The History of American Gambling

Gambling has an interesting history that dates back farther than you may have thought. Though it’s easy to imagine people centuries ago betting at cards and dice, dice and stick games date back to the 1200s. Utah’s Great Salt Lake region has a cave with evidence that Promontory Native Americans played games like this almost a millenia ago. In the United States, legislation on gambling started as early as 1806, when Louisiana decided gambling was only legal in New Orleans. Since then, gambling and casinos have gone through extreme restrictions and huge surges.

For example, have you ever wondered why so many online casinos come from Europe and so few from America? That’s because the only state in the U.S. where it’s legal to run a full online casino is New Jersey. A few other states have legislation in the works that will allow them to operate online casinos, too. The reason online gambling isn’t legal in more states has to do with the federal government and the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

Because online gamblers in the U.S. need to play at overseas casinos, it’s harder to find reputable websites. Be careful if you’re interested in gambling online. Until more states pass legislation legalizing online gambling, you’ll need to do your research. To learn more about gambling in the United States, check out the infographic “The History of American Gambling” for a comprehensive timeline.


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