How Do I Gamble Online in the USA?: Online Casino USA

How do you play real money casino games in the United States? That’s a question with 50-plus answers, because of the many jurisdictions in the US online gambling industry. All 50 US states have their own online gambling laws. The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other US territories have their own gambling law. It’s complicated.

The short answer is Americans can legally play real money casino games in every single US state and territory. While unlicensed gaming operators and payment processors might fear prosecution, individual US residents don’t. No American has ever been charged for playing for real money at a US online casino. If you want a longer answer, keep reading our guide to gambling online in the USA. We have an answer involving the gambling laws of each US state.

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How to Play Real Money Casino Games Online in the USA

If you’re interested in gambling online in the United States, it’s a straightforward process. Take a look below and read our beginner’s guide to playing at casinos online in the United States.

  1. Choose a Top US Online Casino: First, you can choose a US-friendly online casino after doing your research or reading our reviews. You can register for a player account in five minutes or less. Some states have licensed online casinos, while many require players to play at offshore casino sites.
  2. Make a Deposit: After that, you’ll need to make a deposit using one of the various available methods, such as a credit or debit card, Bitcoin, altcoins, web wallet, or bank wire transfer.
  3. Accept a Welcome Bonus: Once you go to the cashier page, you’ll be offered a welcome bonus. Decide whether to accept the welcome bonus package, which includes bonus money and/or free spins. Remember you’ll need to clear a wagering requirement.
  4. Read the Terms of Use: The wagering requirement assures you must wager the bonus cash a certain number of times before withdrawing it. Certain casino games apply or might have a lower contribution rate. Not everyone wins enough to withdraw free cash, but you do if you get lucky.
  5. Play for Real Money: Once you’ve funded your account, you can select a casino game and begin playing with real money. Again, if you accepted a bonus, be sure to clear the wagering requirement before withdrawing your winnings.
  6. Withdraw Your Winnings: After you’ve cleared the wagering requirement, visit the cashier page and select your preferred payout method. Make a withdrawal request, then wait a few hours to a few days for the payout to arrive.

How We Review the Top USA Online Casinos

Choosing an online casino provider in the USA can be challenging, especially if you’re new to it. To help you decide which sites are safe and best suited to your needs, we use the following checklist to rate online casinos.

  • Game Selection: We analyze the number and rate the type of games available. Top US casino sites offer a wide range of slots and table games from multiple software providers. Before reading our reviews, build a checklist of your favorite games to compare against a site’s game selection.
  • Convenient Deposits: When it comes time to deposit, players prefer to use their preferred payment method. Banking methods include credit and debit cards, web wallets, bank transfers, and cryptocurrencies. We provide complete information on deposit and withdrawal options, plus rate sites based on those options.
  • Welcome Bonus: Welcome bonuses are a big part of the promotional cash offered by sites to players. We rate sites not only based on the size of the bonus, but also the wagering requirement, game contribution rate, and other terms of use tied to the bonus.
  • Mobile Casino Apps: At least 50% of online players are now mobile players, so we recommend sites that support play on Android and iOS devices. Online casinos provide either downloadable Android and iPhone apps or the ability to play mobile casino games in a web browser. Not all games are converted to mobile at some sites, so we rate them based on mobile games.
  • Live Dealer Games: Part of our game selection rating involves live casino games. Like Android and iPhone games, a site’s live dealer game selection is important enough to have its own category. Some players choose a casino based on its Live Blackjack, Live Roulette, and Live Baccarat gaming.
  • Fast Withdrawals: Once it’s time to withdraw cash, fast and reliable payouts are key. We rate withdrawal methods based on reliability and speed, though reliability is the most important. Credit card, PayPal, or bank wire transfer users’ payouts happen within several days. Crypto withdrawals occur within minutes or hours, so we give bonus points for crypto banking methods.
  • Safety and Security: We rate casinos based on their reputation for keeping transactions safe and secure by using 128-bit or 256-bit encryption technology. We advise against sites with a reputation for slow or non-existent payment, casinos that have no licensing, or sites with a reputation for lax security standards.
  • Customer Service: Finally, we consider casinos’ customer service representatives and look for those who are available 24/7, knowledgeable, helpful, fluent, and polite. If customer reps know the business but don’t help you when you call, we deduct it from our rating. The best US casinos online offer toll-free phone numbers, email addresses, and live chat features to resolve any issues players may encounter.

Online Casinos vs Land-Based Casinos: Pros and Cons

Gambling at an online casino has many advantages. In a time of rising prices, the convenience and savings of playing in the privacy of your own home are a huge advantage. At a time in our history when we seem to have less leisure time than ever, playing mobile slots on the go on your Android phone or iPhone is the best and only way. That’s especially true if you don’t live within easy distance of a brick-and-mortar casino.

