The US are known for their gambling-related laws and the fact that it is somewhat legal in some countries, while illegal in others. Some types of gambling are legal while others really aren’t. A person can get confused if they do not really know the information and online do not give you enough information to know exactly what you can and cannot do.
If you’re wondering about gambling in the US, take note of some of the peculiar applications of their laws and exceptions from it.
Sports Betting – Is it illegal?
Up to 2018, you would have been able to gamble and place bets only in Nevada, even though technically, Oregon, Delaware and Montana were excluded from the PASPA act of 1992. This act banned all sports betting to ensure fairness in professional and amateur leagues in the US, to prevent corruption and protect the young and already competing athletes. Some states were excluded from this act and they capitalized on that, Nevada, notably.
The rest failed to capitalize, so sports betting was technically only available in Nevada. Things changed when the internet became available to everyone and online casinos stepped up their security measures. In the US, it is legal to gamble online, federally, if you are over 18. Some states have laws against online sports betting but they are almost never enforced against the private citizen. Tourists may gamble as they please if they are over 18, of course.
In 2018, New Jersey got their exclusion from the PASPA act and legalized gambling in their state, specifically sports betting.
Other Forms of Gambling – Casino Games and Lotteries
There are plenty of lotteries in the United States yet some states do not have their own lotteries, like Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah. Some have stated that religious reasons are behind it, others like Nevada and Mississippi do not want to compete against casinos on their territories. These states do not sell lotteries.
All the other states, however, have their own lottery and take part in cross-state lotteries such as Mega Millions and the Powerball.
Casinos are technically legal only in Nevada and Louisiana. New Jersey joined them in 2018, while other states allow casinos to be opened on certain territories, most of them located near large cities like Atlantic City, for example. American Indians used their legal protection to become legitimate casino owners, by opening casinos on their own territories. Some states restrict such casinos to riverboats, huge buildings floating more or less in water.
The US gambling laws are clear in some aspects but gray in others, such as online gambling. Feel free to study them if you still feel unconvinced.