The gambling industry contributes 137.5 billion dollars to the U.S. economy each year. From its roots as a form of legal government lottery to the current trend of online casino apps, the story of gambling in the U.S. is rich and compelling. The fastest growing sector is online, with the online gambling market forecasted to be worth 59.79 billion by 2020.
The soaring popularity of online gambling has coincided with the release of premium online casino apps, like the Rivers Casino app for iOS, with a diverse range of games that appeal to both men and women and better-than-ever graphics.
History of Gambling in the U.S.
Gambling in the U.S. can be traced back to the use of lotteries, a form of legal government gambling, by British colonialists in the 18th and 19th centuries. New Orleans and the lower Mississippi Valley soon became a hub of activity, naturally establishing itself as the gambling centre of the United States. Gambling popularity increased steadily until the mid 19th century, when a wave of hostility against gambling moved activity off the mainland and onto boats in the Mississippi River.
By the 1850s, following the California Gold Rush, San Francisco had overtaken New Orleans as the gambling capital of the U.S. Other gambling hubs included Miami, Galveston in Texas, and Hot Springs in the state of Arkansas. By the early 20th century, gambling was outlawed throughout the majority of the country, forcing it to become a largely illegal activity and leading to an increase in organized crime.
In 1931, the stock market crash of 1929 resulted in the legalization of gambling in Nevada, in an attempt to provide money for the state. Gambling in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, blossomed and by the 1950s Las Vegas had overtaken San Francisco as the gambling capital of the U.S. In 1977, New Jersey legalized gambling in Atlantic City in the state of New Jersey, leading to the development of another gambling mecca tourist hotspot.
By the early 21st century the gambling market had been transformed by the introduction of internet gambling, yet legal restrictions on interstate and international transactions in the U.S. still applied, strengthened by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.
The introduction of play free casino apps and a new wave of online slot games has seen the popularity of online gambling soar, and the development of a new diversified market, with the industry set to be worth 59.79 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.
Current Gambling Law in the U.S.
Gambling is legal under U.S. federal law but each state has the power to regulate or prohibit the practice within its borders. U.S. law divides gambling into six categories; charitable games, pari mutuel wagering, state lotteries, commercial gambling (casinos), tribal (Native American gambling) and racetrack (advance-deposit wagering). State lotteries and charity gambling are commonplace across the U.S. and legal in the majority of states, but Nevada and Louisiana are the only two states in which casino-style gambling is legal statewide. All other states that allow casino-style gambling restrict it to small geographical areas, such is the case in Atlantic City in New Jersey and Tunica in Mississippi.
Gambling Resorts in the U.S.
There are approximately 1500 land-based casinos in the U.S., ranging from small casinos serving locals to the iconic luxury casino resorts of Las Vegas, such as the Bellagio and the MGM Grand Las Vegas. Featuring 2500 slot machines that have paid out some of the largest jackpots in history, the MGM Grand Las Vegas is a gamblers’ paradise. High Limit Slots, where up to $500,000 can be won, feature private lounges, private restrooms and VIP service. With five-star hotels, world-class spas and opulent dining, U.S. casinos attract tourists from around the world.
Play Free Casino: Get Ready with the Casino App for iOS
Before visiting a casino you can practice your gaming skills and play free casino at home with the Rivers Casino app, which features over eighty different slot games. Enhance your skills with a casino app for iOS to keep you at the top of your game, and make sure you’re in good shape to win big before you make that once in a lifetime trip. Download the free app here.