Wisconsin Online Casino Real Money – Gambling Laws in The Badger State

Posted by Arthur Crowson .
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There are many Wisconsin online casinos where you can play at despite the fact the gambling regulations within the state are not defined.

At GambleOnline each resident will find opportunities to gamble online within the state at websites we’ve carefully selected for you. We will also present you with the type of bonuses you can benefit from and what are the available payment options.

In a couple of words, online gambling is a legal gray area and players can access licensed and legitimate out-of-state online casinos and poker rooms.

Online gambling is a legal gray area. Wisconsin law does not address online gaming sites, allowing players to access licensed and legitimate out-of-state online casinos and poker rooms.

Summary of WI Gambling Laws

wisconsin online casino

While most forms of live gambling outside tribal casinos are illegal, online gambling exists in a legal grey area, except for sports betting.

GamblingWisconsin
Is Online Gambling Legal?Yes
Playing at Online CasinosYes
Legal Age Online21
Land-Based CasinosYes
Legal Age Land-Based21
Online Sports BettingNo
Charitable GamblingYes
State LotteryYes
Social GamingNo

Wisconsin is somewhat restrictive on gambling, but there are still plenty of options. Here’s a rundown of what forms of gambling are legal in The Badger State.

GamblingWisconsin Legal Status
Casino GamblingCasino gambling is permitted in Wisconsin but is subject to certain restrictions and regulations. Tribal casinos are a significant presence in the state, offering a wide range of casino games. However, commercial and online casinos are not allowed in Wisconsin.
Online GamblingOnline sports betting is illegal, but all other forms of online gambling fall in legal grey areas, meaning players can access out-of-state online casinos and poker rooms.
PokerThe only legal form of real money poker in Wisconsin is at Tribal casinos. Home games are illegal under state law. Free-play games, such as bar leagues, are legal.
Horse Racing BettingWisconsin has legalized pari-mutuel betting, but no racetracks are operating. Off-track betting is legal, but Wisconsin has no live OTB locations. Your only option for horse racing is online ADW sites.
Dog Racing BettingGreyhound racing is still legal in the state, but no racetracks are in operation. OTB betting is allowed, but no sites are currently operating.
LotteryThe Wisconsin Lottery is currently legal at live retailers only. They offer instant scratch games, pull tabs, raffles, and various draw games like Powerball and Mega Millions.
Daily Fantasy SportsThe state does not regulate daily fantasy sports but the legislature does not appear willing to make it illegal either. It remains in a grey area.
Sports BettingRetail sports betting was legalized in 2021 and is only authorized at tribal casinos. Players can bet on mobile apps, but only while at tribal venues. Online sports betting is still illegal.
Charitable GamingThe only forms of charitable gambling allowed in Wisconsin are raffles and bingo—however, the state licenses over 9,000 raffle organizations and 450 bingo organizations.
Social GamingWisconsin prohibits hosting any form of gambling in one’s home, whether it involves games of chance or skill, such as poker.

Best Wisconsin Online Casinos for 2024

WI has yet to regulate online casinos, allowing its residents to play at out-of-state online casinos legally. Here’s our list of the best licensed Wisconsin online casinos.

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Where to Gamble in Wisconsin

wi online casinos

While Wisconsin lawmakers have imposed some restrictions on gambling, it remains possible within the state. Here’s a summary of the places where you can legally gamble in the state.

Land-Based Casinos in Wisconsin

There are currently 25 tribal casinos in Wisconsin, operated by 11 tribes. These casinos offer various online gambling options, including sports betting. At least one additional casino is expected to open in 2024.

Find every casino and betting venue in the following list:

– Bad River Lodge & Casino
73370 U.S. Hwy 2, Odanah, WI 54861
Northern

– Grindstone Creek Casino
13394 West Trepania Rd, Hayward, WI 54843
Northern

– Ho-Chunk Gaming Black River Falls
W9010 Highway 54 East, Black River Falls, WI 54615
Western

– Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison
4002 Evan Acres Rd, Madison, WI 53718
Southern

– Ho-Chunk Gaming Nekoosa
949 County Road G, Nekoosa, WI 54457
Northern

– Ho-Chunk Gaming Tomah
27867 State Highway 21, Tomah, WI 54660
Western

– Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells
S3214 Highway 12, Baraboo, WI 53913
Southern

– Ho-Chunk Gaming Wittenberg
N7214 US Highway 45, Wittenberg, WI 54499
Northeastern

– Lake of the Torches Resort Casino
510 Old Abe Rd, Lac Du Flambeau, WI 54538
Northern

– Legendary Waters Resort & Casino
37600 Onigaming Dr, Red Cliff, WI 54814
Northern

– Menominee Casino Resort
Highway 47/55 DuQuain Rd, Keshena, WI 54135
Northeastern

