Legal online betting is a popular way to bet on sporting events. It’s also available in many locations outside of the U.S., such as Canada and Europe. The US is one of the only countries that allows gambling. Almost all 50 states allow online betting. The only exceptions are Hawaii and Utah, which have large Mormon populations and are thus less likely to legalize gambling. Similarly, residents of Idaho have expressed little interest in legalizing gambling, and they may not ever do so.
The Wire Act of 1961 has long regulated online betting in the US. It was designed to protect against illegal gambling, but it predates the internet, and therefore isn’t applicable to digital wagering. However, in 2011, the Department of Justice paved the way for state-level legislation and decriminalization of online gambling. In August 2018, the US Supreme Court ruled that the Wire Act doesn’t apply to legalized sports betting.
New York has been the first US state to legalize sports betting, and most states have since. Individual states are beginning to legalize other forms of online gambling. In 2011 the Department of Justice issued a legal opinion concluding that the Wire Act applies only to sports betting and other forms of internet gaming. That’s a big step in the right direction for legalizing online gambling. The United States government is working on a framework to make this process as smooth as possible.