Is it Allowed to Gamble Online in Another State Other than Mine?
Online gambling in recent times has become very popular. It is now being legalized in many countries all over the world, including some states in the United States. In case you are wondering “Is it allowed to gamble online in another state other than mine”, the truth is this has no definite answer because online gambling is not legal in the whole of US, it is because the federal and state laws which regulate online gaming activities in the US are slightly complicated. In this article, we will be digging deep into the legality of online gambling in the US, State by State laws concerning gambling, casinos in the US, and so much more.
- Interstate gambling is allowed in some states
- Each state has different laws regulating it
- There is no federal legislation that forbids gambling
Legality of Online Gambling in the United State
Currently, the United State has no federal legislation that outrightly forbids gaming and gambling activities like online poker and online casino games, although the Wire Act makes online sports betting illegal. The UIGEA also makes financial dealings between betting operators and US banks illegal. If you are hearing about the Wire Act and the UIGEA for the very first time, here is an detailed overview.
The Wire Act is a federal act applicable in the United States devised back in 1961. This law is also known as the Federal Wire Act which was passed into law under the administration of the then-President of the United States John Kennedy. More specifically, the Wire Act from 1961 was passed into law by the United State Attorney General and Robert Kennedy. At the time, the main functionality of the law was to prevent organized crime as well as prohibit some types of gaming operations in the state which at the time were thriving. It is worth mentioning that the Wire Act also affects the growing sports betting industry.
Before the Wire Act was devised, sports betting activities in the states were mainly operated by criminal organizations and mobsters who were taking advantage of this industry for all sorts of fraudulent activities. The Wire Act is significant today in many different ways. First of all, the Wire Act targets organized crime and mobsters that were and are controlling some portions of the gaming business while it does not affect players in any significant way.
When discussing the significance of the Wire Act, we also have to mention that it covers various aspects of cheating in the thriving gambling industry. For instance, it prevents individuals engaged in fraudulent activities from getting information about outcomes on sports events before they wager. The Wire Act has also placed specific restrictions on the use or wired gadgets that were used for transmitting sports events outcomes.
Another important significance of the Wire Act is that it regulates all sorts of sports events, contests, and sports games so that they are fair play at all times. Moreover, the Wire Act also gave more power to the state and federal agencies and bodies which regulate the industry to arrest and prosecute individuals and organizations which break any of the fair play aspects. Thanks to the Wire Act in place, players can enjoy the fairest sports betting activities today.
When discussing federal and state laws applicable in the United States which regulated the gambling industry, we have to mention the UIGEA or the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act that was passed many years after the Wire Act, in 2006. Back in 2006, this federal legislation was finally passed into law with the main functionality of complimenting the Wire Act. The UIGEA applies only to the online betting and gambling industry. More specifically, the UIGEA deals with financial transactions between USA-based banking institutions and online betting and gambling operators.
As a result of this federal law, many online betting and gambling operators decided to shut down their USA operations and residents of the United States found it extremely difficult to fund their online casino accounts as well as to withdraw from offshore betting operators. Moreover, many sites shut down their operations in the states after deciding not to accept bets from USA residents. On the other hand, some operators we call offshore betting and gambling operators continued their operations, as usual, relying on their licenses issued by their local jurisdictions. While playing many restrictions for USA residents, the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act did make online sports betting activities in the states illegal.
However, different interpretations and variations of the Wire Act, especially the 2018 interpretation by the US Department of Justice has thrown the gambling industry into some sort of frenzy and uncertainty.
The interpretations of the Wire Act continue to mix. In the 2018 opinion made by the DOJ, all types of online gambling were pronounced as illegal and the online bookmakers and casinos were given 90 days to comply and stop providing services. The US Appeals Court said differently in their decision which stated that only the transmission of money for online betting and not for any other services was illegal in regard to the Wire Act. As to this day, the question remains open with multiple interpretations and no concise answer on what's legal and what is not.
State by State Laws Concerning Gambling in the US
The fact that no federal legislation outrightly forbids gaming and gambling activities like online poker and online casino games have made states like Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania legalize gambling. Many other states are also in the process of making online gaming and gambling legal in some ways. However, the gambling laws of each state vary.
