USA Online Gambling Guide: Legal Online Casinos, State Laws & More
First and foremost: online gambling is legal in the USA. Gambling laws are constantly changing on a state-by-state basis, but here is what you need to remember: while running your own casino, sportsbook, or poker room inside the United States is not legal, individual U.S. residents will not be prosecuted for making online bets. Most importantly, all of GambleOnline’s recommended casinos are licensed, safe and secure.
In this guide, we have compiled everything you need to know about online gambling for real money in the USA. Readers will learn about US gambling laws, see an FAQ with common questions answered, and view a timeline of online gambling laws in the USA.
2020’s Best Online Gambling Sites for US Players
GambleOnline.co’s US Online Gambling Informational Quick Menu:
- Best Online USA Casinos: Many sites specialize one aspect of online gambling; casino, sports betting or poker, but what is the best online gambling site that offers all three types of online gambling?
- Is Online Gambling Legal in the US? Online gambling legislation can be confusing, but we cover that in this section.
- State-by-State Gambling Laws: We provide in-depth information on the states where gambling is legal and illegal in the US for all 50 states.
- Online Gambling USA FAQ: We answer frequently asked questions about the US online gambling industry.
- US Online Gambling History: A quick review of the history of online gambling in the United States.
- Sources: A trusted list of US online gambling resources we used to research for this page.
Best Legal Online Gambling Sites in the US
- Bovada — With a great offering of table games, live dealers, sports betting, and poker, Bovada is our top recommended all-in-one gambling site.
- Café Casino — Cafe features a 500%, $5000 welcome bonus for new players and every casino game in instant play form.
- BetOnline – BetOnline offers online slots, poker, eSports, and live in-play sports betting, all with a $1000 welcome bonus.
- Planet7 – Planet 7 Casino has fast payouts with Bitcoin, free spins, VIP promos, progressive bonuses, and all the casino games you want.
- Slots.lv — Slots LV gives players a choice of casino bonuses between $1000, 200% welcome bonus and a $1500, 300% Bitcoin bonus, along with slots tournaments, table games, and live dealers.
The majority of these casinos accept players from all states, though some state-by-state restrictions apply. Click on the links below to continue reading for specific state-based recommendations for each site. As you can see, you’ll find plenty of good online casinos that accept US players. It’s not quite as easy to find a reliable US online casino that has sports betting and a poker room, though.
State-by-State Online Gambling Laws
A growing number of US states have regulated online gambling. Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey were quick to legalize and license sites for online betting in the USA, and were the first states where gambling is legal. Pennsylvania came later, while California and other states dithered over the process. Most are waiting to see whether the US Department of Justice will ban online gambling. But even states like Texas allow for legal sweepstakes casino like Chumba Casino, so the picture is complicated.
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, or see our recommended casino for each state on the right.
US legislators continue to fight over whether to ban or regulate online gambling. Some states have passed laws to make online gambling illegal. If you are concerned about the legality of online poker, online slots, or table games in your region, read our state reviews.
Gamble Online works hard to let you know the most up-to-date and recent information on the states where gambling is legal, and which states are working towards the legalization of online gambling in the USA.
Online Gambling USA FAQS
Yes, it is 100% legal to gamble online in the USA at any of the offshore gambling sites that we recommend. No online bettors risk legal action by gambling at any of our ranked casinos. The law prevents you from operating your own site, but when it comes to you making a bet at one of these sites, you are good to go.
States such as Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey have already begun offering legal online gambling in the USA, and many more states will soon follow. You will not be prosecuted for betting at an offshore online casino. You cannot run your own online casino in the United States, and betting at US-based online casinos varies by state laws. However, you are definitively good to go in terms of betting at offshore online casinos.
JPMorgan Chase believes as many as 20 US states will have legal online gambling by 2025, though the US’s largest financial institution adjusted this prediction down since then.
Each state and jurisdiction has a different requirement, but most online casinos have an age limit of 18 and over.