Each type of gambling has its advantages. Here are the two forms of casino gambling compared and contrasted.

Pros of Online Casinos

Pros of Land-Based Casinos

Play on the go using Android, ioS, or desktop. Instant payouts.
Free welcome bonuses for signups and deposits. The slots club offer comps, but only for slots play.
No travel time or expenses. Hotel rooms often discounted. Restaurants, shopping, shows on the complex.
Free online casino games for promotional purposes. No free gaming tables or slot machines. Pay to play online.
Social gaming in the live dealer casino. A social atmosphere with dealers and other players.
Hundreds of casino games. Sometimes poker and sportsbooks. Slots, table games, a poker room. Sometimes keno, bingo, or sports betting.

Online Gambling Laws Throughout the USA

Here is a quick rundown of the online gambling laws in the United States. We track the latest sports betting or online gambling laws if they have occurred in the past few years. In most states, we track the lack of news about online gambling legislation.

Alabama Online Gambling Laws

  • Alabama has not regulated online casinos or poker sites. Residents gamble in offshore gambling sites.
  • The state has a few land-based slots parlors, bingo halls, and race tracks.
  • Online sports betting happens in offshore bookmaker sites.

Alaska Online Gambling Laws

  • Alabama has not regulated online casinos or poker sites. Residents gamble in offshore gambling sites.
  • The state has a few bingo halls and some pull-tab games, but nothing else.
  • Online sports betting happens in offshore bookmaker sites.

Arizona Online Gambling Laws

  • Arizona online casino betting remains unregulated.
  • Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law HB 2772 in early 2021, legalizing sports betting in the state’s land-based casinos
  • Allowed 20 sports betting licenses in total.

Arkansas Online Gambling Laws

  • Arkansas legalized online sports betting in March 2022.
  • Online casino regulation is not yet in place despite the expansion of land-based gambling in recent years.

California Online Gambling Laws

  • California lawmakers tried 11 times in 10 years to pass an online poker bill but failed due to disagreements among tribal casino authorities.
  • No attempts have been made to license online casinos in California.
  • Online gamblers in California must play at offshore online casinos, poker sites, and sportsbooks.

Colorado Online Gambling Laws

  • Colorado has not regulated online casino betting.
  • Sports betting was legalized in May 2020 to support the land-based casino industry.

Connecticut Online Gambling Laws

  • Connecticut passed land-based sports betting, online casinos, and online poker in May 2021.
  • Online gambling became available through the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods websites in October 2021.

Delaware Online Gambling Laws

  • Delaware is the 1st US state to legalize online casinos and poker sites, back in July 2013.
  • Dover Downs, Delaware Park, and Harrington Racecourse launched online gambling sites in 2014.
  • Signed the Multi-State Internet Gambling Association (MSIGA) in 2014 with Nevada. Joined later by New Jersey and Michigan.

Florida Online Gambling Laws

  • Florida has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Residents play at offshore online casinos, cardrooms, and sportsbooks.
  • The Seminole Tribe of Florida (Hard Rock International) controls most land-based gaming in Florida.

Georgia Online Gambling Laws

  • Georgia has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Residents play at offshore online casinos, cardrooms, and sportsbooks.
  • Georgia explored the idea of 2-3 land-based casinos, but the legislation stalled in committee.

Hawaii Online Gambling Laws

  • Hawaii has a 100% on gambling in the state, including online gambling and lottery betting.
  • Hawaii residents play online for real money at offshore online casinos.
  • The same goes for online sportsbooks and online poker sites.

Idaho Online Gambling Laws

  • Idaho has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Residents play at offshore online casinos, cardrooms, and sportsbooks.

Illinois Online Gambling Laws

  • Illinois does not regulate online casinos.
  • Intrastate online and mobile sportsbooks were legalized in 2020.
  • Ten riverboat casinos continue to operate.
  • Video gambling terminals (VGTs) operate in many bars and restaurants.

Indiana Online Gambling Laws

  • Indiana launched online sports betting in 2020 for single-state bettors.
  • Online casinos are not regulated by the state.
  • Indiana casino gamblers must play at offshore casino sites.

Iowa Online Gambling Laws

  • Iowa dabbled with online gambling legislation in the past few years but never passed it.
  • Passed an online sports betting law with remote registration in January 2020.
  • Land-based casinos can now host online sportsbooks.