Check below for a compendium of states in the US and how they view online gambling:
California state legislation forbids online wagering. It does not only prohibit online wagering but also subjects it to specific penalties.
The laws of Kentucky allow players to gamble but forbid gambling operators.
You are guilty of a class 4 misdemeanor if you place up to a $500 wager. But if your bet is beyond $500, you are adjudged to have promoted a second-degree gambling.
The laws of New Hampshire illegalize online gambling.
The state laws of Nevada make online casino legal. However, each casino operator must have a state license. So, you can play your online slot, poker, table games, etc. at Nevada casinos.
New Jersey may be described as the Mecca of online casino. All forms of online gambling are legal in New Jersey. The state boasts of the biggest online gambling market in the US.
You will be guilty of a misdemeanor if you engage in any form of gambling in New Mexico.
New York penalizes online gambling and online gambling operators. However, the law does not penalize players.
If you engage in any form gambling or game of chance in North Carolina, you will be guilty of class 2 misdemeanor, and your winnings may be seized.
North Dakota laws only penalize wagers that are more than $25. If you bet more than $25, you are guilty of an offense, and if you bet more than $500, you will be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
Ohio law prescribes no penalty for online gambling. The state did not outlaw even illegal betting as an income source.
Oklahoma penalizes only gambling that is not authorized by the state. Anyone convicted will be jailed for days ranging from 1 to 30 days or pay a fine in the tune of $25 to $100 or both.
If you participate in any gambling that is not authorized by the state, you will be guilty of class A misdemeanor.
Pennsylvania laws legalize online gaming and betting. However, you must only place your bets with state-authorized casinos.
Rhode Island legislation is silent on online gambling, but your participation in ‘social games' earn you a thirty-day jail sentence and a fine of $500.
Engaging in unauthorized gambling in South Dakota makes you guilty of class 2 misdemeanor.
South Carolina gambling laws are not entirely explicit and may be interpreted in any way. This is because the state law is silent on online gambling, yet you might end up paying fine, or in jail, if you participate in online gambling, even gambling operators are not spared.
Chance games are declared illegal in Texas. Placing wagers on game of chance makes you guilty of class C misdemeanor. You can, however, participate in some game of chance sanctioned by the state.
Tennessee law makes gambling legal. However, the use of electronic devices in placing your bet makes you liable for a class C misdemeanor. You will be charged for possessing an illegal betting device.
Certain gambling types are legal in Vermont, but partaking in illegal gambling subjects you to a fine ranging from $10 to $200.
Utah legislation expressly forbids gambling in any form, whether online or offline. Engaging in gambling makes you guilty of a class B misdemeanor.
Placing bets on dog and horse racing is legal in Virginia. However, electronic devices such as computers are labeled gambling devices, and using them will make you liable for a class 3 misdemeanor.
Washington DC has stringent gaming and gambling laws, with laws forbidding every type of online betting, including offshore casinos. Although efforts have been made to legalize online poker, but these efforts have not been successful.
West Virginia laws permit gambling. You can place your wagers and play your slots games at any casino in West Virginia. However, some types of gambling are illegal in the state. If you are found guilty of illegal gambling, you will be sentenced to 10 to 30 days imprisonment or payment of a fine in the tune of $5 to $300.
In Wisconsin, the authorities allow certain types of gambling, but engaging in online bet is referred to as a class B misdemeanor.
The state of Wyoming declares online gambling illegal, and anyone found guilty will be fined $750, he may also be jailed for up to 6 months.
Delaware was actually the first state in the US to make online gambling legal. Delaware is part of a shared liquidity agreement with New Jersey and Nevada. The shared liquidity agreement gives access to online poker players in these states to contest against one another.
Which state offers the best casino?
If you are interested in finding out which US states offer the best online betting and gambling services to their residents, make sure you check our Online Casino Comparison page where you will find out a detailed list of the best betting and gambling sites available across the states. You will also find out some of the best options when it comes to making the biggest profit while playing your favorite games and loads of other valubale information.