2018 USA iGaming Regulation Update

This story was published more than 5 years ago.

In many ways, 2018 was a transformational year for online betting in the United States. States had been working through the process of regulating and offering online casino games to those within their borders at the beginning of the year, but things changed drastically in May when the Supreme Court handed down a decision that would change gambling in the country of 327 million for the better.

In a 6-3 decision, the Court ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was unconstitutional, and thus overturned the sportsbetting ban that's been in place for nearly 30 years. This decision gave lawmakers the chance to decide whether or not to legalize sportsbetting within their individual states. This was the lynchpin that set in motion rapid expansion of gambling reform laws, many of which include sportsbetting and online casino regulations.

We've decided to take a state-by-state look at the country in terms of their betting laws and any advancements that were made in 2018, giving you the latest look at online gambling in the United States.

State by State Progress

Alabama- The state has pretty strict rules regarding betting in general, which in turn has caused many punters to go elsewhere. The state's most recent attempt at changing laws failed in 2017 when a measure to regulate daily fantasy sports was voted down. Nothing new came in 2018.

Alaska- The country's most northernly state is behind when it comes to betting laws. Gambling is generally illegal, and thus there's been no developments this year.

Arizona- Arizona has land casinos as well as lottery services available to punters. The state hasn't addressed sportsbetting or online realm as of press time.

Arkansas- Voters this year passed a ballot measure that will allow for four casinos to be built. The law will also allow for sportsbetting to be offered in the state should legislators approve of it in the future. iGaming has not been addressed within the state.

California- There hasn't been much movement yet on sportsbetting or casino expansion in California in 2018.

Colorado- During 2018, Colorado lawmakers moved to allow for a third casino to be built in the state. Also, the Foxwoods Resort Casino signed a deal with Pariplay to offer online services should they become legalized in the future.

Delaware- The First State was one of the first to offer online casino gaming in the United States, and it became the first after the Supreme Court's ruling to offer sportsbetting services to legalize and implement the activity. Sportsbetting has proven to be lucrative, with millions of dollars wagered since the launch.

Florida- iGaming and sportsbetting were shut out of discussion or decisions in Florida in 2018, but voters did pass a referendum to require voters to approve of gambling expansion in the Sunshine State.

Georgia- No movement on iGaming or sportsbetting happened in 2018 within Georgia.

Hawaii- Gambling is forbidden in Hawaii, and there's been no wiggle room for legalizing anything in recent memory.

Idaho- No meaningful progress on iGaming was made in Idaho in 2018.

Illinois- No iGaming laws were passed in 2018, but a sportsbetting law was introduced in SB3432, which would have implemented a 12.5% tax rate on casino gross win. The bill would allow for online and land-based sportsbetting.

Indiana- There isn't much in terms of movement for iGaming laws, but the state appears to be on the way to legalizing sportsbetting sometime in 2019.

Iowa- In February, Rep. Ken Rizer introduced HSB592 which would regulate sportsbetting. That bill is in Committee as of the end of the year. No work on online betting was done during 2018 in Iowa.

Kansas- There wasn't any movement on iGaming regulations, but the state is expected to debate and vote on sportsbetting legislation during the 2019 session.

Kentucky- A Kentucky lawmaker introduced a measure that would allow for land casino betting, but no iGaming regulations were proposed. Sportsbetting is expected to be debated in the upcoming year.

Louisiana- SB322 was introduced, which would legalize and regulate online betting in the state, but this was dropped in the spring. Voters did authorize online daily fantasy sports wagering, but traditional sportsbetting laws are still pending.

Maine- No major bills related to betting reform was introduced in 2018 in Maine.

Maryland- Sportsbetting legislation was introduced this year and passed through the House, but was voted down by the Senate and removed from discussion.

Massachusetts- A white paper regarding the potential legalization of sportsbetting was issued by the state's gaming regulator, the MGC, but no legislation has been passed as of press time.

Michigan- A House Bill, HB4926, was introduced that would legalize internet gambling and sportsbetting within the state. This bill passed through the House and was sent to the Senate, but was vetoed by Governor Snyder late in the year, sending lawmakers back to the drawing board.

Minnesota- A draft bill was introduced by Representative Pat Garofalo, which would legalize sportsbetting. The bill never got off the ground to being debated or voted on.

Mississippi- Mississippi passed a law legalizing sportsbetting within state borders, and bets started in August. No movement on iGaming was made in 2018.

Missouri- Missouri lawmakers began discussing legalizing sportsbetting, and although no bill was voted on, politicians are expected to begin anew starting in January 2019.

