Will the USA Relax Online Casino Laws in the Aftermath of COVID?
By Space Coast Daily // March 17, 2021
COVID-19 has damaged economies. Could the US consider relaxing online casino laws and welcome brands like Grand Fortune Casino?
Could US Online Casino Laws Be Relaxed Post-COVID?
In the US, there’s a conflict between the aims of the federal government and state governments across the nation. While marijuana remains illegal on a national level, without a prescription, more than a dozen states have legalized consumption.
A similar trend is playing out among online casinos, with sites like Grand Fortune Casino leading the charge. Meanwhile, five states are currently permitting online casinos to operate legally. Also, with COVID-19 changing the social and economic landscape, is a wider relaxation on the horizon?
Grand Fortune Casino Accepting US players
Recently, there has been a shift in the restrictive dynamic and more and more brands like Grand Fortune Casino are accepting US players.
When looking for US online casinos, brands such as Grand Fortune casino are waiting to provide you with a strong experience. After launching in 2018, the brand has risen to become a top online casino option in the USA.
It’s quite interesting to see that many international online casinos are breaking ranks to accept US players. In the case of Grand Fortune Casino, USA residents can register a new account and be eligible for a $1,500 bonus package with 200 free spins.
The bonus funds are divided over three deposits and the free spins are awarded at a rate of 50 a day for a handful of top video slots. Deposits can be transferred via MasterCard or VISA from the USA and with encryption.
No Deposit Casino Sites
Money can be the fuel that is used to play games and generate winnings, all being well. However, the new wave of US casino sites has also spawned more options in terms of no deposit casinos that let you play for free.
The marketplace is highly competitive and some of the top online casinos in the US are letting users sample their platforms free of charge and without incurring the risk of losing real money.
When looking for a no deposit casino, you can find that there are sites where free spins are awarded to sample a range of specific slot games. Alternatively, some users prefer to receive a sum of no deposit funds that they can allocate.
And this applies to the value of the wagers that can be placed and the games that are played. Most notably, no deposit funds can be used for table games whereas free spins are exclusively for video slots.
The Federal Wire Act No Longer Relevant
The Federal Wire Act of 1961, which was established long before the advent of the internet, was established to prevent the practice of gambling via wire-based communication across state lines.
As we all know, the world has changed in the past 60 years and the Federal Wire Act is no longer fit for purpose concerning online casinos, sportsbooks, and poker rooms.
Since the turn of the century, 21 states have defied the Federal Wire Act and now permit some form of online gambling.
Of those 21 states, there are just five that permit online casino sites to operates within their borders. As of March 2021, the US states that can legally permit online casino games are Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Sports Betting Surges in Florida
Moving forward, more could join the ranks from the 16 other states that permit remote gambling. When analyzing Florida, where online sports betting is legal, it has become apparent that revenues and activity are on the rise. In an article from CNBC, the growth in the Florida market is attributed to users being stuck at home and seeking digital forms of entertainment while COVID-19 continues to impact the nation.
Like the rest of the country, the Florida economy is struggling because of COVID. So, with customers unable to visit physical casino locations, it would be beneficial if the state government could enable users to bet at home. With sports betting services currently offered online in Florida, it would bring parity to the state marketplace if casino sites could also be legalized.
In Florida, there are all kinds of amazing things to do, including craft beer festivals, hot air balloon festivals, rock concerts, and other incredible events. Until all of those events are safe once more, state residents can continue to stay home and seek out forms of entertainment online. With digital streaming and sports betting already available, only casinos would offer something different.
Online Casinos Are Technically Legal in the US
There is already a landscape in which states are choosing to define their own policies concerning online casinos. However, there could be a wider relaxation if the Wire Act finally receives a much-needed overhaul, as expected.
Back in 2011, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) proclaimed that the Wire Act didn’t apply to online gambling – only sportsbooks. This occurred under the Obama administration, however, and has since been questioned.
The late Sheldon Adelson, founder of the Las Vegas Sands Casino, didn’t agree with the opinion of the DOJ’s OLC and found an eager supporter in the form of Donald Trump, who gained control of the Presidency in January 2017.
After installing a new DOJ OLC, Trump’s experts picked on the grammar of the Wire Act and declared that the opinion wasn’t legally valid because it came from a misinterpretation.
While Trump had Adelson in his corner, the advocates of online casinos found salvation in the form of a legal challenge from the New Hampshire Lottery Commission (NHLC). After filing the issue in the US District Court Circuit, the NHLC won the case and proved the validity of the original DOJ OLC opinion from 2011. This wouldn’t be the end of the issue, however.
Trump’s OLC disagreed with Judge Paul Barbadoro and appealed the decision in June 2020. By January 2021, a decision had been reached, and that the NHLC had succeeded in convincing a panel of two judges in the US Court of Appeals, and that online casinos aren’t covered by the Wire Act.
While this technically paves the way for legal casino sites across the US, consumers need to wait for their native state to take action.