The Complete Guide to iGaming (online gambling) in the US

Have you ever wondered about the ins and outs of online gambling in the United States? How do the regulations surrounding iGaming work? And what are the legal requirements for online casinos and gambling platforms?

iGaming has rapidly gained popularity in recent years, but understanding the regulatory framework can be a daunting task. With different laws in each state, it’s crucial to stay informed about the ever-changing landscape of online gambling regulations.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the complex world of iGaming regulations in the US and break down the legislative framework that governs online gambling. From understanding the federal regulations to exploring state-specific laws, we’ll provide you with the knowledge you need to navigate the world of online gambling with confidence.

Whether you’re an avid online gambler or simply curious about the legalities behind it, this guide will shed light on the compliance requirements, industry regulations, and responsible gambling practices that shape the online casino industry in the United States.

Join us as we explore the regulatory maze of online gambling and uncover the key factors you need to consider when choosing an online gambling platform. Get ready to dive into the world of iGaming!

Definition and Scope of iGaming

iGaming, or online gaming, is a broad term that encompasses various online gambling activities based on games of chance. It is a popular and fast-growing industry that provides players with the convenience of accessing their favorite casino games and lotteries from the comfort of their own homes. iGaming platforms offer a wide range of options, including online poker, online casinos, and online lotteries.

Online poker is a staple in the iGaming world, allowing players to compete against each other in exciting card games. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a beginner looking to try your luck, online poker platforms offer a variety of poker variations and tournaments to suit every skill level.

Online casinos are another major component of iGaming, offering a virtual version of the traditional casino experience. With a wide selection of slot games, table games, and live dealer games, online casinos provide endless entertainment options for players around the clock.

Online lotteries have also gained popularity in the iGaming industry, allowing players to participate in lottery draws and potentially win life-changing jackpots. The convenience of purchasing lottery tickets online has made it easier for individuals to join in the excitement and anticipation of winning big prizes.

Please note that this definition of iGaming excludes sports betting and fantasy sports, as they often have separate regulatory frameworks. However, it is worth mentioning that regulations for sports betting and iGaming often go hand in hand, and many states that have legalized iGaming have also embraced sports betting.

Popular iGaming Activities

Online Gambling Activities
Online Poker
Online Casinos
Online Lotteries

As the iGaming industry continues to evolve and expand, it is important for players to understand the various online gambling activities available and find reputable platforms that offer a safe and enjoyable gaming experience. The next sections of this article will explore the federal and state regulations that govern iGaming, as well as provide insights into responsible gambling practices and platform evaluation criteria.

Federal Regulation of iGaming

The federal regulation of iGaming in the US is primarily governed by the Wire Act of 1961. However, a 2011 opinion from the Department of Justice (DOJ) clarified that the Wire Act applies only to interstate sports betting and not to other forms of iGaming.

This opinion did not legalize iGaming per se at the federal level, but it made it clear that other forms of online gambling, such as online poker, online casinos, and online lotteries, are not in violation of federal law. The Wire Act, originally intended to target organized crime, primarily focuses on preventing the transmission of sports betting information across state lines.

Therefore, the authority to legalize and regulate iGaming lies with each individual state. This has resulted in a patchwork of different regulations and approaches to online gambling across the country. While some states have embraced iGaming and enacted comprehensive regulations, others have chosen to prohibit or restrict it.

It is important to note that federal iGaming regulations are limited to interstate sports betting and do not provide a comprehensive framework for regulating online gambling activities. As a result, the landscape of iGaming regulation in the US is predominantly shaped by state laws, which vary widely in terms of permissibility and oversight.

Despite the lack of federal regulations specifically targeting iGaming, the industry continues to grow and evolve in the states that have chosen to legalize and regulate it. These states have implemented their own set of laws and regulations to ensure consumer protection, responsible gambling measures, and fair gaming practices.

As the landscape of iGaming regulations in the US continues to develop, it is essential for players, operators, and policymakers to stay informed and navigate the legal complexities of this dynamic industry.

