Across the US, gambling laws vary from state to state. Some states have banned gambling completely, while others permit gambling only in casinos and other places licensed by the state. Some states even have limits on the type of betting allowed. Some states allow only sports betting, while other states allow gamblers to wager on anything. There are also a few states that restrict the kinds of online gambling that can take place.
In the US, gambling has been regulated by state and federal law. Federal legislation generally sets the tone for gambling. While federal laws are not as specific as some other countries, they do limit the types of gambling that can be conducted. Some of the restrictions include:
The Wire Act of 1961 prohibits gambling across state lines. It is based on the theory that the US federal government has the power to regulate gambling, as the commerce clause of the US Constitution gives it that power. Several states have adopted exemptions for certain forms of betting, such as horse racing. However, most states have only allowed betting at licensed casinos. Other states, including Hawaii, have banned gambling entirely.
The United States has also used its Commerce Clause powers to regulate Indian reservations. However, the dormant Commerce Clause doctrine has prevented states from enforcing their gambling laws within their borders. In the past few years, the amount of gambling on Native American land has increased dramatically. This has prompted Congress to regulate the extent of gambling in these territories.
There is also a growing number of states that have legalized sports betting, a form of gambling that has been illegal in the US since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. In January of 2019, the US Supreme Court overturned the ban on sports betting in the United States. In the future, sports betting will be legal in New York.
In the past few years, many lawmakers have introduced bills to the US Congress that would regulate online gambling. One of these bills, HR 2046, was introduced by Representative Barney Frank in 2007. The bill, if passed, would require licensing of internet gambling facilities by the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. Another bill, introduced by Senators Bob Kyl and Jon Kyl, would have restricted the activities of Internet gambling companies.
The Department of Justice opined that the Wire Act only applied to other forms of online gaming, but the Department of Justice recently announced that the Wire Act applies to all forms of Internet gambling. The Department of Justice did not provide a clear explanation for why it decided to apply the Wire Act to all forms of Internet gambling. Some critics of the move argue that the move has no legal basis and that the federal government should not interfere in state-level online gambling.
There are some other states that ban gambling entirely, such as Wisconsin. Some of the states that have a limited offer of online gambling are Arizona, Florida, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, and Utah. Some provinces in Canada also allow online gambling.