Over the past four years, there has been major change across a large number of US states after a change in the law that allowed these individual states to dictate laws around online casinos and online betting – whilst online sports betting has thrived, online casinos have been slower to see change as, despite many operators that can be found at wishcasinos.com being able to launch, other states have seen little to no movement. So, what’s leading to the difference in gambling legislation across the many different states, which have managed to succeed, and which are falling behind the rest of the pack for different reasons?
The success of online sports betting as a whole can be somewhat attributed to the huge success of different fantasy leagues that have popped up across the country over the past decade – not considered to be a traditional form of betting or gambling it had been the only option available to many before 2018 aside from those willing to go to a physical location to bet, it not only provided an opportunity for some operators to become household names but to also build the infrastructure for these online platforms and it comes as no surprise that the operators who were able to offer this service are amongst the biggest in the betting space.
Another reason may simply be that sports betting is viewed very differently from online gambling and as such has had a wider breadth when it comes to legalization – concerns around how online casinos may impact brick and mortar locations or the view that it still falls into a bit of a grey area which may be why adoption of online casinos has been much slower. Tribal gaming rights are also a major consideration here, some states have run into issues before as the language used for new legislation could be a concern for the gaming rights that already exist for tribal groups – this has been somewhat avoided with online sports betting, but with online casinos, it has been a different matter as new language may be needed to pass a bill into law.
States such as Colorado have found huge success here, the first year saw over $3 billion wagered on sports betting and the numbers have only improved since 2020 as one of the first states to introduce new legislation here – it has been able to provide a blueprint for other states to follow, and as sporting interests change it may also see further success too. Whilst football and basketball remain as the most bet sports in the state, other options like soccer are quickly growing and with the 2026 World Cup to take place in the US, Canada, and Mexico, it will certainly only lead to a big surge of betting activity in states such as Colorado that have already pushed for online legalization.
Other states haven’t found as much success – Massachusetts has been one state expected to welcome betting and gambling online in a big way but has instead been much slower to see much change, despite the full support from Gov. Charlie Baker and being very outspoken in recent events like the Super Bowl, it seems passing a law to make this change has been more difficult as legislation has fallen somewhat flat in recent months. It does seem like change could be afoot with an agreed-upon tax rate and the pricing for the application and licensing being agreed, and this could bring online sports betting to the state before the year is out but has been an example of how slow movement can quickly harm any hopes to grow, and how this can lead a state to lose out to its neighbors.
Whilst there’s a difference between the legalization of online casinos and online betting as noted above, there also exists a difference between states pushing for online mobile options and those sticking to offline locations only – Maryland has been one example of this, despite pushing a change that would allow for sports betting, and eventually push for online sports betting, current legislation has only allowed for in-person betting at specific locations in the state. Lawmakers did have online sports betting legislation on the radar but would later suggest it was no longer a priority and pushed it down in the order of changes to be made, the state had a fantastic opportunity to get out ahead of some nearby locations that had made the change as well as being a blueprint similar to that of Colorado, but with online options now playing second fiddle it may not be pushed through until the new year to the frustration of many players – and many other states have experienced the same issues where in-person betting has been an easy adjustment to make, but allowing for online options to emerge has been a different question entirely.
Whilst the slow change may be frustrating it is important to note that this is all still very recent – the indication of change had only come in 2018 and although preparations may have been made ahead of time, it is still a substantial change for any state to make – the good news being that all big operators are on board and with international interest particularly from parties in Europe, things will move quickly once bills are passed as has been seen. So, whilst the slower examples given may be falling behind now, success has been shown to come extremely quickly.
Despite the positivity, however, there will be bad news for some looking to wager as a couple of states don’t look to be moving at all on their current stance for online gambling or online betting – with some of the roadblocks including tribal casino rights being pegged as the reason why, a few outliers will be unlikely to make any changes at all, and players will have to continue exploring alternative means if they’re looking to partake in any form of a game of chance, particularly when hoping to play primarily in the online space.