Kansas Online Gambling Laws

  • Kansas has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Residents play at offshore online casinos, cardrooms, and sportsbooks.

Kentucky Online Gambling Laws

  • Kentucky has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Residents play at offshore online casinos, cardrooms, and sportsbooks.

Louisiana Online Gambling Laws

  • Louisiana does not have regulated online casinos.
  • It licensed five online sportsbooks connected to land-based casinos.
  • Those sportsbooks went live on January 28, 2022.

Maine Online Gambling Laws

  • Maine has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Residents play at offshore online casinos, cardrooms, and sportsbooks.
  • Land-based sports betting was legalized in August 2022, but Maine has yet to license any sportsbooks.

Maryland Online Gambling Laws

  • Maryland does not have licensed online casinos.
  • Gov. Larry Hogan signed a sports betting law into effect in 2020 after a referendum passed.
  • Maryland will have 60 online sports betting licenses, but no sportsbooks have gone live yet, with one set aside for the FedEx Field, the home stadium of the Washington Commanders.

Massachusetts Online Gambling Laws

  • Massachusetts has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Residents play at offshore online casinos, cardrooms, and sportsbooks.
  • Retail land-based sports betting launched on January 31, 2023. Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield have retail betting and mobile sports betting apps.

Michigan Online Gambling Laws

  • Michigan legalized online casinos, online poker, and land-based sportsbooks in December 2019.
  • Sportsbooks launched on March 11, 2020.
  • Online gambling launched on January 22, 2021.
  • Joined the Multi-State Internet Gambling Association (MSIGA) on April 12, 2022.

Minnesota Online Gambling Laws

  • Minnesota has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Residents play at offshore online casinos, cardrooms, and sportsbooks.
  • A bill to legalize land-based sports betting fell short in 2022.

Mississippi Online Gambling Laws

  • Mississippi legalized land-based sports betting launched in 2018.
  • One sportsbook operates, but players must visit a brick-and-mortar casino to make a sports wager.
  • Online casinos and online poker remain unregulated.

Missouri Online Gambling Laws

  • Missouri has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Residents play at offshore online casinos, cardrooms, and sportsbooks.
  • A deal to legalize retail sports betting and video lottery games fell through in the Missouri Senate in early April 2023.

Montana Online Gambling Laws

  • Montana sports betting is allowed, but it must be done at a physical location through a licensed sales agent.
  • Online casinos and poker sites remain unregulated.

Nebraska Online Gambling Laws

  • Nebraska has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Residents play at offshore online casinos, cardrooms, and sportsbooks.
  • Gov. Pete Ricketts signed a bill to legalize land-based sports betting in May 2021. The state still lacks the casino infrastructure to take bets, though.

Nevada Online Gambling Laws

  • Nevada legalized online poker.
  • Has 108 land-based sportsbooks.
  • Online casinos are not regulated. Online casino players must play at offshore casino sites.
  • Part of the Interstate Poker Compact, but only one poker website operates.
  • One of five US states with no lottery betting.

New Hampshire Online Gambling Laws

  • New Hampshire online lottery ticket sales and online sports betting are allowed.
  • Otherwise, online gambling is unregulated.
  • New Hampshire residents play at offshore online casinos for real money.

New Jersey Online Gambling Laws

  • New Jersey has the largest online gambling industry in the USA. It is strictly enforced, so we recommend residents of New Jersey play at sites licensed by the Division of Gaming Enforcement.
  • Atlantic City casinos and New Jersey horse tracks can launch online gambling portals, including online casinos, poker sites, and sportsbooks.
  • Part of the MSIGA.

New Mexico Online Gambling Laws

  • New Mexico has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Residents play at offshore online casinos, cardrooms, and sportsbooks.
  • Five locations offer land-based sports betting: Buffalo Thunder Casino (Santa Fe), Inn of the Mountain Gods (Mescalero), Isleta Resort & Casino (Albuquerque), Route 66 Casino (Albuquerque), and Santa Ana Star Casino (Bernalillo).

New York Online Gambling Laws

  • New York has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Residents play at offshore online casinos, cardrooms, and sportsbooks.
  • New York legalized retail sports betting tied to online and mobile sportsbooks on January 8, 2022.
  • Flirted with the regulation of online poker sites in the past, licensed online casinos don’t appear likely.

North Carolina Online Gambling Laws

  • North Carolina has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Residents play at offshore online casinos, cardrooms, and sportsbooks.
  • North Carolina is considering online sports betting involving approximately 10 companies, with one study showing it would yield $45 million in taxes per year. The tax rate would be 14%, lower than in nearby states.