– Mole Lake Casino & Lodge
3084 State Highway 55, Crandon, WI 54520
Northern

– North Star Mohican Casino Resort
W 12180A County Road A, Bowler, WI 54416
Northeastern

– Oneida Casino – Main Airport
2020 Airport Dr, Green Bay, WI 54313
Northeastern

– Oneida Casino – Irene Moore Activity Center
2100 Airport Dr, Green Bay, WI 54313
Northeastern

– Oneida Casino – Packerland
3120 South Packerland, Green Bay, WI 54313
Northeastern

– Oneida Casino – Travel Center
5939 Old 29 Dr, Pulaski, WI 54162
Northeastern

– Oneida Casino – West Mason Street Casino
2522 W Mason St, Green Bay, WI 54303
Northeastern

– Potawatomi Hotel & Casino
1721 West Canal St, Milwaukee, WI 53233
Southeastern

– Potawatomi Carter Casino Hotel
Highway 32, PO Box 430, Wabeno, WI 54566
Northern

– St. Croix Casino Danbury
30222 Highway 35 and Highway 77, Danbury, WI 54830
Western

– St. Croix Casino Hertel
4384 State Road 70, Webster, WI 54893
Western

– St. Croix Casino Turtle Lake
777 US Highway 8/63, Turtle Lake, WI 54889
Western

– Sevenwinds Casino, Lodge & Convention Center
13767 West County Road B, Hayward, WI 54843
Northern

– Thunderbird Casino
W106 County  Road VV, Keshena, WI 54135
Northeastern

Horse & Dog Tracks

Wisconsin voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1987 that legalized pari-mutuel betting. Both horse and greyhound racing were legalized in the state, and for a time, both industries flourished.

However, all horse racing tracks are currently closed, and the last greyhound track closed in 2009. Off-track betting is also legal, but no OTB locations are currently operating in the state.

The only option to bet on horses or greyhounds is through online out-of-state ADW sites. Betting could be resurrected in retail locations in Wisconsin in the future.

Online Sports Betting

Sports betting was legalized in Wisconsin in 2021, but only at tribal casinos. Mobile betting can occur, on the Oneida tribe reservation and selected non-tribal businesses.

Online sports betting is illegal for now; however, this is expected to change in the future.

Tribal operators believe that sports betting is inevitable, with an expected timeline of 5 to 15 years, as the state will have to amend its constitution to allow online betting in the State.

Bingo Halls and Charitable Gambling

Raffles and bingo are the only two forms of charitable gambling allowed under Wisconsin law.

The Wisconsin Division of Gaming regulates charitable gambling. Per the Department of Administration’s website, there are over 450 bingo organizations and over 9,000 raffle organizations in the state.

Both forms of gambling are heavily regulated, requiring bingo halls to buy supplies only through licensed suppliers. Also, anyone with a criminal record is prohibited from working at or operating a bingo game.

If you’re looking for somewhere to play, the Department of Administration has a complete searchable list of bingo locations.

Social Gaming at Home

It is illegal to hold any form of gambling for money from a private residence. This includes poker games. 

Poker players attempted to get Wisconsin courts to allow games to be held in the state, but a 2015 ruling confirmed that even poker is illegal because it involves an element of skill.

Home games still occur in Wisconsin, and private gamblers are rarely prosecuted. Free-play games where money is not wagered or exchanged are legal.

Poker Rooms and Clubs

Real-money poker is only legal inside tribal casinos. Several tribal casinos spread cash games and tournaments. These primarily consist of Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and Seven Card Stud.

The only other legal form of live poker in Wisconsin is free-play poker games, such as in bar leagues. Any game where someone can lose something of value is illegal. 

Online poker is a grey area in law as no laws regulate or ban it. This allows Sconnies to play at out-of-state online poker rooms legally.

Eight-Liners

Eight-liners would be classified as a gambling device under Wisconsin law. As such, eight-liners could only be played in tribal casinos

While Wisconsin allows for games of skill, eight-liners would not qualify as they do have an element of chance. This negates them from the skill games argument.

Casino Cruises

Wisconsin has no casino cruises or riverboats that depart or pick up passengers from the state. Majestic Star Casino in Gary, IN, used to service the region but closed in 2021.

Real Money Online Casino Wisconsin – Games You Can Play

real money online casino wisconsin

Out-of-state online casinos offer most of what you’ll find in tribal casinos and more. Let’s look at some of the most popular online casino games you can find.

Online Slots

In Wisconsin, slot machines are only legal inside of tribal casinos. If you’re interested in playing online slots, you’ll need to visit out-of-state online casinos.

Online casinos typically feature a variety of games, but they can differ in terms of game types and software providers.

The top Wisconsin online casinos offer slots from well-known providers such as Booming Games, BetSoft, Rival, and RealTime Gaming.

