Once reserved for poker rooms and casinos, gambling can now be done online in some states. This has transformed the gambling landscape, adding a new level of convenience with poker, sports betting and casino games at your fingertips anytime. But this is still illegal in many parts of the U.S., including Minnesota, and participation introduces the possibility of developing a gambling disorder. Understand the laws and risks here.
History and Appeal
Online gambling is slowly becoming legal in some states today, but the concept was introduced back in the mid ’90s when poker, casino and sports betting sites began to emerge. Eventually, certain laws were put in place limiting these activities. Today, every state in the U.S. has the authority to decide whether or not to legalize different types of gambling, meaning it’s important to understand the nuances where you live, especially since laws can change over time.
In states that allow online gambling, website perks like having a wide variety of games to choose from and low-minimum bets can attract participation. The ease of playing games and making bets from a desktop or mobile phone also facilitates frequent gambling, whereas going to a casino requires a designated amount of time and potentially costs more money.
When is Online Gambling Legal?
Although online gambling is legal in certain states, Minnesota does not currently allow it. Websites that let you place bets and earn or lose money through games fall under this category, and unauthorized gambling, including on online platforms, is considered a misdemeanor offense.
States that facilitate legal online gambling like Connecticut, Michigan and New Jersey typically permit online casino games, poker or sports betting. If you’re in a state that does allow online gambling and you choose to participate, the first and most important step is to make sure you’re using a legal platform. Stick with well-known sites and always check for licensing. Otherwise, you may be subject to a scam and risk sharing personal or financial information with an unknown entity.
Cautions to Be Aware Of
No one wants or expects to develop a gambling problem. But recreational gambling is popular, and the reality is that problem gambling is also common. In Minnesota alone, around 220,000 people deal with this disorder — that’s nearly two percent of the state population.
Compulsive gambling can be particularly easy to hide with online platforms. For people with a gambling disorder, the short-lived satisfaction of making bets often leads to bigger challenges. This can create financial strain and affects quality of life with relationship, career and educational challenges. If you’re dealing with a gambling disorder, you don’t have to do it alone. Get back on track with free confidential help, available to all Minnesota residents.