North Dakota Online Gambling Laws

  • North Dakota has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Residents play at offshore online casinos, cardrooms, and sportsbooks.
  • North Dakota legalized sports betting in December 2021. Retail sports betting through the Dakota Nation Sportsbook is legal at three locations: Dakota Magic Casino and Hotel in Hankinson, the Dakota Connection in Sisseton, and Dakota Sioux in Watertown.

Ohio Online Gambling Laws

  • Ohio legalized retail sports betting and online sportsbooks in 2021.
  • Gov. Mike DeWine continues to talk about legalizing online gambling but nothing has happened yet.
  • Law stipulates up to 25 online Sportsbook sites and 40 brick-and-mortar sportsbooks.
  • Liquor license holders can have two sports betting kiosks, with a legal deadline of January 1, 2023.

Oklahoma Online Gambling Laws

  • Oklahoma has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Residents play at offshore online casinos, cardrooms, and sportsbooks.
  • Land-based sports betting bills have failed in recent years, though Gov. Kevin Stitt said on April 4, 2023, that he wants to legalize sports betting. Rep. Ken Luttrell has filed a bill in 2023 to do just that.

Oregon Online Gambling Laws

  • Oregon has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Residents play at offshore online casinos, cardrooms, and sportsbooks.
  • The State of Oregon legalized retail sports betting in August 2019, which led to the Scoreboard Sportsbook app in partnership with the Oregon State Lottery in October 2019. In 2022, the state expanded mobile sports betting to include large out-of-state commercial sportsbook operators.

Pennsylvania Online Gambling Laws

  • Pennsylvania licensed online casinos and poker sites in October 2018.
  • The same law legalized land-based sports betting and DFS, video lottery terminals (VLTs), and airport tablet betting legalized in October 2018.
  • Many believe Pennsylvania will join the Interstate Poker Compact, but it’s not happened yet.

Rhode Island Online Gambling Laws

  • Rhode Island added retail sports betting in 2019.
  • Online gambling remains unregulated, so residents play at offshore online casinos.

South Carolina Online Gambling Laws

  • South Carolina has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Residents play at offshore online casinos, cardrooms, and sportsbooks.
  • The South Carolina House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Revenue Policy read H.B. 3749, a bill that would legalize online sports betting apps for up to 8 companies. HB 3749 faces stiff opposition.

South Dakota Online Gambling Laws

  • South Dakota has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Residents play at offshore online casinos, cardrooms, and sportsbooks.
  • South Dakota legalized retail sports betting in 2020. The sports betting law allows sportsbooks at commercial casinos in Deadwood, as well as tribal casinos throughout the state. The list of land-based sportsbooks includes Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort (Deadwood), Dakota Connection (Sisseton), Dakota Sioux Casino (Watertown), Gold Dust Casino and Hotel (Deadwood), Holiday Inn Resort Deadwood Mountain Grand (Deadwood), Mustang Sally’s Casino (Deadwood), and The Lodge at Deadwood Gaming Resort (Deadwood).

Tennessee Online Gambling Laws

  • Tennessee has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Players gamble at offshore gaming sites.
  • Online-only sports betting is available as of November 2020.

Texas Online Gambling Laws

  • Texas has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Texans play at offshore online casinos, cardrooms, and sportsbooks.
  • 85% of Texans want land-based casino gaming, but a referendum has not happened.
    Individual lawmakers sought legal online poker and casino games, but the bills stalled.

Utah Online Gambling Laws

  • Utah has a 100% on gambling in the state, including online gambling and lottery betting.
  • Utah residents play online for real money at offshore online casinos.
  • The same goes for online sportsbooks and online poker sites.

Vermont Online Gambling Laws

  • Vermont has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Residents play at offshore online casinos, cardrooms, and sportsbooks.
  • Lawmakers appear to have no interest in passing retail sports betting or mobile sports betting bills.

Virginia Online Gambling Laws

  • Virginia passed online sports betting in January 2021.
  • Real money online casino and poker betting takes place at offshore gambling sites.

Washington DC Online Gambling Laws

  • In Washington DC, casino games and poker events must be played at offshore online casinos and cardrooms.
  • The District of Columbia has two options for sports betting.
  • The first is to use the mobile sports betting app Gambet from the DC Lottery.
  • The second is to enter licensed sportsbooks and make a land-based bet.

Washington State Online Gambling Laws

  • The State of Washington strictly bans online gambling.
  • The state is a global center of the online gaming industry (Steam/Valve, Twitch, Popcap, etc). This explains their regulators’ close eye on online gaming.
  • Residents should be careful when playing online casino games for real money.

