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Monday 3rd October 2022

US States with the Strictest Gambling Laws

Lady of Justice

In the United States, there are three different tiers of gambling legislation. First, there are federal laws, like UIGEA, that place restrictions on how the American citizens can interact with gambling sites. Then there is state law, which is arguably the most divisive area of the law for gamblers, with fifty different rules and laws depending only on which set of geographical boundaries you are playing in. County and federal laws are lower on the totem pole, and not as problematic for gamblers as state or federal restrictions.

Some states, like Michigan, allow many forms of gambling, even online gaming. Finding an online casino with no deposit bonuses or a great collection of game titles in Michigan is rather easy, but some states are quite far from the idea of regulating such establishments. The following states have the strictest gambling laws in the country, let’s find out a bit more about them.

Strictest Gambling Laws in the US


In Utah, gambling is illegal everywhere – not in the comfort of your own home, not in a casino of any kind, not even in a game of a raffle or bingo. Utah has one of the strictest laws against online gambling, but it has also made the unusual decision to ban any potential federal legalization of gaming, a sort of preemptive action against future legislation.


According to proponents of gambling on the islands, every casino operating in the state would generate an additional $20 million in income each year. Those opposed to gambling argue that since Hawaii's tourist market already generates approximately $1 billion annually, an additional $20 million per casino isn't worth the drawbacks of the gambling industry. The battle goes on, but for the time being, gambling in Hawaii is illegal.

New Hampshire

The New Hampshire House and Senate have been at odds for almost ten years when it comes to gaming. Two good pieces of House’s legislation were forwarded to the Senate for consideration; one would have permitted the development of two casinos in the state, while the other called for just one commercial gambling establishment. Both bills were too much for the Senate to bear. The state has already made DFS bets illegal and has already prohibited online gaming.


The only legal gambling establishment in the state is a modest "casino cruise" with a few gaming machines, a few tables, a little sportsbook, and a bar. Georgia lawmakers recently pushed to include daily fantasy sports bets in the state's expansive definition of gambling, signaling their intent to prohibit all kinds of online gambling.


Tennessee is on this list since it hasn't significantly updated the strict gambling laws that were implemented in all US states throughout the late 19th century. In contrast to a few other states that were formerly adamantly opposed to casino gambling and now have hugely successful gambling industries, Tennessee politicians have never taken any action to regulate gambling of any kind.


Aside from the brick-and-mortar games at French Lick, Indiana is a particularly unwelcoming state for gamblers due to its extremely expansive definition of gaming and its severe penalties for the act of illegal gaming.

While daily fantasy betting on sports is protected by state law, you are going against the law if you play slots, blackjack, online poker, or any other game. The state has explicitly outlawed social and private gambling, even in the comfort of your own home.


As an Alaskan, the only real options you’ve got to play a standard casino game or slot machine are to fly to another US state or cross the border into Canada. Do you really want to challenge the court when a second gambling violation results in a felony? You may claim that the state's unwillingness to criminalize online gambling or DFS can be seen as a de facto legalization of such activities, but it is unlikely you will succeed.

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