Montana- No movement on iGaming or sportsbetting occurred in Montana during 2018.

Nebraska- No developments on iGaming or sportsbetting occurred in the Cornhusker State in 2018.

Nevada- Nevada already has online poker and sportsbetting across the state. No major developments on furthering the iGaming industry took place in 2018.

New Hampshire- New Hampshire didn't pass any new iGaming or sportsbetting bills in 2018.

New Jersey- New Jersey waged the successful fight to overturn PASPA in the Supreme Court, which was made in 2018. The state began accepting wagers on sports in July, and its iGaming industry is thriving. Casinos in the state are now offering slots, table games, video poker, and live dealer games online, in addition to poker and sportsbetting.

New Mexico- New Mexico made no movement on iGaming or sportsbetting in 2018.

New York- Bills to legalize and regulate iPoker and sportsbetting were introduced in the Senate and Assembly, although no voting occurred on either measure.

North Carolina- North Carolina made no movement on regulating iGaming or sportsbetting during 2018.

North Dakota- No progress was made on legalizing internet gambling in North Dakota in 2018.

Ohio- Ohio lawmakers introduced legislation to legalize and regulate sportsbetting, but no votes took place on the issue.

Oklahoma- A sportsbetting, roulette, and dice gaming authorization was introduced and passed in Oklahoma in 2018, although the sportsbetting provision was removed before it was passed and signed into law.

Oregon- Oregon allowed for sportsbetting until 2007, but after PASPA was struck down, the state lottery announced that it was considering bringing sportsbetting back. There were no developments regarding iGaming.

Pennsylvania- Pennsylvania authorized online betting and sportsbetting in 2018, and began licensing operators and software providers during the year. Sportsbetting went live late in the year, and online casino games are expected to go live early in 2019.

Rhode Island- Lawmakers passed a bill that would legalize sportsbetting at the state's casinos during the summer, although no iGaming laws were passed.

South Carolina- South Carolina had no movement on iGaming or sports wagering in 2018.

South Dakota- South Dakota had no legislation on internet betting or sportsbetting proceed during the year.

Tennessee- A bill was introduced in November that would legalize sportsbetting online as well in land casinos, but no vote was available as of press time.

Texas- Texas had no bills related to betting debated or passed in 2018.

Utah- Utah is notoriously anti-betting, going so far as to outlaw it in their constitution. Thus, there was no movement on any betting laws within the state in 2018.

Vermont- Vermont had no movement related to the internet betting industry or sportsbetting in Vermont during the year.

Virginia- Virginia saw no meaningful bills introduced to regulate internet betting or sportsbetting in 2018.

Washington- Online betting remains illegal in Washington, and a court ruled that even free-to-play games are illegal under state law. There has been no movement toward bringing the state's betting laws into the 21st century.

West Virginia- West Virginia lawmakers passed a law this year that would legalize and regulate sportsbetting. The activity went live in September, and is proving to be lucrative for the state. Nothing in regards to online betting, save for sportsbetting (which is offered online) was debated or passed.

Wisconsin- No legislation regarding betting of any sort took place in the Cheese State took place during 2018.

Wyoming- Wyoming only offers lottery products through a state-regulated monopoly. There was nothing in terms of sportsbetting or online casino gaming discussed during the year.


Overall, there were a lot of states that took on and at least discussed online gambling and sportsbetting during the year. Moving into 2019, there's a lot of reasons to be optimistic if you live in the U.S. and are looking forward to your particular state regulating the activity. Of course, if you live in an area where online betting hasn't been discussed and isn't expressly prohibited, there's always offshore sites to bet at. Just make sure to read reviews, so that you pick a reputable spot to play at.

About the author

Dustin Jermalowicz // News Editor
Dustin Jermalowicz
Dustin has a long-standing passion for gambling. He has been writing professionally on the subject and breaking industry news for Casino Listings since 2011. His favorite casino games include Blackjack, Poker, and Hi/Lo. A proud native of Detroit, Dustin currently lives in Michigan.
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1 January 2019 - 8:56pm

An interesting read Dustin 👍

It pretty much clears the picture of what's going on at the moment in US in terms of legalizing the gambling activity and sportsbetting in particular.

At least to me it looks like that at least half a dozen states would legalize sportsbetting in 2019 and probably it's just a matter of time for some of the rest to follow these in the years to come when they see the benefits from taxes and license money for the state it self and the community of course.

A bit strange for me that a huge number of states didn't even considered any activity of legalizing gambling so far, but I guess most of them would regret in future of not taking actions on time.
Not including Alaska or Utah who'd probably be the last places in US you'll see a casino..if ever. 🙂