Despite a century-old blanket ban on gambling in Utah, the state has not forbid citizens from wagering on online casino games. Instead, the state has bolstered enforcement efforts to combat online casino gambling and other types of Internet gambling. Using technology tools such as geofencing, which identify the exact location of the device a bettor uses to log on to an online gambling site, state officials work to uphold gambling prohibitions and stop illegal activities.
The popularity of online casinos has increased across the United States, especially after sports betting became legal in some states. While restrictions wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic busted income streams for land-based casino operations, online betting sites have sprung up to fill the void, offering new ways to gamble on casino games and other betting options. With so many players logging on to online casinos, the state has a new revenue opportunity that it hopes will benefit Utah’s economy.
But the question remains whether or not online slot machines are legal. Unlike table games like poker or roulette, where players can see other people playing, slots are played alone, with the computer taking the guesswork for each spin. In addition, the speed at which a slot machine spins is much faster than in its physical form, with players able to make multiple bets in a matter of seconds. The speed and complexity of the technology behind these online games can raise concerns about the legality of the activity.
As a result, some states have banned online gambling. Others have enacted laws that limit how much a person can spend, while still others prohibit the use of credit cards to fund a bet. While some of these restrictions are intended to prevent addiction and underage gambling, they can also be a disincentive for some players who prefer the convenience and accessibility offered by online casinos.
The majority of the nation’s states allow some type of online gambling. Most of these jurisdictions have established licensing and regulatory bodies to oversee the industry. They’ve also developed partnerships with online casino operators and created apps that are designed to mimic the experience of visiting a brick-and-mortar gambling establishment. In order to play, users must register with the gambling website and verify their identity.
A few states have even gone a step further and allowed their residents to use mobile devices to access their favorite gambling websites. These state-approved gambling apps feature a variety of casino games and betting options. Some of these apps even offer bonus money for new players.
A few other states have taken a wait-and-see approach to online casino gambling. Iowa has one of the most restrictive gambling jurisdictions in the country, and a proposal to legalize iGaming has yet to make it past the state’s legislature. In order to bring legal online gambling to the Hawkeye State, a constitutional amendment will likely have to be passed by voters.