Games of chance, like poker, are an activity that is highly regulated in many parts of the country. Gambling is not allowed in all states. In some states, these games are only available via online sites, and in other jurisdictions, they require a license.

Many states, including Las Vegas and Atlantic City, have strict gambling laws. Almost every state in the US has some variation in gambling laws, whether state-run lotteries, the prevalence of gambling, or even the type of gambling allowed.

But not all gambling is created equal. Indeed, many gambling is illegal under federal law, including online gambling.

Federal and state laws carve out significant exceptions for Native American casinos, on-reservation gambling, and other types of gambling. But, by and large, though states have their gambling laws, the federal government generally does not regulate state gambling laws.

Nevada and Louisiana are the only two states in the United States where casino-style gambling is legal statewide. However, both states also heavily regulate these activities. Many other states allow casino-style gambling in tiny geographic areas (such as Atlantic City in New Jersey), and many states have legalized online gambling in recent years.

Online gambling is quite a tricky industry. World governments heavily regulate the practice, discouraging or preventing online gambling from occurring. Laws regarding online gambling include the Federal Wire Act and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIEGA), passed to deter online gambling in the US.

In response to these heavy federal regulations, much online gaming has moved offshore, with some foreign providers ignoring American laws, giving this form of gambling a significant "underground" flavor.