Back in the day, when the United States was young and restless, a new form of entertainment was introduced to the country. While games of chance have been around for ages, around those times new forms of gambling were introduced in the country – especially through New Orleans, and from there, spreading to the rest of the territory. These games were known as roulette, spread by the riverboats roaming the Mississippi, and ventiuna, a game of Spanish origin, that became well-known across the land – and later the world – as blackjack. Later, as gambling evolved from a pastime to a business, new forms were introduced, relying on mechanics rather than the skill of a dealer. Poker and slot machines were built and introduced to the booming gambling hub of Las Vegas early in the 20th century and spread from there to the rest of the world, and even online through venues like All Slots Canadian casino.
When it comes to gambling, the US has switched sides pretty often. Gambling was widespread during the settlement of the West, with towns like Kansas City, Deadwood, and Dodge City being famous for their many gambling venues. Gamblers were respected members of society, and gambling an honest trade. But this all changed by the early 20th century when gambling was almost universally outlawed in the country. Gambling remained illegal until the 1930s when Nevada legalized most forms of gambling. It was the first major gambling hub in the country but not the last – New Jersey legalized gambling in Atlantic City in 1977, Louisiana legalized riverboat casinos in the 1990s and Michigan legalized gambling in Detroit in 1996.
Online casinos first appeared in the mid-1990s, and rapidly became a hugely popular business around the world. Mostly unregulated at the time, online casinos spread rapidly to all countries with no specific laws against gambling, including the United States. Online poker and casino games became a national pastime – this until 2006, when a law signed by the Bush administration at the end of its time pushed the All Slots and all other casinos and poker rooms out of the country. Many casinos and online poker rooms of the time failed to survive the hit. The lucky ones – like the All Slots – relying mostly on other markets were also hit by the new prohibition. Land-based casinos continued to thrive, being built in many states, along with tribal casinos and other gambling establishments.
In 2011, the Department of Justice gave states a green light to individual states to decide whether or not they want to legalize or ban online gambling – like daily fantasy sports, online casinos, and internet poker. Three of the 50 have acted on their newfound freedom but only one – New Jersey – has decided to go the whole nine yards, legalizing online casinos along with poker. Time seems to have justified the decision: NJ has pocketed half a billion in tax revenues from its online casinos alone since they first opened in 2013. Convinced by the boost given to New Jersey’s budget, more US states are also working on similar pieces of legislation: Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois, New York, and Michigan, among others. If all goes well, online gambling might become a widespread phenomenon – and a profitable one, both for the operators and the states – in the near future.