With sweeping changes in online gambling laws recently, the nation has experienced unprecedented changes, whether your preference is sports betting, table games, or slot machines.
Sports Betting Law Changes
Individual state regulations and laws are complex. Varying from one state to the next, some gambling operators can legally allow online betting, while others oppose it. Ever-changing laws make it hard for bookmakers and players to wager on sports.
Sports and online gambling have expanded in the past few years, with most states passing laws for both. Despite this, some states are reluctant to legalize gambling and sports betting or have encountered difficulties with lawmakers and regulators.
Legal Sports Betting and Online Gambling
States with legal sports betting and online gambling include Nevada, which legalized online bets in 2013. Sports betting and poker are legal online if players are physically within the state.
In Pennsylvania, online gambling (poker, slots) and sports betting are legal as of 2017. Virginia legalized online sports gambling in 2020 for players physically within the state’s borders.
Pending Legalization of Online Gambling and Sports Betting
States that will soon allow online gambling and sports betting include Mississippi. Players can wager on sports online if they are on-site at a licensed Mississippi casino. In New York, casino licenses for online gambling ceased in 2021. However, sports betting is legal (2021).
In North Carolina, betting on horses and dog races is still illegal. And yet, there are discussions for regulation reforms, and players can bet on some sports in tribal casino locations.
For years, discussions have been underway in California to legalize gambling online. With multiple bills introduced last year to allow sports betting and poker online, these bills have yet to pass. Florida let the Seminole Tribe allow online sports betting and gambling back in 2021, but they rejected the bill.
Online Gambling and Sports Betting Pros and Cons
Because regulations can suddenly change, players should check with their state for applicable laws. Gambling online is convenient and lets players enjoy their favorite slot and table games and sports betting from the comfort of home.
Online platforms also provide top-rated games and welcome offers worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. Players can even use the latest payment methods like cryptocurrencies, digital wallets, and traditional payment methods (checks, wires, credit cards).
Accessible 24/7, online gaming is helpful for seniors, those with mobility issues, and those that do not live near physical casinos.
Cracking Down On Underage Betting
Nationally, 33 states allow legal sports betting, which accounts for over half of Americans. It is estimated that since the Supreme Court’s ruling, Americans have legally bet more than $220 billion on sports since 2018. However, online sports betting and gambling can become addictive, and with access to games remotely, underage gambling is difficult to monitor and regulate.
Take Ohio, for instance.
Since January, the casino control commission imposed over $800,000 in sports betting fines against top betting platforms for illegally claiming gamblers could make free bets. With 2,582 ads mailed to residents under 21, promotions encouraged them to install the mobile app and access $200 in free online bets.
In New York, online sports bets brought in $16.5 billion and $909 million in new tax and licensing revenue in its first year. However, they do not want to promote problem gambling or underage gambling. However, new rules prohibit college campus ads for those under 21.
Maine only lets sports betting ads run during live broadcasts and banned cartoon characters, entertainers, and celebrities in the ads. Massachusetts allows online sports betting but has banned some marketing aimed at minors to block paid commissions when new members sign up.
Online sites can limit player access to reduce excessive gambling. Players that sign up also need to verify their age which can further prevent underage betting.
Penn Entertainment, which operates under Barstool, was fined in February. After hosting a college football show at the University of Toledo, it promoted mobile sports betting despite the underage ban.
Changes to Expect with Online Gambling and Sports Betting
While about 85% of Americans will gamble at least once in their lifetime, online gambling has shifted from last year, and sportsbooks and online casinos are seeing record profits.
With the new gambling laws allowing for more online games in some states, players are finding lucrative new member offers that cash match their deposits, which might result in a decline in demand at brick-and-mortar casinos.
Better Access to Online Games
Online gambling might not impact annual trips, casino conferences, and bridal party trips to Las Vegas. However, gaming platforms provide convenient 24/7 access to table games, progressive slot machines, and sports betting. Hence, players do not have to worry about adverse weather conditions, gas prices, and other factors.
Additionally, with hundreds of games online, players do not have to wait for machines, and online games are safer as casino operators use bank-grade SSL encryption.
Expansive Games and Better Features
With more casinos competing online, operators providing the latest gaming software and immersive experiences are attracting more online players.
Slot developers are creating more bonus games, higher RTPs, and features like multipliers, wilds, and free spins to entice gameplay. Hence, gamblers will frequent sites with multiple software providers and the latest gaming titles (Wonder Woman, Game of Thrones, Buffalo Wild).
Online Only Cash Sign-Up Offers
As more bettors confidently sign up with real money gambling sites, they receive generous monetary rewards.
Online casinos like Las Atlantis offer a lucrative $14,000 match offer for new members. Other sites provide 500% cash welcome offers and 150 free spins. Hence, online players can receive perks that are not available in person.
Virtual Reality, Sports Betting, and Vegas-Style Games
With virtual casinos and eSports becoming increasingly popular online, expect a shift to VR headsets. For now, VR headsets cost about $500 to $800, but in the future may drop as more gamblers enjoy immersive Vegas-style gaming environments. eSports is already immensely popular overseas. Hence, these untapped industries hold so much potential.
From watching the Super Bowl with an Oculus Rift headset to meeting friends online in a virtual casino and sharing free spin offers, gambling operators will see radical changes in the future.
Given that there are 170 million VR headset users and a $13 billion market, this could encourage players to gamble from home.
Cryptocurrencies and Digital Wallets
Estimates suggest that over 74 million players in the US gamble with cryptocurrencies, and more online players will use casino, sportsbook, and cryptocurrency new member offers.
Cryptos provide the highest level of security, do not require a third-party bank, and players can gamble anonymously without giving their banking information. Casinos will still employ Know Your Customer (KYC) rules. However, players that use Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, or other cryptos, have a fee-free way to play.
The downsides include a learning curve for older players unfamiliar with digital currencies.
Banks charge for wires and credit cards, while checks and money orders take days to clear. Cryptocurrencies will instantly load into online casino accounts, and players can make fast withdrawals.
Online Poker Room Changes
A change underway is games like Texas Hold ‘em and other poker games are losing audiences in strictly online poker rooms.
Online poker rooms are declining in demand as players visit casino websites that offer more Vegas-style gaming selections (table games, slots, sports betting). Therefore, poker rooms may soon be a thing of the past.
A Surge in Online Dealer Games
More players are visiting their favorite gambling websites to access live dealer games. Because it segues into social gaming, players can invite friends to play in the latest tournament or play online globally. Expect to see more land-based operators offer live dealer casinos.
What states can you legally bet on games and sports in?
Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
What is the biggest cash sign-up offer at an online casino?
Las Atlantis has a cash match offer (up to $14,000) for new members.
When did the Supreme Court overturn the sports betting ban?
The 2018 ruling allowed states to regulate online games and sports betting.
Despite the 2018 Supreme Court ruling on the sports betting ban, the nation remains deeply divided over online sports betting and gambling. It may take time before players have nationwide access.
About 80% of states have legal betting and allow online sports wagers, which opens the door for advanced gaming access, but some states are cracking down on ads that influence underage gambling.
With sportsbook apps and online betting tools, novice gamblers and high rollers can wager on the NFL, Super Bowl, and other big-name events. However, a regulated market can increase tax revenue for states that do not offer sports betting and casino games online, and the laws will cut down on illegal betting, which occurs in every state.
Players that gamble online in their states can look forward to perks like VR headsets, betting with cryptocurrencies, and those juicy new member offers (land-based casinos, take note!).