online gaming is spreading across the USReading Time: 2 minutes

It’s been over six years since the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel issued an opinion that opened the door for states to legalize certain forms of online gaming.

In response to inquiries by New York and Illinois, the OLC determined (as have the courts) that states could offer online lotteries, and by extension online casino and poker games, within their borders.

To date, nine states have done just that:

  • Delaware (online casino and poker)
  • Georgia (online lottery)
  • Illinois (online lottery)
  • Kentucky (online lottery)
  • Michigan (online lottery)
  • Nevada (online poker)
  • New Hampshire (online lottery)
  • New Jersey (online casino and poker)
  • Pennsylvania (online casino, poker, and lottery)

The pace of action may seem slow. It’s not as frustratingly slow as it first appears though.

In addition to the nine states listed above, another 19 states have passed legislation legalizing and regulating daily fantasy sports. DFS is a product that might not be classified as “gambling” in most states. Nonetheless, it does have all the mechanics of online gaming and occurs almost exclusively online.

There is also online gaming and lottery legislation active in a number of states, with more legislation expected as we move deeper into 2018.


Just two months into 2018 there are already six states with pending online gaming or online lottery legislation:

  • Connecticut (online lottery and possibly online gaming)
  • Illinois (online gaming bill carried over from 2017)
  • Louisiana (online gaming)
  • Michigan (online gaming bill carried over from 2017)
  • New York (online poker bill carried over from 2017)
  • West Virginia (online gaming)

Legislation is already in the pipeline in several other states as well.

Massachusetts, a state that already has a vague bill referencing online gaming, and New Hampshire are solid candidates to introduce online gaming legislation this year, considering both states introduced online gaming legislation in 2017.

Massachusetts is even more likely to take another crack at an online lottery. The state was one of the leading candidates to pass an online lottery bill last year but failed to see it across the finish line.

This year it has even more reasons to add online lottery products to its offerings. Now, one of its northern neighbors, New Hampshire, passed a bill last year. Elsewhere, one of its southern neighbors, Connecticut, has active legislation.

And speaking of Connecticut, the Constitution State isn’t just exploring online lottery and sports betting, it also appears to be taking the first steps towards online gaming legislation.

Source: European Gaming Media and Events