If you’re looking for legal US casinos online, you’ll likely find numerous options. However, not every casino website is the same, and most of the operators on the Internet are less than trustworthy. But that’s why we’ve put together this guide about your best options for gambling over the Internet, whether you do so with one of the few domestic services in the US or via an offshore online casino that serves the entire US.
Is It Legal To Gamble At Online Casinos in the United States?
For new players, legality is always the chief question. While each US state is now empowered to enact its own online gambling and betting laws, not all have done so. In fact, only a handful of states have any form of online gambling through domestically licensed channels.
However, most Americans can still gamble legally at offshore casino sites. These services provide legal, safe, real-money casino gaming, and most of them accept members from all 50 states.
The only exception is that there are two states – Washington and Connecticut – that currently outlaw all forms of online gambling. However, those mandates are historically unenforced, so you may proceed at your own risk. (Still, we recommend sticking with your state’s laws, including local age minimums, when deciding to join any offshore gaming service.)
Best USA Online Casino
Bovada – Full Casino, Sportsbook, Racebook
Bovada is the US’ foremost online gambling destination, and it’s been serving American players for nearly a decade. The site is run under license of the renowned Bodog brand, and it’s famously never missed a single payout in all its years of operation.
Most players, of course, gravitate towards Bovada’s award-winning mobile-friendly casino, which has everything you'd expect, including slots, video poker, blackjack, roulette, tournament poker, real-dealer games, and a host of other digital amusements to choose from. If you want a robust selection of casino action, sports betting odds, poker games, and an international racebook, Bovada has it all.
- Casino Bonus: 100% deposit match up to $1000 (redeemable 3X)
- Casino games: 150+
- Live dealer: Yes
- Tournament poker: Yes
- Sports betting: Yes
- Racebook: Yes
- Bitcoin support: Yes
- USA accepted: Yes (excluding NV, NJ, DE, MD)
US Online Gambling Laws
Since the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), there are only two remaining federal laws that impact the online gambling industry in the United States:
Interstate Wire Act of 1961
The Wire Act restricts domestic gambling amusements within the borders of the states that offer them, making interstate gambling a federal crime on the part of the operator, not the player. As applied to online gambling, the Wire Act has the effect of limiting domestically legal gambling sites only to people physically within the states where such services are licensed. This means that a resident in Florida cannot simply visit a New Jersey online casino to place a bet. Offshore gambling sites are immune from these laws, however, as they operate outside of US legal jurisdiction.
Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006
Commonly called the UIGEA, this law is a banking regulation that nominally prevents US-based banks form knowingly processing payments to and from unregulated or offshore gambling sites. However, the law is largely unenforced, though it has the effect of sometimes rejecting credit or debit payments. The UIGEA does not penalize individual gamblers in any way, and Bitcoin (and another cryptocurrency) has largely obviated the law altogether.
State Regulated Online Casinos
There are only three states with active state-regulated online casinos. These include Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey. While a few more states have passed laws to allow the pastime (including West Virginia), the wave of support for online domestic casinos is lacking in comparison to the widespread legalization of local sports betting in the US. For the foreseeable future, most US-based gamblers will have to rely on convenient offshore gambling instead of state-based options.
Legal Offshore Casinos For US Players
Unlike the limited selection of state-regulated sites, there are a number of legal online casinos to choose from, most of which accept all US players. While you have to take care to choose only the most reputable sites like those listed here, once you sign up, you will be able to wager real money freely on all kinds of classic and contemporary casino games. Top-tier online casinos are all legal to use, and they employ only the best in transparent, verified fair-play guaranteed iGaming software.
Game Types Available At Online Casinos
When you join an online casino – either domestically or offshore – there are numerous game types you should expect to find. As a general rule, if you can play a game in Las Vegas, you can play that game over the Internet in a virtual, real-money capacity, all with the same odds to win that you’d get at the best land-based venues.
In addition to the classic and modern gambling amusements listed below, a handful of reputable US casino sites also offer robust sports betting options and international racebooks for fans of the ponies.
- Video Poker
- Table Games (RNG)
- Table Games (Live Dealer)
- Specialty Games
- Scratch Cards
Banking Options At Legal Online Casinos
There are typically a host of deposit and withdrawal options at legal offshore casino sites. None of these operators allow you to gamble on a credit line, so you must fund your account before you can play. To that end, the most common deposit options include credit cards, debit cards, international gift cards, money orders, wire transfers, and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Dash, Ripple, and others.
When you want to pull out your winnings from an offshore gaming site, you will typically have several choices, as well. The most common traditional withdrawal methods include courier checks, bank wires, and money orders, but Bitcoin is the most popular option, as it is the only way to claim same-day payouts and comes with no added processing fees.
As a general rule, we recommend using Bitcoin (or any supported altcoin like Ethereum, Litecoin, or Bitcoin Cash) to handle all your online gambling banking requirements.
Mobile Online Casinos
In this day and age, it isn’t enough for an online casino to be accessible simply via desktop or laptop. While that used to be the norm, most Internet traffic in the US now goes through mobile devices like iPhones, iPads, Android devices, Amazon Fire products, and a host of other makes and models in the space. As a result, every major online domestic and offshore casino invests heavily in providing its users with responsive, mobile-optimized gaming experience.
While you can get official apps for domestically regulated casino sites via the App Store or Google Play, offshore sites do not offer their wares through these channels. Instead, all you need to access mobile-ready casino gaming with these operators is a common mobile web browser like Safari, Chrome, or Firefox. Just remember to always update your device’s operating system to the latest release with the newest security patches to ensure a safe gambling experience.
How To Gauge US Online Casino Legitimacy
When you join any online casino, whether it’s state-regulated or located offshore, there are few ways to tell if your chosen site is going to provide a trustworthy, reputable gambling experience. The following are hallmarks of all top-rated legal online casinos:
- Audited gaming software – All legitimate online casinos use RNG (Random Number Generation) software of the same type employed at regulated land-based casinos. This software is created and supported by thoroughly vetted developers like Realtime Gaming, Microgaming, BetSoft, and others. Further, their wares are all regularly audited for compliance by third-party industry watchdogs.
- Fair play adherence – All RNG developers and top-tier online casinos are dedicated to providing fair-play-enabled gaming. This means that the slots and table games are all tested and proven to comply with mandated win rates that conform to industry norms. While some online casinos might stack the deck in their favor by limiting your odds to unrealistic levels through software manipulation, reputable providers make sure this never happens in the games they host.
- Top-level encryption standards – A top online casino is nothing if not secure. When you sign up, you have to share a certain amount of personal information as well as financial information, and this data is kept safe and secure via TLS and SSL encryption technology. The best Internet gambling sites all use the same state-of-the-art security standards as the top players in international finance and e-commerce.
- 24/7 customer service – Often overlooked, customer service is one of the most important elements at any reputable casino venue. When you gamble online, you can’t go to a help desk – you need a direct line to your host. The best casinos offer live chat, multiple support phone numbers, email addresses, and online contact forms, giving you several ways to get in touch with questions and concerns.
- Positive online reputation – One of the most telling aspects of any online casino is its reputation. Remember, the Internet has no filter, and in an industry that sees tens of millions of active gamblers each day from the US, you can imagine that untrustworthy and unfair casino brands are outed quickly and forcefully the moment the first shady action comes to light. Just like you can trust us to lead you in the right direction, so too can you trust your fellow players when it comes to gambling site legitimacy.