Legal Issues with Gambling

The gambling sector is one of the most profitable industries globally, worth $59 billion in 2022. Over the years, it managed to grow and adapt to new tech innovations and offer different ways for users to stay entertained online or offline.

But, what hinders the growth of the gambling sector is the legal aspect and the support or lack thereof of governments toward gambling. This puts pressure on the establishments and individuals who must be aware of what the state constitutes as legal or illegal. Of course, different states or even regions have a different outlook on what is defined as a legal or illegal activity. However, specific legal issues are in general, associated with gambling.

Online Gambling

Different states have authorized or banned gambling via a computer in the USA, although the activity is considered legal on a federal level. It’s worth mentioning that two states are known for altogether banning gambling – Hawaii and Utah. Otherwise, online gambling activities are legal in certain states, while others only authorize certain gambling activities. Some states that allow online gambling activities are New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Arizona, Maryland, and Connecticut. The good news is that many states are looking to legalize online gambling, including California, Indiana, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and Nevada.

In other words, most states have limited online gambling offers, and the user needs to be aware of the state’s stance on online gambling before participating in any gambling activity online, including betting, playing casino games, bingo, and scratchcards.

Gambling License

Whether they operate online or offline, every gambling establishment needs to have an appropriate gambling license issued by a regulatory body that supervises and regulates the gambling establishment’s activities and makes sure they work according to the law.

When it comes to online gambling, two jurisdictions make this more complex. For example, some countries allow establishments to open a land-based and online casino, but the citizens are not allowed to gamble. Costa Rica would be an example of this situation. On the other hand, based on the provider’s location, you can engage in gambling activities as long as it’s a legal operator.

This makes it easier for users on a global scale to find a licensed online casino and play casino games from mobile or desktop devices. So, in other words, online casinos are legitimate and trustworthy when they hold a valid license by renowned organizations like the Malta Gaming Authority, UK Gambling Commission, and Alderney Gambling Control Commission, to name a few.

It is a significant reason why the online gambling market has thrived globally and attracted different kinds of users, from high rollers to complete beginners. Many casino sites cater to high rollers with special loyalty programs and VIP clubs.

Social Gambling

Another form of illegal gambling is coming at social gatherings because there isn’t a gambling establishment authorized to conduct gambling activities. Any dog fights or illegal poker games constitute unlawful gambling activity; however, if the games are played purely socially without a bookie or host of the game benefiting, that is considered legal gambling activity.

Moreover, due to the rising popularity of social media sites, there were also issues about regulating giveaways, contests, or gambling activities online or through social games. The rise of social media sites and games also prompted online gambling, even though the legislation lagged behind this sector’s tremendous growth. It’s estimated that approximately $4.4 million in revenue worldwide was generated from social media casino games. They come as free-to-play mode, but many of them feature microtransactions and in-app purchases where the user can opt to purchase additional credits, for example.


In conclusion, it depends on the player’s location whether gambling is permitted or prohibited; however, it is a rapidly growing industry that benefits from numerous technological innovations that make it appealing to a global audience. That said, it’s a billion-dollar revenue that doesn’t go unnoticed by governments worldwide and in the USA, which is why many of them are open to regulating online gambling.