The United States is filled with slot machines. The mega resort casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Connecticut have thousands upon thousands of slots filling the floor.
You’ll also find hundreds of other casinos spread across the nation using slot machines as their main source of income.
For a country with so many slot machines, you’d think the legal landscape would be better.
Some states don’t have any slot machines while others are overrun. Once you add in online play considerations the legalities become even more complex.
Learn more about playing slots in the US at both local casinos and online.
I don’t remember the official percentage, but I remember reading a statistic that claimed something like 90% of the US population lived within two hours of a casino or other gambling establishment.
Of course the saying about statistics is you can make them say just about anything you want if you know how to manipulate them.
While it’s possible 90% of the population is within two hours driving distance, if you included flying distance the percentage would easily top 90% probably nearing 100%
The point is even if you live in a state that doesn’t have legal casino gambling you can take a short trip and be playing the slots in no time.
I can only assume (which is always dangerous) the rest of the country is somewhat like the area where I grew up. If it is, even in the areas where slot machines aren’t legal you can still play slots if you know where to go locally.
20 years ago I didn’t have access to a casino without getting on a plane. Now, even though I live in a rural area, I can be in at least three casinos by car within two hours. If I add another hour to the trip it doubles the number of possibilities
Notice I included the legal issues section between the local play and online play sections. Usually I like to keep my sections in a logical order where local and online would be back to back.
The reason I split the two on this page is because the law is entirely different concerning online and land based play.
Each state makes and enforces land based gambling laws in the United States. Any state may legalize land based casinos and poker rooms. The federal government isn’t really involved in casinos and poker rooms.
But the federal laws currently don’t allow sports betting and sports books in any state except Nevada.
Of course I’m not a lawyer and don’t understand why some laws don’t make sense (even though I doubt most lawyers know why some laws don’t make sense either) but does this make any sense at all? Why can the states allow casino gambling and poker but not sports books?
Online gambling has been available since the 1990’s but the US laws have been slow to recognize it.
For many years the lawmakers basically ignored the online gambling market. Then a few states tried to enact laws to make it illegal and the federal government didn’t do anything specifically about it except try to limit the options to move money.
This has created a situation where most US citizens don’t really know if gambling online is legal or not.
A few states are legalizing online play, starting with the poker market, but expanding slowly into slot machines and other casino games.
The common belief is eventually states will expand online gaming legally like the land based casino industry spread. The states can make a great deal of tax money from online gambling just like they make off local casinos.
However, even if this happens who knows how long it’ll take.
Playing online slots in the US is a little confusing if you’re too worried about the legal landscape like I just covered.
The good news is if you want to play you have plenty of options. I also don’t know of anyone getting in trouble for playing online slot machines, and I’ve been playing for over 10 years.
You also have plenty of options. Many different software companies offer a wide range of slot machines. I haven’t counted the number of different slots games available online, but it wouldn’t surprise me if you could play over a 1,000 different machines online in the US.
Many online slots software providers left the United States market when the federal government started restricting the ways you could fund an offshore account. Microgaming and Playtech were two of the largest companies that left the market.
This left a void in the market and other software companies grew to fill it or new ones opened. Real Time Gaming (RTG) instantly became the go to software platform for slots players across the country. Other companies, like Rival Gaming, developed their own software platform and entered the market too.
Most large companies with stock listed on one of the major exchanges around the world pulled out of the US market with hopes of being able to enter it again when online play is legalized. Time will tell if this was the best strategy.
Online slots companies have evolved beyond the old desktop computer model to include many mobile gaming options. You can play slots on iPhones, iPads, Android based phones and tablets, Blackberries, and Windows based phones and tablets.
This runs the risk of complicating the legality of gaming in the US even more. What happens if a resident of a state with legalized online slot machines is playing on their mobile device in a state that specifically outlaws online play?
As I mentioned above, no one seems to be getting arrested or charged for playing online, but the US really needs to get their act together when it comes to some type of uniform slot machine laws.
US citizens have almost endless options when it comes to slots play. They can drive or fly to one of the hundreds of land based casinos, log onto their favorite online casino on their computer, or take a few spins on their favorite slot machine from their mobile phone or tablet.