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Legal online betting is quickly becoming a reality in the United States. Most US states have had legal online horse racing betting for several years now, but more recently we are starting to see individual states legalize additional forms of online betting such as casino games, poker, daily fantasy sports and lotteries.

In 2011, the Department of Justice issued a legal opinion that changed the way the federal government interprets the Wire Act of 1961. Essentially, what the Department of Justice opined was that the Wire Act only applies to sports betting, not to other forms of online gaming. This decision ultimately made it possible for individual states to legalize and regulate new forms of online gaming.

New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware quickly got on board and legalized online casino games, online poker or both provided organizations seeking to organize such games are properly licensed and approved. Pennsylvania joined the party in 2017 and was followed by West Virginia in 2019.  Michigan got on board in early 2021 with the launch of online sports betting, poker, and gambling.

Legal sports betting has expanded as well thanks to a 2018 Supreme Court decision striking down the federal prohibition. In addition to Nevada, we now have legal sports betting in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Mississippi and additional states since then.

The Department of Justice complicated things in 2019 with a sudden decision to go back to its pre-2011 interpretation of the Wire Act. Under the current opinion, the DOJ believes the Wire Act applies to all forms of gambling. The implications of the decision are unclear, but the decision has not stopped a growing number of states from taking up sports betting legislation.

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