Every day thousands of Americans gamble online from the comfort of their homes. But since online gambling isn’t fully regulated in the United States yet, most gambling sites that accept US residents are located overseas. These offshore casinos are set up in locations where online gambling is legal, but outside of US jurisdiction. Therefore, they aren’t regulated in the same way that land-based US casinos are. That’s why it’s important to play for real money only at safe online gambling sites like the ones we list here for Americans. That way you know your funds are safe and the games are fair.
The gambling sites listed below accept (and cater to) most Americans. So they try to make it as simple and convenient as possible to deposit and cash out. Here are the ones we recommend.
Although there are plenty of good online casinos that accept US players, it’s much more difficult to find a reliable US online casino that has sports betting and a poker room. Currently, the only one we can recommend is Bovada. Getting its start in 1994, Bovada has one of the best reputations in online gaming. They are exclusive to the US market and accept players from all US states except New York, Maryland, and Washington State. You can deposit with VISA debit, prepaid, or credit card. Winnings can be withdrawn for free by check or Rapid Transfer.
Bovada’s sportsbook allows you to bet on a wide range of major sporting events including football, basketball, baseball, MMA fights, and soccer. They have live betting where you can place bets while watching games on TV, and they recently added a mobile betting app that lets you bet from your phone. Bovada also has a racebook that pays up to 10% win or lose rebates on turnover.
Their poker room averages 1200-3000 players at any given time, which makes it the US online poker site with the most player traffic. Another important note is that they’re on the same poker network as the Asian betting site – Bodog88, which brings in a lot of new players from China and Korea. These players love to gamble, and many have little or no experience playing poker against other players. That makes the real money poker games at Bovada looser than you’ll find at any other US poker sites.
In addition to their sportsbook and poker room, Bovada offers over 120 real money casino games including blackjack, craps, roulette, keno, and slot machines. To learn more about their impressive track record, read our comprehensive Bovada.lv review.
Deposits and withdrawals can be a pain for US players. Because the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act prohibits banks and payment processors from sending money to offshore gambling sites your options are limited. Currently, the easiest way to deposit at 99% of gambling sites is with a Visa credit/debit/prepaid card. Note: Make sure any prepaid Visa you buy is approved for International use.
Recently, many Americans have been turning to Bitcoin – a digital crypto-currency that is unregulated and largely anonymous – for gambling deposits. Since the U.S. doesn’t have any laws to regulate the use of Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies, gambling with Bitcoin doesn’t have the same legal challenges that traditional banking methods do. As such, Bitcoin gambling sites are popping up all over the place.
For withdrawals, bank wire or check by courier are the two most popular options.
Many US residents are confused over the legality of online gambling in the United States, and for good reason. The existing federal gambling laws don’t really pertain to online gambling. But that didn’t stop federal officials from declaring that online gambling was illegal in the US. Then last year, the Department of Justice flip-flopped its stance by saying that all online gambling is not illegal – just online sports betting. The US government now says that it’s up to the states to decide whether or not to allow its residents to gamble online. States such as Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey have already begun offering legal online gambling, and many more states will soon follow.
Looking for more information about online gambling in your state? Click on your state below to get an overview of its gambling laws and sites that allow real money gambling from its residents.
US legislators continue to fight over whether to ban or regulate online gambling. Some states have passed laws to make online gambling illegal.
It’s hard to say for sure. But with several states already legalizing online casino games and poker, we believe that most Americans will be able to enjoy fully regulated online gambling by 2020.
September 13th, 1961
President John F. Kennedy signed into law the Federal Wire Act of 1961, which was intended to target illegal bookies. However, the US government has (incorrectly) tried to say this law applies to online gambling as well.
October 13th, 2006
George W. Bush signs into law the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Enacted by Congress in 2006, this federal law makes it illegal for banks or credit card companies to process any online financial transactions for the purpose of Internet gambling. This includes electronic fund transfers (EFTs), wire transfers such as Western Union, and credit cards, among others. Some online gambling sites and money transfer companies left the American market altogether because of this law.
Friday, April 15th, 2011
Dubbed “Black Friday” by players; a day when most Americans were trying to get their taxes filed, the FBI and Department of Justice quietly seized dozens of major gambling sites and indicted 11 people associated with the companies and related processing companies on felony charges that included money laundering, fraud, and violating the UIGEA.
December 23rd, 2011
The US Department of Justice reversed their opinion of the Wire Act stating that the Wire Act only applied to online sports betting. Everything else falls outside the reach of the act, including online poker, fantasy sports betting, and real money casino games.
Most US gambling sites that survived have adjusted and are in little danger of getting shut down. It can, however, be a hassle to deposit real money and withdraw winnings if you live in the United States. So why doesn’t the US have legal online gambling? That’s a good question, considering the abundance of brick-and-mortar casinos, sportsbooks, race tracks, bingo halls, poker rooms, and state-run lotteries in the US.