State Regulation of iGaming

State regulation plays a pivotal role in determining the legality of iGaming within each state. Following the Department of Justice’s opinion in 2011, seven states have taken the progressive step of legalizing online gambling. However, it is important to note that each state has its own regulatory framework and specific requirements for iGaming.

When it comes to licensing online gaming activities, authorities typically grant licenses to entities that already hold a gambling license. These entities can include state lotteries, tribal or state-owned casinos, or third-party entities approved by a governing body. This helps ensure that only responsible and reputable entities are involved in running legal iGaming businesses.

Since the landscape of state iGaming regulations varies, it is essential for businesses and individuals interested in entering the iGaming industry to thoroughly understand the specific regulations in each state. This includes compliance with licensing requirements, adherence to responsible gambling practices, and maintaining the highest standards of consumer protection.

Types of Entities Running Legal iGaming Businesses

Different types of entities are authorized to operate legal iGaming businesses in the states that have legalized online gambling. Here are some common examples:

  • State Lotteries: In some states, the lottery governing body is responsible for regulating and operating iGaming activities.
  • Tribal or State-Owned Casinos: Many states have granted Native American tribes or state-owned casinos the authority to offer online gambling services.
  • Third-Party Entities: Some states allow third-party entities to run iGaming operations under strict scrutiny and approval from regulatory bodies.

Table: Examples of Entities Running Legal iGaming Businesses

State Entities Running Legal iGaming Businesses
State A State Lottery
State B Tribal Casinos
State C Third-Party Entities Approved by Regulatory Bodies
State D State-Owned Casinos

Understanding the types of entities allowed to run legal iGaming businesses is crucial for anyone looking to enter the industry. Compliance with state licensing requirements and regulations ensures the legitimacy and integrity of online gambling operations, giving consumers peace of mind and fostering a safe and enjoyable environment for all participants.

Legal iGaming in Select States

Several states in the US have embraced the legalization and regulation of iGaming, offering a range of online gambling options for residents and visitors. Let’s take a closer look at some of these states and the online gambling services they provide.

Connecticut iGaming

In October 2021, Connecticut became one of the recent states to legalize iGaming. Through partnerships with renowned establishments like Mohegan casino, Foxwood casino, and the Connecticut Lottery, online gambling services are now available to players in the state. Connecticut residents and visitors can enjoy a variety of online gambling activities, including poker, casino games, and lottery options.

Delaware iGaming

Delaware stands as one of the pioneers in the realm of online gambling. The state legalized online poker, lottery games, and casino games early on, providing a comprehensive range of options for online gamblers. Delaware residents have the luxury of accessing various iGaming platforms and enjoying a diverse selection of games.

Michigan iGaming

Michigan is another state that has embraced iGaming and established a thriving online gambling industry. With the legalization of online casinos and poker in 2019, Michigan now offers a wide range of iGaming platforms and services. Players in Michigan can explore an extensive collection of casino games and participate in online poker tournaments.

New Jersey iGaming

New Jersey has been at the forefront of iGaming legalization in the US, legalizing online gambling back in 2013. The state offers a vibrant online gambling market with a plethora of online casinos, poker rooms, and other iGaming platforms. New Jersey residents and visitors can enjoy a diverse array of online gambling options, including slots, blackjack, roulette, and poker.

Pennsylvania iGaming

Pennsylvania legalized iGaming in 2017, opening the doors to a thriving online gambling industry. The state now boasts numerous online casinos, poker sites, and other iGaming platforms. Players in Pennsylvania can indulge in various online gambling activities, including slot games, poker tournaments, and live dealer games.

West Virginia iGaming

West Virginia is another state that has embraced iGaming and established a legal framework for online gambling. With the legalization of online casinos and poker, West Virginia residents now have access to a range of iGaming options. Players can enjoy popular casino games, poker tournaments, and other online gambling activities from the comfort of their homes.

Legalized iGaming in these select states has provided players with convenient and enjoyable online gambling experiences. Whether you prefer poker, casino games, or lottery options, these states offer a range of iGaming platforms to suit your preferences.

Stay tuned for the next section, where we explore the world of sports betting and fantasy sports!

