Whilst casino gaming is a significant part of the American culture, US gambling laws are ever-changing. Prior to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2016, the US was essentially a grey market. The rules have changed since then, and the gambling industry in the US has dramatically changed as well.
State gambling laws define what’s legal and illegal on the internet. Some states say certain activities like animal fights are illegal, while others consider amateur gambling illegal. It’s important to understand the status of legal California casinos to game safely without worries.
US Gaming Industry’s Expanding Regulations
Part of the reason why the industry is changing so quickly in the US is that legal online gaming is a new concept. New Jersey was the first to launch a fully-featured online gaming market with Nevada and Delaware following suit.
The gaming industry started to gain momentum in other states after the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Betting Act (PASPA) in 2018. The list now includes Pennsylvania, Michigan and West Virginia. However, sports betting still remains illegal in California.
Technically, the legal status of California casinos could change in 2024 if the California legislature or the people of California agree to vote on it. While sports betting remains illegal in the state, some casinos allow free-to-play sports wagering where gamers can redeem credits to use in real casinos.
Recent Updates In US Gambling Regulations
2023 seems to be following a trend of expansion within the US gambling industry as about 35 mass sportsbooks are likely to go live this year. Several states have new initiatives, regulations, and strategies to launch sports betting operations.
These states include:
Following an announcement by state regulators, preregistration for approved wagering apps will open on August 28, 2023. Some of the approved operators include Bet365, Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel. The state will open retail sports wagering on Sept. 7, 2023, and online gaming on Sept. 28, 2023.
Horse racing tracks for instance will pay about £400,000 for their licenses, while online operators pay £40,000. The annual renewal fees are £40,000 for tracks and £7,000 for online operators. The new laws took effect on June 28, 2023, and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is expected to create administrative regulations before the NFL season.
Regulated sports wagering is also closer to becoming a reality in North Carolina. The state will begin on a journey towards legal wagering with the help of Sterl Carpenter, a regulator with over 8 years of experience. His job is to oversee the regulations and ensure they comply with HB 347, which Governor Roy signed into law on June 14.
The bill could allow up to 12 mobile sportsbook apps to launch in 2024. It charges the North Carolina State Lottery Commission with regulating sports wagering, issuing licenses, and collecting applicable fees. Sports wagering operators can run programs on professional, electronic, college, and amateur sports.
Attempts to legalize sports wagering failed in Minnesota in May 2023. Although the House Bill 2000 aimed to grant tribes and major sports teams exclusive rights, the House could not reach an agreement with horse racing tracks.
An online meeting scheduled for June 9, 2023, ran with the agenda to license several associations and approve new games. The meeting is online for anyone to access, and you can view the lists of actions taken and games approved for play.
At the beginning of 2023, New York began accepting applicants to build three fully functional casinos in the city. Each applicant would pay about £800,000 with extra licensing and operational fees.
Among the applicants were Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, who wanted to build a Times Square casino project. Another applicant was WynnBet, who aimed to launch a New York branch. However, the company closed its New Jersey and West Virginia offerings thus reducing its likelihood of a New York launch.
Californians had two ballots to legalize sports betting in 2022, which failed. A 2023 discussion is ongoing, but it’s unlikely to bear fruit. On June 9, 2023, Fliff, a company that advertises itself as a free-to-play sports pick game, suffered a heavy lawsuit from plaintiffs who claimed the company was violating several regulations.
On June 27, 2023, a new casino called the 29 Psalms Band of Mission launched a free platform for sports wagering. Players don’t earn money but credits they can redeem in tribes’ casinos. The tribes were pushing for a new bill to force courts to decide on the legality of games.
US gambling laws are ever-changing. Some states like New Jersey began the journey to regulating casinos early. With the repeal of the PASPA in 2018, more states started to join the match. Now most states approve casino gaming within their borders.
Although it’s been a rough journey with vicious legal battles, many states are pulling through. This article examines the top five states that everyone has their eyes on.