It’s advisable to choose a casino with a wide selection of titles. Additionally, many online casinos offer jackpot slots with substantial prizes that have the potential to change your life.

Online Poker

Live poker is only legal in tribal casinos. If you’re looking to enhance your skills, you can do so by visiting reputable online casinos.

These online poker rooms offer cash games and tournaments at low and middle stakes. You can enjoy popular variants like Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and Seven Card Stud, with some rooms even offering mixed games such as HORSE or 8-Game.

Poker sites have generous guarantees for online tournaments and softer competition than you’d find at the average tribal casino. They are a great way to become proficient at the game.

Blackjack

The great thing about playing online blackjack is that you have 24/7 access to standard games and other popular variants. You can find options like Perfect Pairs, Pontoon, 21+3 Blackjack, and more.

Compared to tribal casinos, online blackjack offers lower minimum bets, from $1 to $10, while in tribal casinos, minimum bets can start at $10, $25 or even $50.

Currently, blackjack games are only legal inside tribal casinos. Online casinos are your best option if you want to learn the game or improve your strategy.

Live Dealer Games

If tribal casinos are inconvenient, Live Dealer games at Wisconsin online casinos are the next best thing.

Live Dealer games work with real dealers, controlling the action behind the screen in a studio similar to any other casino room. Players can interact with the dealer and other players through the live chat. 

Some of the Live Dealer options available include blackjack, roulette, baccarat, Casino Hold’em, Sic Bo, and game shows like Music Wheel or Monopoly Live.

Other Available Games at WI Online Casinos

Wisconsin online casinos offer a full selection of games. You can play roulette, bingo, Keno, craps, baccarat, scratch cards, and casual games. Explore which variety of games you can find on top online casinos.

Top Bonuses at Gambling Sites for Wisconsin Players

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Wisconsin Online Gambling Laws

In Wisconsin, most forms of gambling outside of tribal online casinos are illegal due to strict laws. These venues, however, offer various gambling options, including sports betting.

Nevertheless, betting on horses and greyhounds is legal, but there are currently no options to do so in a live setting. Wisconsin is one of the few states that have legalized bona fide skill contests, such as snowboard racing or chess tournaments.

Online gambling is a grey area as there are no laws regulating or banning the activity in The Badger State.

Is Online Gambling Legal in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin has yet to regulate any form of online gaming. The good news is that no laws prohibit online gambling, except for sports betting.

Only tribal casinos in Wisconsin can legally offer sports betting, and they are not in a hurry to try to get online sports betting regulated.

Daily fantasy sports, online casinos, ADW, and online poker rooms fall into a legal grey area. This allows players to access out-of-state gambling sites. Due to the state’s slow pace of gambling expansion, this may be your only online option for a while.

Gambling Covers Contests Where Someone Loses Something of Value

Wisconsin classifies a bet as a “bargain in which the parties agree that, dependent upon chance even though accompanied by some skill, one stands to win or lose something of value specified in the agreement.” 

However, state laws exclude “Bona fide contests for the determination of skill, speed, strength, or endurance, or to the bona fide owners of animals or vehicles entered in such contest.”

This makes contests such as Chess or fishing tournaments legal under state law. Any game that involves a reasonable amount of chance, such as poker, does not qualify as a bona fide game of skill. (Section 945.01 of Wisconsin Statutes)

Illegal Gambling by Players Punishable By Fines and Jail Time

Since Wisconsin law calls making a bet as a bargain between parties, this makes it a crime for players to participate in illegal activities. This includes making bets, entering an unlawful facility, or conducting any form of lottery or gambling pool.

These offenses can result in a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines. However, authorities generally don’t chase down gamblers and instead focus on commercial gambling offenses. (Section 945.02 of Wisconsin Statutes)

Commercial Gambling Carries Serious Penalties

Wisconsin law has stiff penalties for commercial gambling offenses. These offenses target those who are operating illegal facilities or engage in sports booking activities

The law also punishes anyone who owns real estate and allows that facility to be used for illegal gambling, even if the owner does not financially benefit from the activities.

Commercial gambling is a Class 1 felony with penalties of up to $10,000 in fines and up to 3.5 years in prison. Allowing commercial gambling on a premise can land the property owner a Class A misdemeanor charge and penalties of up to $10,000 in fines and up to 9 months in jail. (Section 945.03 of Wisconsin Statutes)

Legal Forms of Gambling Under Wisconsin Law

Several activities are exempt from gambling or betting laws in Wisconsin. Among the activities listed are business transactions, such as purchasing stocks or investments. 

Also listed are promotions for savings programs, such as a bank offering a prize to people who open a savings account or holding a drawing for bank patrons. Employers can also award prizes to employees for contests and other activities, such as employment referrals.

