Online gambling is in a confusing place in the US at the moment. Some States allow it, others don't. Even if it is legal in some parts of the country, Federal law means that no one outside those States where it is allowed can play games hosted within them. It's even confusing to the lawmakers at times.
That said, there have been some developments that suggest the blanket ban on online gaming might be coming to an end. Much of this could be down to Pennsylvania, which has recently become the fourth State to allow online gambling. Slowly but surely, the number of places online gambling is legal is growing!
There are certainly lots of elements at work that indicate legal online gambling could be in effect in the US as soon as next year. Firstly, the fact that States where online gambling is legal can make a huge amount of money (arguably the most important factor in the debate) is plain for all to see.
Nevada's sportsbook saw a massive growth in revenue during the Mayweather/MacGregor fight, for example. While these big events aren't generally not the norm – the amount of hype alone guaranteed astronomical interest and betting – not so many huge draws of this scale are needed for a State to make millions.
While consumer protections are often used as the reasoning behind why online gambling should be kept illegal, there's a strong case to suggest that, in reality, a State's preference for online gambling is simply down to how big or small the revenue.
Pennsylvania is a good example again here: the legalisation of online gambling helped the State to handily fill a gap in its budget. Another element to consider is public opinion. A look at the New Jersey sports betting ban shows that around 55% of Americans are in favour of sports betting legalisation.
Despite the fact that the major professional leagues and even the President himself (after finally deciding which side he was on) stepped in to attempt to stop the case being heard by the Supreme Court, there's still optimism that the final ruling will give the State of New Jersey the ability to offer regulated legal sports betting.
As things continue to develop, there are around a dozen states that seem likely to legalise online gambling as early as next year. Here are the top three that have the highest chance of legalising online gaming in 2018:
Whether or not all the States on the list manage to get the go ahead for online gaming, gambling in the US is certainly on course for a shake up one way or another. It hasn't gone unnoticed that Federal law isn't applicable to Indian reservations, which means hosting online gaming servers on that land would allow gamers to play from anywhere in the US without any legal implications.
2018 is set to be an interesting time for online gambling in the USA. Keep checking back into Gambling.com News for all the latest developments not only concerning online gambling in the USA but all online gambling the world over!