If you are a US online casino player and you want to bet online, what choices are open to you? The UIGEA effectively put paid to the days when US casinos could be accessed legally for most players. For many years (post-2006), Americans had to visit the so-called offshore casinos like Bovada to bet online. A few years ago, New Jersey and a handful of other states decided to legalize and regulate online casino gaming. Now, other states are considering similar moves. Could this spell the end of the road of offshore casinos? It is time to take a closer look.
Online Casino Is Legal…in Some States
To date, five states have effectively legalized US online casino gaming. New Jersey was the first, followed by Nevada, Delaware, Pennsylvania and most recently, Michigan. Each state has its own laws regarding regulation and licensing, but all agree that to play at these casinos legally, you need to reside within the state.
This naturally means that if you want to bet online at a casino and you happen to live in one of the five states in question, you can gamble away to your heart’s content. What if you do not live in those states, though?
The Gambling Demand Is There
While there is always going to be opposition to gambling, players across the US (specifically those not residing in those states) have long been calling for the legalization of online gambling. A total of twelve states now permit online sports betting. That was seen by many as a way of appeasing those who wanted to gamble. However, by not offering “addictive” gambling games such as games of chance and skill, the authorities managed to avoid a public backlash from anti-gambling lobbies. Things could be set to change, though.
Other States Are Looking at Alternatives
Earlier in the month, Massachusetts Lottery Director, Michael Sweeney urged the state to legalize online gaming, in specific, lotteries. He claims that the impact of COVID-19 shows that if lotteries want to survive, they need to adapt and move online. This is something that Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia have already done. Going further, Rhode Island has recently decided to add online instant win games, too.
Much talk is being made now of adding “some” casino games to the ranks of legalised sites in many states. There is an argument as to whether they should be lottery-style games, just games of skill, or all games, including games of chance. Either way, the debate being had could spell trouble for the offshore casino industry.
Safer, More Secure and Legal
Offshore casinos can sometimes be poorly regulated and licensed, if at all. They may feature games which are not RNG (random number generator) certified, and some are also blacklisted and being unsafe. Thus far, a good number have prospered as many US players have no choice but to play at them, on account of casino games being outlawed in their states. Fully legalized and regulated state-sanctioned casinos becoming a reality would ensure safe, secure, and fair gaming for Americans. It may not be too much of a stretch to see this happening soon, and that would knock the wind out of offshore casinos’ sails, possibly for good.