  • Charitable bingo or raffles
  • Pari-mutuel betting (horse and greyhounds)
  • Wisconsin State Lottery
  • Gambling at tribal casinos
  • Sports betting at tribal casinos

Bona fide games of skill, such as weightlifting competitions, are legal under state law. Casino games with elements of skill do not qualify for the exception. (Section 945.01 of Wisconsin Statutes)

*Please be advised that the information provided on this page does not constitute legal advice. Our team strongly recommends you seek professional counsel from a qualified attorney regarding your specific questions or concerns on the topic.

Wisconsin Online Gambling vs. Neighboring States

Wisconsin laws may seem restrictive, but they are amazingly on pace with most of its neighboring states. Let’s look at how they stack up against their neighbors.

US StatePlaying at Online CasinosState Regulated CasinosSocial CasinosOnline Sports BettingLotteryFantasy SportsCharitable Gaming
WisconsinLegalTribal Casinos OnlyLegalIllegalLegalLegalLegal
IllinoisGray AreaLegalLegalLegalLegalLegalLegal
IowaGray AreaLegalLegalLegalLegalLegalLegal
MinnesotaGray AreaLegalLegalLegalLegalLegalLegal
MichiganLegalLegalLegalLegalLegalLegalLegal

Wisconsin stacks up amazingly well compared to its neighbors. Michigan is the king of gambling, with both live and online casinos regulated. Illinois and Iowa are a close second, with only online casino gambling as a legal gray area.

Minnesota is lagging behind other states as they have yet to legalize sports betting. Both Minnesota and Wisconsin have yet to legalize online sports betting.

Wisconsin Online Casino – Tips to Play Safely

Wisconsin is still years away from regulating online gambling. That makes out-of-state online casinos your only option. Here are a few tips to keep you safe while playing at Wisconsin online casinos.

In-Depth Research Before Playing

Research several casinos before you start playing. This will help you find the casino with the best gaming options and bonuses. It will also help you weed out inferior or suspicious casinos.

Play at Trusted Casinos for Winning

Reputable online casinos will require you to verify your identity through player verification. This is required before you can cash out. Do this ASAP so to avoid delays in payment processing.

It’s Not Necessary to Use a VPN to Play

You will probably see suggestions to use a VPN when playing at offshore casinos. DO NOT DO THIS! Most casinos prohibit the use of VPNs, and doing so could get your account banned by the casino.

Only Use Secure Payment Options

To help protect your identity and money, only use secure payment options when depositing or cashing out. This includes credit cards, e-wallets, and cryptocurrency.

Look for Feedback from Other Wisconsinites

Look at customer reviews or feedback for any casino you’re considering playing at. Check if other Sconies have had problems at the casino and look for patterns to avoid potential problems.

Pros & Cons of Gambling in Wisconsin

Most of the legal gambling options in Wisconsin center around tribal casinos. While not the most liberal gambling state, there are still plenty of options for most players.

Pros

  • 25 tribal casinos available
  • Retail sports betting legal
  • 250 bingo halls statewide
  • Skill contests legal
  • Out-of-state online casinos available to players

Cons

  • Social gambling illegal
  • No in-person opportunities for legal horse and greyhound betting
  • Slow progression of regulation due to tribal compacts

The Future of Online Gambling in Wisconsin: Our Prediction

The majority of the gaming options in Wisconsin center around tribal casinos. State tribes have successfully negotiated terms to allow most regulated gambling to flow through tribal casinos. While this gives players many options for gambling legally, it also results in a slow progression of new regulations.

Additionally, Wisconsin law mandates a state constitutional amendment to introduce new gambling options. The state’s journey toward regulating online gambling will involve collaboration with the tribes, who currently show no urgency in moving forward with these changes.

While it’s widely anticipated that online sports betting and casino gambling will eventually become legal, current estimates suggest it may take anywhere from 5 to 15 years for this to occur. Given the challenges involved in regulating new forms of gaming, we concur with this timeline.

Although regulated online gambling options will eventually become available in Wisconsin, it’s likely to be a gradual process.

Fortunately, while we wait for regulation, Wisconsinites can still play at licensed and reputable out-of-state online casinos and poker rooms.

If you’re looking for a safe place to play, check out our list of recommended most trusted Wisconsin online casinos.

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WI Gambling FAQs

Wisconsin gambling laws can be a bit confusing. We regularly receive questions on Wisconsin gambling options, and here are some of the most common questions from players.

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Arthur Crowson

Arthur Crowson writes for GambleOnline.co about the gambling industry. His experience ranges from crypto and technology to sports, casinos, and poker. He went to Douglas College and started his journalism career at the Merritt Herald as a general beat reporter covering news, sports and community. Arthur lives in Hawaii and is passionate about writing, editing, and photography.

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