Gambling as a Part of American Culture • This Week in Gambling

There is a new horizon in the United States for gambling, as new laws allow certain states to decide their own legislation for online gambling. Although in most states, legislation has only recently come to fruition, it comes as no surprise that online gambling would make its way back into US culture, simply because there is a deep history and gambling culture ingrained in the US.

Below we will have a look into US gambling history and its culture leading up to today’s online gambling scene. If you like to skip straight to an online casino overview rather than read about US gambling history, then check out this Betway Casino review.


Games of chance, and perhaps the earliest known forms of wagering, date back as far as 2000 BC. There is evidence of gambling games in China, Greece, Egypt, and Japan’s history, whilst in tombs in South and North America, as well as in the Far East, archeologists dugout forms of loaded dice.

Moving forward to the 1960s when gambling had its first real boom, although it was considered a problem, and eventually outlawed. After 20 years of it being mostly illegal, it was realized that through privatization that this form of entertainment was quite popular and could generate large amounts of revenue. This is where legalized and regulated gambling started.

Lotteries, however, were a different story. The first US lottery came to light in Puerto Rico in 1934. After that we didn’t see another for 30 years, but now there are 44 different states that offer lotteries. These lotteries have become a large part of US gambling culture.

Present day

The United States now has well over 1000 commercialized casinos which generate an estimated revenue of about $29 billion a year and now with so many states now deciding to bring in new legislation it is not surprising to see so many companies trying to start their own online casinos to accept US players. As well as US companies trying to get in on the huge rise, we are also seeing organizations from all over the world negotiating with US companies to form a partnership so they can get in on the trend now as so many states look to change their laws.

Online gambling websites have been around almost as long as the internet itself but for the US it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that we began seeing the first gambling sites arrive, mostly based in the Caribbean. Within 5 years of this, we would see over 600 become available to US players. By 2008, online gambling websites would generate the same revenue as those we would find on land and now those online sites vastly exceed the revenue produced on land.

The US has a history of trying to limit and prevent players from gambling online, this was seen in 2006 when the government started the Unlawful Online Gambling Enforcement Act which banned banks and credit card companies from processing any payments to do with online gambling websites. Now the powers that be in the US seem to have realized the massive revenue this popular trend can generate with the changing of laws and new legislation being written across America. Learn some more about how online gambling is expected to explode in 2022 here.

Social and cultural influence

Although the US has finally changed its stance on sports betting and online gambling, a good deal of people may ask why states are taking so long to change their regulations, and in some cases have changed them with no real clarity in certain areas. This is simply because of the instability of the internet, even after nearly 40 years of it being available to every household, the World Wide Web is relatively unsafe and unpredictable. There is a constant threat of scams, hackers and leaks and this would make it very difficult for anyone to write new regulations and legislation for.

Even with the relative uncertainty of laws in some states for gambling, it seems that the US is moving in the right direction with Pay and Play casinos accepting US dollars now available. With such a rich culture of gambling, it almost feels like it’s a matter of time before every state jumps on the online casinos bandwagon, despite some states rejecting initial bills to introduce online casinos. Those states will certainly submit those bills once again when enough time passes, and by that time, those that did reject the original bills will be of a minority rather than of a majority, as at this time legally only Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, and West Virginia can legally operate online casinos.