Gambling is legal according to U.S. federal law, but there are a series of significant restrictions when it comes to in-state and online gambling. It’s not simple to give a yes or no answer to the question of whether or not gambling is illegal, but rather a follow-up question regarding the state of residence is necessary.
The federal law of the United States does not explicitly state that gambling, whether online or physical is Illegal. This makes it somewhat legal because it is not conclusive. It is possible to be found wanting before state laws, but prosecution is almost non-existent or very minimal.
In most states, engaging in gambling activities online is illegal. Most states will prohibit computer gambling no matter what game the person plays. If the activity has a real-world exchange of money in some manner, it could constitute as gambling.
The real reasons so many forms of gambling are illegal in so many states are that governments are grossly hypocritical and arbitrary when it comes to their gambling laws and governments see themselves as nanny states with their citizens as children who need to be protected from vice and their own stupidity.
Presently, the only two states where gambling is illegal are Hawaii and Utah. Other 48 states allow some form of gambling if state-run lotteries are included. Still, casino-style gambling is much less common. The only states where casino-style gambling is legal statewide are Nevada and Louisiana.
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Gambling is still illegal in some countries around the world and this begs the question of why. To find out why is gambling illegal in countries around the world, we need to focus on the underlying reasons that often have to do with morality or religion. Some cultures look upon gambling as an outright sin or even a crime while others are more concerned about the socioeconomic ramifications gambling can bring with it.
While gambling is legal under U.S. federal law, there are significant restrictions pertaining to interstate and online gambling, as each state is free to regulate or prohibit the practice within its borders.