Coin purchases also come with a corresponding amount of “Sweeps Coins,” which can be used to play in sweepstakes games.
These sweepstakes games include the full gamut of casino games at Chumba Casino, and on Global Poker players have access to a variety of stakes of poker cash games and tournaments. The Sweeps Coins used in these games are redeemable for cash prizes.
With the sweepstakes model in place, the games on Chumba Casino and Global Poker amount to mini-sweepstakes games. Sweeps Coins can’t be purchased directly, but come as a gift whenever Gold Coins are purchased.
Both Chumba and Global are popular options for casino gaming and poker throughout the U.S. Other platforms using the Sweepstakes model include Luckyland Slots, B-Spot, and FendOff Sports.
DAILY FANTASY SPORTS
The two biggest players in DFS, FanDuel, and DraftKings, operate in those states where DFS has been legalized, along with several others. FanDuel and DraftKings operate in about 80 percent of U.S. states, even with some of those states having an unclear position about the legality of DFS.
DFS are illegal to play in Arizona, Washington, and Montana. Most DFS platforms also steer clear of operating in the states of Alabama, Idaho, Hawaii, and Nevada, due to attorney general interpretations of law in those states.
Legislation surrounding DFS in the U.S. is ever-evolving. While sports betting revenues have surged in the states in the past two years, DFS revenue growth has leveled off a bit since the mid-2010s. The DFS market is still steadily growing, however, with U.S. DFS revenue accounting for nearly 60 percent of the global market.
ONLINE HORSE RACE BETTING
Online/mobile betting on horse racing has been around in the U.S. for far longer than any other form of online gambling. In the form of off-track betting (OTB) venues, horse race bettors have enjoyed the luxury of placing bets away from the actual site of a race since the 1970s.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) contains a provision that allows states to set their own laws as it relates to online horse race wagering.
The UIGEA, passed in 2006, was designed to outlaw payment processing from illegal internet gambling activities, which includes any kind of gambling-related transactions across state lines. It excludes interstate horse race wagering, which was established as legal under the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978.
With that UIEGA exemption in place, 30 states currently offer legal online horse race betting. While OTB venues are still alive and well, online/mobile apps for horse race betting have grown in popularity.
Online horse race betting platforms like TVG, BetAmerica, TwinSpires, DRF Bets, and NYRA Bets are just a few of the options out there. These five platforms are the biggest names in the industry and allow for betting on events from hundreds of tracks across the country.
Horse race betting has a loyal following in the U.S., with the advent of mobile wagering options making it easier than ever to place bets and follow the sport on streaming services.
The U.S. Department of Justice in 2011 released an opinion on the Federal Wire Act, which stated that interstate gambling transactions were only illegal if they were related to sports betting. This opinion opened the door for individual states to start offering online entries into national lotteries like Powerball and Mega Millions.
As of early 2021, seven states offer online lottery, which includes Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Georgia.
An eighth state, Minnesota, launched online lottery games without legislative approval in 2014. A 2015 vote from state lawmakers rendered the games illegal, and they’re no longer available as a result.
Regulations for the seven states that still offer online lotteries vary from state to state. New Hampshire, Michigan, Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey, and Illinois all offer online ticket sales to Powerball and Mega Millions, in addition to each state’s own instant-win and lottery drawing games.
Pennsylvania participates in both the Powerball and Mega Millions national lotteries but currently doesn’t offer online options to purchase tickets. Pennsylvania’s online lottery offerings include instant-win games, Keno, and virtual sports.
The popularity of online lottery platforms varies across the states. Both online and in-person lottery sales have surged in Michigan and Georgia over the past decade, and the future of online lotteries looks bright for at least those two states.
At least three other states (Hawaii, Massachusetts, Connecticut) have introduced legislation to potentially allow online lottery sales in the future. Check out our definitive rankings of the top 10 casino.