Gambling in the United States



Despite being a heavily regulated industry, US gambling revenue has already reached $13.6 billion in the second quarter of 2021. The American Gaming Association predicts that revenue could reach a record-breaking $44 billion by the end of the year. Quite an impressive feat for a country that has restricted certain forms of gambling in quite a few states. Also quite difficult to imagine considering that places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City are synonymous with casinos and gambling!

Let’s take a closer look at different forms of gambling in the United States, land-based casinos, online gambling, and the rise of online casinos.


Different Types of Gambling in the US

Gambling in the US has become a common pastime for adults as it’s a great way to have fun and socialize. Not to mention, there’s so much choice in games. Although a huge part of the gambling industry, casinos aren’t the only form, and there are other popular options such as lotteries, legal bookmaking as well as bingo. Fancy a flutter? You can try your luck at the race track! Want to practice your poker face? Bring your A-game to the poker table!

Commercial land-based casinos are present in half of the US and depending on which state you live in, you may have access to legalized online casinos. The only remaining states that do not permit any type of legal gambling in the US are Hawaii and Utah. Charitable gambling is legal in all but four states and this is largely due to the fact that winnings are not taxed since they’re being used for a good cause. With other forms of gambling, most states require individuals to declare winnings and pay tax to the IRS.

As it stands, The American Gaming Association recognizes the following categories of gambling:

  • Commercial casinos
  • Tribal casinos
  • Lotteries
  • Legal bookmaking
  • Cardrooms, both public and private
  • Charitable Games and Bingo
  • Advance-deposit wagering
  • Pari-Mutuel wagering


Online vs Offline Gambling

Both online and offline gambling can consist of the categories mentioned above, and both carry their own set of advantages. It’s also important to note that each state has its own unique gambling laws on what types of gambling it can permit. For example, Idaho has a few Tribal casinos, but no commercial casinos. There are also no sportsbooks in Idaho, but currently, there are no laws preventing customers from betting using an online sportsbook. Maybe a bit confusing at first, but it’s best to stay vigilant to avoid gambling illegally.

Offline gambling is beneficial to the US economy and can help boost tourism as many travelers flock to the likes of Vegas to visit famous casinos. Other benefits include socialization, comfort, and even skill enhancement on table games such as poker. There is a huge demand for these types of games to be made available online, even more so for convenience and the variety of games available.

In the US, online gambling consists of three categories – online casinos, online poker, and online sportsbooks. Not all states offer all forms legally, for example, Arizona and Colorado only offer online sports betting.


Rise of Online Casinos

With an increase in mobile usage, technology, and the steady softening of the US gambling laws, we could soon see a surge in online casinos. Everything that’s available in land-based casinos, can now be available in the palm of your hand! Currently, only five states have legalized online casinos but it’s anticipated this could change as a few more states have pushed bills to permit online casino gambling. They would be right to do so, online casinos have risen to almost 10,000 and global online gambling revenue is set to reach $72.02 billion in 2021.

So why choose to play at an online casino anyway? Firstly, it’s super convenient and eliminates the time of having to travel to a land-based casino. Also, the selection of games is undoubtedly much bigger than a land-based casino. Some online casinos can have upwards of 1,000 games in their lobby, all of which you can play at your own pace. Another reason to play online would be the generous welcome offers and bonuses, and because of the technology most companies use, you might find certain offers are directly tailored towards you.

Also, have you ever noticed in casino films that the lucky winner that hits the jackpot needs to be escorted by security with a large duffle bag of money? You won’t need to worry about this type of fanfare when playing online. Transactions at online casinos are secure and you can choose to deposit or withdraw your cash in various forms like PayPal or Skrill.

Online casinos are quite popular in other parts of the world, particularly Europe, so maybe the US will follow suit? Only time will tell!

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