Last Updated on August 3, 2021


Many in the legal sports betting and online casino space have been waiting for the “I told you so” moment, and there have been many. This one may be the biggest though, as New Jersey reported that 27% of the state’s revenue came from online casinos. Keep in mind, this is a brand new revenue source over the last few years and only a handful of states in the US have systems in place for online casinos. This report is an eye opener, so let’s take a look.

Let’s take a look at a recent study which shows 27% of NJ revenue came from online casino taxes, a look at which states offer legal online casinos, which states are coming and a brief look at why there are not more states that have legal online casino offerings.


New Jersey Online Casino Revenue Soars

In the below tweet from Chris Sieroty, he sources a graph from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement where online gaming revenue has shown an incredibly level of improvement since its creation and a boom in recent years. In addition, in June of 2021 he mentions that 27% of New Jersey’s revenue comes from the online casinos. That is an insane number, which is a lot of money to help the state of New Jersey. So the question is really simple for other states, what are they waiting for?


Which states have legal online casinos?

While there are not many states that do allow online casinos, there are a handful that have legalized, regulated, and begun to offer legal online casinos to residents and visitors in the state. Here are the four states that have similar legislation and allow for large online casino companies to offer their services in each respective state.

Other states that allow for legal online casino games are Delaware and Nevada, but they do not have the same systems in place as the four states above which prevent online casinos such as DraftKings, FanDuel, or others to enter the jurisdiction.


Why can’t I play at online casinos in my state?

While there is no direct answer as every state is different, there are plenty of reasons why there are only four states that have allowed online casino gaming compared to nearly 20 states that have allowed legal online sports betting of some sort, whether already in practice or coming late 2021 or early 2022. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why online casinos are not more widespread.


1. Video Gaming Terminals

Video Game Terminals (VGTs) are mobile online casino machines that allow for gamblers to play at various spots. VGTs are available in a state such as Illinois, but they are causing a big hiccup in terms of legalizing online casinos, as it presents some levels of competition and how they work together as online casinos would certainly hurt places that offer VGTs in states like Illinois.


2. Brick and Mortar Casinos

To no one’s surprise, the largest hurdle for online casinos in various states is of course the assumed (and real) pushback from land-based casinos that will undoubtedly lose some business should online casinos be legalized and regulated. Most states that allow for online casinos to operate require an online casino to partner with a retail casino to offer gaming, but then it becomes a rev-share agreement and/or fees that some casinos are afraid of taking the risk on. Land-based casinos have been on the “other side” of legalizing mobile apps for sports betting and casinos, so this one is expected.


3. Time

Unfortunately, it takes a ton of time for legal online casinos to be legalized, regulated, and then licensing and such to be set up. Regulatory bodies do not exist in many states for legal online gambling, so those have to be created along with any licensing, approvals, and more.

This is on top of any legislation that has to be passed in the House and Senate of each state, which takes a lot of time in itself. Many politicians are not educated on the benefits of legal online gambling, so there is a bit of a learning curve for any lobbyists from the online casino companies.


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