Is Online Slot Gambling Legal in Your State?
Online gambling is legal in many states, including Nevada and New Jersey, but laws vary widely on a state-by-state basis. Some states prohibit the practice, while others endorse it and regulate it. In addition, some jurisdictions have banned it altogether. Nonetheless, some players still enjoy the chance to pull the lever on a slot machine or play a game of blackjack from home. However, these games remain illegal in Texas and most other states that have strict gambling laws.
In the past, Texas was among the most averse to any form of gambling. Despite the fact that modern-day Texans are more likely to gamble than their counterparts in other states, public taboo and decades of tradition prevent them from betting real money on a virtual reel or a hand of blackjack. The state does, however, allow some forms of online gambling such as lottery games and sports betting.
The first step towards legalizing these games was taken in 2009, when lottery officials sought an opinion from the Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ’s response cleared the way for regulated online lotteries, but it also allowed the DOJ to interpret the Wire Act as only applying to wagers placed on sporting events and contests. This interpretation opened the door to the regulation of other types of online casino games and poker.
Maryland has been a leader in the effort to legalize online gambling, and it was the first state to pass legislation allowing it in 2022. Currently, the state allows residents to place bets on professional, college and Olympic sports via online sportsbooks. However, Maryland does not offer online casino games or poker. Residents who want to play these games can do so at social casinos and sweepstakes sites that use virtual coins or entries to offer real prizes.
Oregon is another state that does not explicitly prohibit online gambling, but it maintains a ban on all forms of real-money betting. The only exceptions are daily fantasy sports and pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing, which are endorsed by the state. However, the state does have a social casino that operates on a different model and offers its residents a chance to win cash and prizes for playing games such as Chumba.
New Hampshire is another state that has made substantial progress in the race to legalize online gambling. In 2019, the state passed legislation allowing residents to engage in sports betting and online lottery games. Online poker is available at a limited number of regulated sites, but other casino-style games such as slots and table games are not yet legal.
Unlike the other states on this list, Florida has not passed legislation to legalize online gambling. Nevertheless, there are significant efforts to bring these games to the state, and a bill is expected to be introduced soon. Assuming the bill passes, Florida residents should be able to access a range of legal gaming options in 2024. This includes retail and online casinos, as well as sports betting sites that feature a wide variety of popular games.