In the United States, online gambling has long been illegal. Federal authorities have relied on the Wire Wager Act to prevent interstate gambling on contests and sporting events. But that law was drafted before the internet, so it does not apply to digital wagering. In 2011, the Department of Justice made it legal for states to pass legislation to allow online gambling and decriminalize it in some circumstances. In 2018, the US Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports betting and online gambling, allowing them to operate.
The UIGEA contains a special carve-out for games of skill, but online casinos must still receive state approval to operate in the United States. Nevada has recently made online poker legal, though it remains a regulated industry. In addition to online poker, fantasy sports have long been the main offering area for skill-based games. Leading providers include Disney (DIS) subsidiary ESPN, Yahoo! (YHOO) and CBS Sports.
Several states and organizations offer help for individuals suffering from gambling addiction. Some even provide referral services to local programs. You can also visit your physician if you suspect that you are experiencing problems. Alternatively, do an online search for “Internet Gambling addiction help” and the city or state you’re living in. You’ll also find local chapters of Gamblers Anonymous.
Online casinos are more complex than sports betting sites. Players can either download a software client or play “instant” games via their web browser. Some online casinos only offer one or the other of these options, but most provide both.