10 States Passed Online Gaming Bills This Year. Can We Get To A Dozen?

Written By Steve Ruddock on August 31, 2017 - Last Updated on August 25, 2022
brown eggs in a carton

Earlier this year Play USA provided a comprehensive look at legal online gambling options in the United States.

Eight months later, it’s time to update the list.

Legal online gaming continues to grow

Legal online gaming is progressing in the United States. However, it’s not progressing at the speed most supporters had hoped for when the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel issued its 2011 letter that paved the way for states to legalize different forms of online gaming within their borders.

Since that time, just nine states have taken the plunge into online gaming. Of those, one has since withdrawn.

Of those nine states, six dabbled in online lottery, while just three others legalized online casino games and/or online poker.

However, that number jumps to an impressive 25 if we include daily fantasy sports (DFS) in the online gaming category. Since DFS has required legislative action, I think it belongs in the online gaming category.

Here’s a look at the progress made on the online gaming front over the first eight months of 2017.

Online lottery ranks increase by one

Online lottery in January 2017

At the start of 2017, online lotteries were available in the following states:

  1. Georgia
  2. Illinois
  3. Kentucky
  4. Michigan

Minnesota offered online lottery for about a year in 2014-2015 before the legislature voted to prohibit the sale of lottery products online.

Where online lottery legislation passed this year

In 2017 another state, New Hampshire, authorized its lottery to sell lottery products online.

New Hampshire’s online lottery is expected to go live sometime in early 2018. Moreover, its foray into online lottery could have an immediate impact on its southern neighbor, Massachusetts, which is one of the other states that has been looking into taking its lottery online.

Where online lottery legislation was considered

In addition to New Hampshire, online lottery legislation was introduced in the following states this year:

  1. Connecticut
  2. Hawaii
  3. Massachusetts
  4. New Jersey
  5. Pennsylvania

While not all of these efforts are officially dead, only Pennsylvania is believed to be on the table in 2017.

Follow Play USA’s online lottery tracker for the latest updates on online lottery legislation.

Online casino and poker legislation still on the table

Online poker and casino at the start of 2017

At the start of 2017, the number of states where you could legally play online poker and/or online casino games numbered three:

  1. Delaware
  2. Nevada (poker only)
  3. New Jersey

Nothing has changed… yet.

States that considered iGaming legislation

Despite a lot of momentum and optimism, to date, no other state has passed online poker or casino legislation in 2017.

The lack of progress isn’t from a lack of trying. Online poker and/or casino legislation was introduced in the following eight states in 2017:

  1. California (poker-only)
  2. Illinois
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Michigan
  5. New Hampshire
  6. New York (poker only)
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. West Virginia

Active legislation

Several of those states still have active legislation.

The most-watched state, and for good reason, continues to be Pennsylvania, where an omnibus approach that includes online casino, online poker, daily fantasy sports, and online lottery is still a hot topic.

But Pennsylvania isn’t the only state with active online gambling legislation.

Online gambling bills are still lurking in the shadows in both Illinois and Michigan.

Follow Play USA’s online poker and online casino legislation tracker for the latest information on legalization efforts.

Daily fantasy sports legal in 16 states and counting

At the beginning of 2017, nine states had legalized daily fantasy sports contests:

  1. Colorado
  2. Indiana
  3. Kansas
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Mississippi
  6. Missouri
  7. New York
  8. Tennessee
  9. Virginia

Half the states in the union introduced legislation to legalize and regulate DFS this year, and thus far, another seven states have joined the nine listed above.

They are:

  1. Arkansas
  2. Delaware
  3. Maine
  4. Maryland
  5. New Hampshire
  6. New Jersey
  7. Vermont

Follow Legal Sports Report’s DFS and sports betting legislative tracker for the latest legislative news on DFS.

Steve Ruddock Avatar
Written by
Steve Ruddock

Steve Ruddock is an avid poker player and a veteran member of the gaming media. His primary focus is on the regulated US online casino and poker markets. He writes for numerous online and print publications, including OnlinePokerReport.com, USPoker.com, and USA Today.

View all posts by Steve Ruddock
Privacy Policy