Sports Betting and Fantasy Sports

When it comes to the world of online gambling, sports betting and fantasy sports are two popular activities that attract millions of enthusiasts. Understanding the regulations and legality surrounding these forms of online gaming is crucial before you dive into the action.

Online Sports Betting

Online sports betting has gained significant popularity in recent years, providing sports fans with the opportunity to bet on their favorite teams and athletes from the comfort of their homes. However, it’s important to note that the legality of online sports betting differs from state to state. Currently, thirty states have legalized sports betting, allowing individuals to place bets on various sporting events.

Out of these thirty states, eighteen have gone a step further and legalized online sports betting. This means that you can enjoy the thrill of placing bets on sports events online, eliminating the need to visit a physical sportsbook. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned bettor, online sports betting platforms offer a wide range of sports and betting options to suit your preferences.

Fantasy Sports

Another popular online gaming activity is fantasy sports, where participants can create virtual teams composed of real-life athletes. These virtual teams compete against each other based on the performance of the chosen athletes in real sporting events.

Forty-one states have legalized fantasy sports, allowing enthusiasts to engage in this exciting gaming experience. However, it’s worth noting that only nineteen states have implemented specific regulations for fantasy sports operators. These regulations aim to provide a fair and transparent environment for participants, ensuring that the games are conducted in a responsible manner.

Whether you choose to engage in online sports betting or participate in fantasy sports, it’s important to stay informed about the legal landscape and any regulations that may apply to your state. Always ensure that you choose reputable and licensed platforms to safeguard your gaming experience and protect your personal information.

Responsible Gambling and Consumer Protection

Responsible gambling is a crucial aspect of the iGaming industry, prioritizing the well-being of players and ensuring consumer protection. To safeguard individuals from potential gambling-related problems, both federal and state-level regulations have implemented various measures. These measures encompass setting betting limits, providing information on responsible gambling, and offering resources for those facing gambling addictions.

One of the key consumer protection measures in place is the establishment of betting limits. These limits aim to prevent excessive gambling and protect players from financial harm. By imposing maximum limits on wagers, individuals are encouraged to gamble within their means and avoid excessive losses.

To further promote responsible gambling, operators are required to provide information and resources on responsible gambling. This includes educating players about the potential risks of gambling and facilitating access to helplines, counseling services, and self-exclusion programs. By raising awareness and providing support, operators play a crucial role in ensuring the well-being of their customers.

Consumer protection also extends to the regulatory frameworks governing the iGaming industry. These frameworks incorporate measures to protect consumer data privacy, ensuring that personal information is handled securely and responsibly. Additionally, regulatory bodies oversee fair play, ensuring that the games offered by operators are unbiased and provide equal opportunities for all players.

Comparison of Consumer Protection Measures in Select States

State Betting Limits Responsible Gambling Information Resources for Gambling Addictions Data Privacy Measures Fair Play Enforcement
New Jersey Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pennsylvania Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Michigan Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
West Virginia Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Connecticut Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Note: The table represents a general overview and may not include all specific consumer protection measures implemented by each state.

Evaluating Online Gambling Platforms

When choosing an online gambling platform, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Evaluating these platforms based on specific selection factors can help you find the one that best suits your needs.

Security and Safety Features

One of the most crucial aspects to evaluate is the platform’s security and safety features. Look for platforms that employ secure encryption technology to protect your personal and financial information. Additionally, check if the platform is certified by reputable third-party organizations, which ensures that it adheres to industry standards and best practices.

Bonuses and Promotions

Another important factor to consider when selecting an online gambling platform is the availability of bonuses and promotions. These can enhance your gaming experience by providing additional value and rewards. Look for platforms that offer generous welcome bonuses, regular promotions, and loyalty programs to maximize your potential winnings.

Customer Support Options

Having reliable customer support options is crucial when it comes to online gambling platforms. Look for platforms that provide multiple avenues for customer support, such as live chat, email, or telephone. It’s also important to consider the responsiveness of their support team, as quick and efficient assistance can make a significant difference if you encounter any issues while using the platform.

