A Brief History of… Legal Online Gambling
When Resorts Hotel opened its casino in May 1978, it was the first legal casino in the United States that was located outside of Nevada. 35 years later the first online casinos came into existence.
In November 2013, Governor Chris Christie signed a bill that legalized online casino and poker games within New Jersey.
New Jersey Leads the Way
All legal online operators in New Jersey must have a license with one of the Atlantic City casinos. Additionally, they have to locate their servers in Atlantic City.
Each of the land-based casinos can sign up to five partner licenses. This has allowed them to make deals with U.S. companies such as DraftKings and Fanduel. They have also welcomed companies from further afield including some based in Europe (William Hill, Bet365, 888) and Australia (PointsBet).
New Jersey online operators must partner with an established Atlantic City casino
Significantly, most of the online casinos also offer online sports betting. New Jersey was the first state to endorse legal online sports betting outside the casinos. Sports betting in New Jersey was legalized in June 2018 and the first online wager was taken in August of the same year.
In order to operate an online sportsbook, each provider must have a license with a casino or one of New Jersey’s established racetracks. Each of the casinos or racetracks can issue three online licenses.
It has not gone unnoticed that New Jersey generated a sports betting handle of over $660 million in September 2020. Many other states have an eye on the potential tax that can be accumulated from these gaming activities. Subsequently, there are numerous bills on the table to legalize and regulate in their own jurisdictions.
That’s why we are seeing so many other states now joining New Jersey with both legal online casinos (Delaware, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia) and legal online sportsbooks (Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and West Virginia).
Michigan and Virginia will soon be welcoming online gaming platforms
These developments, coupled with Michigan and Virginia soon to launch online platforms, means there has never been a more exciting time for the online gaming industry in the United States.