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U.S. Online Gambling Legislation: What to Expect in 2020

— January 24, 2020

There’s no doubt the online gambling industry will grow a lot in the future and it’s only a matter of time the majority of the states will completely legalize it.

Not so long ago, almost all states in the U.S. started updating their legislation regarding online gambling. The entire industry is moving forward at a rapid pace and it looks like this trend will continue for quite some time. In fact, according to some reports, the sector will be worth almost $100 billion. It’s anticipated that in 2020, we’ll get to see plenty of new trends starting to take over, with some of them already developing. But what exactly can we expect from the U.S. gambling industry in 2020? Read on to find out.

Legalizing more forms of online gambling

With the rise of online gambling, the U.S. is now looking to become the number one gambling market in the world. However, the biggest issue with gambling in the U.S. is that it isn’t centralized. In other words, each state gets to decide what kind of gambling they allow and what kind they prohibit. In fact, there are two states that completely prohibit gambling – Utah and Hawaii. These two states prohibit gambling, but allow games that involve a certain set of skills such as poker, which only brings more confusion. With online gambling evolving, it’s safe to say more and more states will legalize some forms of it in 2020. Still, when it comes to centralization, it’s hard to assume any changes will take place and each state will still be able to determine their own online gambling laws. We already saw plenty of changes take place in Europe making online gambling safer for players and we might soon get to see the same thing happen in the U.S.

Top states most likely to legalize online gambling

Right now, only four states in the U.S. have completely legalized online gambling – Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. While might have to wait a bit longer to see some other states doing it, it’s expected some of them will make steps towards it. New York is looking to change its laws regarding online gambling, but these changes haven’t yet taken place. This doesn’t mean that there are no online casinos operating in New York, it just means the state doesn’t offer any sort of licensing to these online gambling operators. Quite recently, the state of Michigan was looking to legalize online gambling but the proposition was eventually vetoed as the change would affect the Michigan lottery and the state’s education funding.

Types of games that are currently available

As mentioned above, the issue of decentralized gambling has made the entire concept quite unclear. Some players aren’t aware of which games are legal in their state and often have to do research before visiting an online casino website. The problem is that there are a number of different online casino games and the laws aren’t the same for all of them. For example, just take a look at the lottery which is still a form of gambling. The lottery is run by 48 jurisdictions in the U.S. – 45 states and the districts of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Hopefully, 2020 will be the year when we get to see the laws becoming a bit clearer and players will finally be aware of which games are considered legal in their states.

Two black and white dice and a small stack of multicolored chips; image by Heather Gill, via
Two black and white dice and a small stack of multicolored chips; image by Heather Gill, via

Alternative currency payments

If you’ve been paying attention, you probably heard a lot about digital currencies in the last few years. People now pay for everything using these things and online gambling is no exception. In fact, cryptocurrencies are one of the reasons why online gambling gained so much attention in the U.S. lately. The reason behind this is that digital currencies make playing casino games online both easier and safer. For example, players no longer have to include their credit card numbers when signing up as all they need is a crypto wallet. Similarly, they can remain anonymous and gamble using only their usernames. These new types of payments will continue to impact the U.S. online gambling market and it’s expected they’ll play a big part in the way the market shapes in the future.

Sports betting is growing

Online gambling in the U.S. is currently undergoing a lot of change and the same can be said for sports betting. More and more states are starting to accept sports bets; it looks like it’s only a matter of time before all of them will do so. According to experts, we might get to see sports betting becoming legal in nine states over the course of 2020 and eight more states in 2021. Massachusetts, Louisiana, and Kansas are among those that are expected to legalize sports betting in 2020 while those like Texas, Georgia, and California are among those who’ll do it in 2021. The legalization of sports betting has the potential to propel the growth of online casinos and make other states rethink their laws regarding the iGaming industry.

The bottom line

There’s no doubt the online gambling industry will grow a lot in the future and it’s only a matter of time the majority of the states will completely legalize it. 2020 will be the year more of them will start thinking about the idea of it but whether they’ll make any actual moves to fully legalize iGaming, remains to be seen. One thing’s for sure, the online gambling industry is definitely worth keeping a close eye on, both in 2020 and the years to come.

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