Absolutely. Many players test multiple casinos or sportsbooks before settling on a favorite. Some players shop for welcome bonuses, so they join dozens of online casinos.
You can play online casino games for free anywhere in the United States. Create a players account, download the casino software, and play in practice mode if you want to enjoy free US online casino games.
If you play at online gambling sites licensed in the UK, Gibraltar, Malta, Kahnawake, or a few other countries, the games are as safe and fair as any brick-and-mortar casino. It is important that you find safe and fair online gambling sites. Read our recommendations on the best online casinos and poker sites.
History of Online Gambling in the United States
September 13th, 1961 | Federal Wire Act Passed
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 28, 1992 | PASPA Becomes Law
President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), a sports betting ban.
October 13th, 2006 | UIGEA Becomes Law
George W. Bush signs into law the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). UIGEA makes it illegal for banks or credit card companies to process any online financial transactions for the purpose of Internet gambling.
Friday, April 15th, 2011 | Black Friday Rocks US Online Poker
Dubbed Black Friday, the FBI and Department of Justice seized major gambling sites’ domains and indicted 11 executives with money laundering, fraud, and violating the UIGEA.
December 23rd, 2011 | US Justice Department Reverses Wire Act Opinion
The US Department of Justice reversed their opinion of the Wire Act stating that the Wire Act only applied to online sports betting. Online poker, fantasy sports betting, and real money casino games are deemed legal.
June 28th, 2012 | Delaware Legalizes Online Gambling
Delaware passed the Delaware Gambling Competitiveness Act to become the first US state to legalize online gambling.
February 22nd, 2013 | Nevada Legalizes Online Gambling
Nevada’s Governor Brian Sandoval signed an online gambling bill, legalizing online poker.
November 26th, 2013 | Delaware Legalizes Online Gambling
Online gambling became legal in New Jersey on this day making NJ the third US state to legalize gambling online. Gov. Chris Christie signed into law online casinos and poker sites.
October 26th, 2017 | Pennsylvania Legalizes Online Gambling
The Pennsylvania Senate passed a bill to legalize online casino games, online poker, online sports betting and daily fantasy sports. PA became the fourth state to legalize online gambling.
May 14th, 2018 | Supreme Court Repeals PASPA
The United States Supreme Court ruled to repeal PASPA.
January 23, 2019 | US Justice Department Reverses Wire Act Decision
The US Department of Justice reversed its December 23, 2011 opinion on online gambling and the Wire Act. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told states and gaming companies to comply by June 14, 2019. New Hampshire and New Jersey sued the DOJ.
March 29, 2019 | Illinois Legalizes Sports Betting
Illinois legalized sports betting with the “Sports Wagering Act”.
May 6, 2019| Montana Legalizes Sports Betting
Montana legalized sports betting. Gov. Steve Bullock’s veto failed to override the House and Senate votes.
June 4, 2019 | Tennessee Legalizes Sports Betting
Tennessee legalized sports betting with the “Tennessee Sports Gaming Act”.
June 12, 2019 | New Hampshire Legalizes Sports Betting
New Hampshire legalized sports betting when Governor Chris Sununu signed the bill into law.
July 26, 2019 | North Carolina Legalizes Sports Betting
North Carolina legalized sports betting on tribal casino lands with Gov. Roy Cooper’s signature.
August 27, 2019 | Oregon Legalizes Sports Betting
Oregon became the 11th state outside of Nevada to accept a legal single-game sports bets.
August 29, 2019 | West Virginia Legalizes Sports Betting
West Virginia legalized sports betting and online wagering. DraftKings and FanDuel launch sportsbooks.
September 23, 2019 | Senate Pushes Forward on Federal Sports Betting Bill
Senator Mitt Romney and Senator Chuck Schumer are reportedly working to reintroduce a federal sports betting bill
November 5, 2019 | Colorado Voters Approve Legal Sports Betting
Colorado becomes the 18th state to officially legalize sports betting since May of 2018