To help you evaluate different online gambling platforms effectively, you can create a side-by-side comparison table. This table allows you to compare key features, such as security measures, available bonuses, and customer support options, to make an informed decision.

Platform Security Features Bonuses and Promotions Customer Support Options
Platform A Secure encryption technology
Certification from reputable organizations
Generous welcome bonus
Regular promotions
24/7 live chat
Email support
Platform B Advanced security protocols
Verified by industry auditors
No deposit bonus
Exclusive VIP rewards
Email support
Telephone support (limited hours)
Platform C SSL encryption
Certified by regulatory bodies
Reload bonuses
Loyalty program
24/7 live chat
Email support

By weighing these platform selection factors, you can choose an online gambling platform that offers the optimal combination of security, bonuses, and customer support options. Remember to always gamble responsibly and never exceed your budget or chase losses.


When it comes to online gambling, choosing the right platform is crucial. The optimal platform choice depends on various factors that cater to your specific needs and preferences. One of the most important considerations is security. Look for platforms that employ secure encryption technology and hold certifications from reputable third-party organizations to ensure the safety of your personal and financial information.

Another aspect to evaluate is the game selection. A good online gambling platform should offer a wide range of games, including popular casino games, poker, and lotteries. This ensures that you have a diverse and entertaining experience.

Bonuses and promotions play a significant role in enhancing your gambling experience. Look for platforms that offer attractive bonuses and frequent promotions to maximize your chances of winning and extend your gameplay.

Additionally, customer support should be easily accessible and responsive. Opt for platforms that provide multiple channels of communication, such as live chat, email, or phone support, to address any queries or concerns you may have.

Lastly, and most importantly, always prioritize responsible gambling. Set betting and deposit limits for yourself, and never wager more than you can afford to lose. It’s essential to be aware of your limits and seek help if you feel that your gambling habits are becoming problematic.

By considering these factors and evaluating different online gambling platforms, you can make an informed choice and find the platform that best suits your needs. Remember to gamble responsibly and enjoy your online gambling experience.


What is iGaming?

iGaming refers to various online gambling activities such as online poker, online casinos, roulettes, and online lotteries.

How is iGaming regulated in the United States?

The regulation of iGaming in the United States is determined at both the federal and state levels. The federal regulation is primarily governed by the Wire Act of 1961, while states have the authority to legalize and regulate iGaming within their jurisdictions.

Is iGaming legal at the federal level in the US?

The Wire Act of 1961, which is the primary federal law governing iGaming, applies only to interstate sports betting. However, a 2011 opinion from the Department of Justice clarified that the Wire Act does not apply to other forms of iGaming, making it not illegal at the federal level.

How do states regulate iGaming?

Each state has its own regulatory framework for iGaming. So far, seven states have legalized online gambling. The licenses for online gaming activities are typically granted to entities that already hold a gambling license, such as state lotteries, tribal or state-owned casinos, or third-party entities approved by a governing body.

Which states have legalized iGaming?

Several states have legalized and established online gambling platforms, including Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Are online sports betting and fantasy sports legal?

The legality of online sports betting and fantasy sports varies by state. Currently, thirty states have legalized sports betting, with eighteen allowing online sports betting. Fantasy sports are permitted in forty-one states, with nineteen states having formalized regulations specifically for fantasy sports operators.

How is responsible gambling ensured in iGaming?

Each state implements measures to ensure responsible gambling and consumer protection. These measures may include setting betting limits, requiring operators to provide information on responsible gambling, and offering resources for individuals with gambling addictions.

What factors should I consider when choosing an online gambling platform?

When selecting an online gambling platform, factors to consider include security and safety features, game selection, bonuses and promotions, customer support options, and responsible gambling practices.

How can I choose the right online gambling platform?

Choosing the right online gambling platform involves conducting thorough research and evaluating platforms based on factors such as security, game selection, bonuses, customer support, and responsible gambling practices. By comparing different platforms, you can make an informed choice that suits your specific requirements.

What is the importance of gambling responsibly?

Gambling responsibly is crucial to ensure that you do not wager more than you can afford to lose. It is important to set limits and engage in gambling activities for entertainment purposes only.