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Gambling Laws USA

Laws surrounding gambling Gambling laws have made talking about the popular industry less taboo and awkward. There was a time where the ever-growing market was considered immoral. The inclusion of gambling laws in US states has definitely turned gambling conversations into a social phenomenon. Players can now gamble legally, learn what to do when they experience gambling problems and potentially win big

Before placing your bet, it is crucial to know if it is legal to gamble in the state that you are living in. There is no federal law that prohibits gambling in the USA. The different states have to take ownership of where the state stands in terms of gambling; this includes implementing gambling laws.

The different US States have different gambling laws for all the variations of gambling. Some states have banned the lottery while others have banned online poker. Gambling laws are not only crucial to gaming operations. This page will help players learn more about gambling laws in the United States. We look at the 48 states that permit some form of gambling. The two US states have entirely banned gambling, online gaming, as well as the different regulating boards in the US. Another important factor we look at is the legal gambling ages in the various states at the best casino sites in the US.

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US Federal Laws

The federal government saw it fit to create and enact laws that gambling companies should follow. These laws apply to land-based casinos as well as internet casinos. Below is an overview of some of the US laws that apply to the online gambling industry in the United States.


The Unlawful Internet Gambling Act was put in place for the companies that supply game as well as the companies that process the payments from and to the gambling site. The UIGEA was passed in 2006. The law was put in place to try and stop fraud, money laundering and financial crimes surrounding gambling. In simple terms, if a player cannot send or receive money, they cannot gamble. If a player violates federal or state laws, they are prohibited from gambling.

Wire Act of 1961

As you may have noticed, the wire act was passed way before the internet. With that being said, the law has been used to make rulings against online gambling. The Wire Act has nothing to do with the legality of gambling. The purpose of the act was to help states enforce gambling laws, communication of wagers, bets and related information which happen via a wire transfer method.

Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA)

Also known as the Bradley Act, The PASPA’s main objective was to ban online sports betting. The law works hand in hand with the Wire Act to make it illegal for US players to place sport-related bets on the internet or any other wire method. As it stands, should a state vote to pass its own laws in regards to legalising sports betting PASPA can not stand in its way. Currently, there are ten states that have legalised sports betting, the states are:

Regulated Gambling in US

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA)

The Indian gaming regulatory act was passed in 1988 to regulate gaming in the Indian Lands. The IGRA requires that tribal gaming revenue be used to fund tribal government operations, general welfare and economic development. There are three IGRA classifications of Indian playing:

  • Class I: Social Gaming
  • Class II: Bingo (similar games and non-banking gaming)
  • Class III: games that do not fall under the other two classifications e.g., blackjack and slots.<?li>

States that Allow Legal Gambling

  • The three states that have regulated online casinos are Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania
  • Online Poker is regulated in Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania
  • States that have regulated Online sports betting are New Jersey, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia
  • Players can play the lottery legally in Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania

The two states that have banned gambling are Hawaii and Utah. Both states do not have casinos and players cannot play in the comfort of their homes. For a list of all 48 states that permit gambling, see our states with casinos page.

Minimum Legal Ages in the US

The gambling ages vary from state to state with the two prominent ages being 18 and 21. The ages also differ according to the type of gambling. Twenty-two states allow 18+ players to gamble while the other states will only allow players who are 21 and over.

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