West Virginia Online Gambling Laws

  • West Virginia made mobile sports bets available in the late summer of 2019.
  • Five land-based casinos launched online casino games in July 2020.

Wisconsin Online Gambling Laws

  • Wisconsin has not regulated online casinos or poker sites.
  • Residents play at offshore online casinos, cardrooms, and sportsbooks.
  • Retail sports betting is in the works in Wisconsin, such as the sportsbook at Potawatomi Casino Hotel in Milwaukee. With Illinois having mobile sports betting now, Wisconsin lawmakers might feel the pressure to legalize mobile sports betting apps in the near future.

Wyoming Online Gambling Laws

  • Wyoming casino games must be played online at offshore gaming sites.
  • Online sports betting available since late 2021 at state-licensed online sportsbooks.

The History of US Online Gambling Laws

While the Internet only went mainstream in the 1990s, certain gambling laws prior to that era have had a profound effect on US online gambling laws. The Federal Wire Act in particular is important because it included laws on bets placed over phone lines — considered a precursor to bets placed online. Read through the history of US gambling laws below for the background on the current state of US gambling online.

  • The Federal Wire Act: In 1961, the US government passed the Wire Act which prohibited the use of telephone lines for interstate sports betting. The FBI utilized this law to target organized crime for many years. The Wire Act served as a blueprint for the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2006, which focused on cracking down on illegal online sportsbooks.
  • PASPA Sports Betting Law: In 1992, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) made it a federal crime to engage in sports betting in 46 US states. Only Nevada, Montana, Oregon, and Delaware were exempt from this law due to pre-existing sports betting laws. However, in 2018, the US Supreme Court deemed these exemptions unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution. Since then, more than 30 US states have legalized sports betting.
  • UIGEA Online Gambling Law: The UIGEA aimed to outlaw internet gambling activities similar to those banned under the Wire Act. The scope of the Wire Act, whether it only applies to sports betting or also covers casino gaming and poker, has been the subject of much debate. The Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel currently maintains that the UIGEA only pertains to interstate online sports betting and does not extend to online poker or casino gaming websites.
  • US Supreme Court Repeals PASPA: New Jersey launched a challenge to PASPA in federal court in 2014. After 5 consecutive rulings went against New Jersey, it looked like PASPA would stand. When the US Supreme Court struck down PAPSA on May 14, 2018, it led to a revolution in US sports betting laws. Now, most states have licensed sports betting — and many of those have licensed mobile sports betting apps.

USA Legal Online Gambling FAQ

Can you gamble real money online in the United States?

Absolutely. You can gamble online in the USA in all 50 states. It gets confusing because individual states choose to regulate and license online casinos, sportsbooks, and poker sites. The important thing is no US state enforces a ban on individuals playing for real money on their computers and smartphones.

Is it legal to gamble online in the USA?

Yes. Players get confused because of the difference between regulated and unregulated gambling. Five US states have licensed online casinos, while six states have licensed online poker sites. The rest do not license and regulate online gambling, though they don’t have the political will or resources to enforce a ban on individuals gambling in the privacy of their own homes. No US resident has ever faced prosecution for betting at online gambling sites.

The term “unregulated” is a bit of a misnomer. Players in unregulated states gamble at offshore online casinos, sportsbooks, and poker rooms. Though these sites aren’t regulated or licensed by US authorities, they are licensed by respected and trustworthy international regulators.

In which states is online gambling legal?

The states that have licensed and regulated online gambling are New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Nevada, and Michigan. Most have licensed online casinos and poker sites, though Nevada only licensed poker sites. Also, New Jersey, Delaware, Nevada, and Michigan are members of the Multi-State Internet Gambling Association (MSIGA), better known as the Interstate Poker Compact. They share player liquidity on their poker sites.

Online gambling is legal in the other 44 US states, though. Players in those states can gamble online without fear of prosecution. The ban on online gambling targets gaming operators and payment processors — not individual players.

If a US resident launches their own online gambling operation, they would be prosecuted. This works just the same as land-based gambling operations. Don’t launch a casino site, poker site, or bookmaking operation online or you’ll be punished. That isn’t the same as gambling on your computer at home, or even on your smartphone while on the go.

Is it safe to play at US online casinos?

If you choose trustworthy, legitimate US online casinos, then it is safe. Players should do research before depositing cash. Read online casino reviews to learn which sites are fair, entertaining, and have reliable payouts. Read player forums and aggregate review sites. Since it’s unregulated, you’ll play without legal protection. If you gamble online at offshore casinos, sportsbooks, and poker sites, then make certain you’re playing at a trustworthy site.