If they want to gamble online, United States players can choose from a number of legal USA online casinos.
Legal USA online casinos can be divided into:
- domestic online casinos (which are regulated in the US)
- foreign online casinos (which are regulated outside of the US)
Online Casinos Outside of the USA
Online casinos have been around pretty much since the industry first started developing. They are regulated in foreign countries which have no problems whatsoever allowing US players to freely make monetary transactions.
Most of these online casinos carry an operating license coming from Costa Rica, Curacao or Kahnawake. The casinos work with international game developers which still provide access to their casino games to US players. It’s fair to say that these operators found a loophole in the legislation and welcome US players with open arms.
Domestic Legal USA Online Casinos
In order to gamble online at legal USA casinos, there are 3 states which legalized online gambling. What’s more Delaware and Nevada allow players to only place real money wagers on poker games. So in these states, online gambling is not fully legalized.
Legal USA online casinos: New Jersey
To answer the question “where can you legally gamble online in the US”: the only state to fully legalize online gambling remains New Jersey.
But even though online gambling in New Jersey is now legal there are still some rules players need to follow.
To play at any of the online casinos which are regulated in New Jersey, you need to be 21 years old. This is the minimum age for someone to create an account and gamble money online in the US.
Also, the player will need to physically be in New Jersey in order to be able to play. The casinos use geo-location software and will only allow you to play from the New Jersey area. If you live in some other state you can still create an account at the casino. But in order to play, you will need to take a trip to the New Jersey state.
For now, these are the rules for playing at the New Jersey casinos. They might change in the future so you can create an account and play from any location in the US.
What Legal USA Online Casinos Are in New Jersey?
The online casinos in New Jersey are mostly land based casinos which decided to take their operations online. Because of strict regulations, New Jersey online casinos are considered to be the safest online casinos. But is this really case?
All of these online casinos are regulated by the New Jersey Division of Gaming enforcement. This means they follow strict rules in order to keep their license. Also, gaming servers which provide the casino games also need to be physically located in New Jersey by law.
Are there legal USA online casinos in other states?
Unfortunately, at the moment, only these 3 states allow their residents to legally gamble online in US casinos.
But in recent years many more states across the US are considering to legalize online gambling. They recognize the potential the online gambling industry has and want to capitalize on the gaming revenue.
Every state gets to decide whether it will make online gambling legal.
As of 2019, there are 20 states considering legalizing online gambling. Some states focus on sports betting, while most want to fully legalize online gambling.
This is good news for players. Legalization of online gambling will create more legal USA online casinos where payouts are guaranteed!
In 2019 online sports betting is allowed at legal USA online casinos based in these states: Mississippi, West Virginia, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Arkansas, New York, Iowa, Oregon.
Need for legislation for more legal USA online casinos
The US market is probably the only market in the world which is dire need of legislation when it comes to online gambling. In the past, US players have often been the target of dishonest operators who would find a way not to pay them their winnings.
Since these casinos were poorly legislated with operating licenses coming from the weakest regulatory bodies in the industry there wasn’t much the players could do. But with the legislation of domestic online casinos, the situation will change drastically. The casinos will have to obtain an operating license from the home state and follow strict rules in order to keep operating on US territory.
Playing at non-US casinos
Even though online casinos which are regulated in the US are considered to be the safest for US players, it doesn’t mean that online casinos regulated outside the US are bad ones.
There are a lot of online casinos in the industry with a weak operating license but are still reputable casinos which pay their players without any problems. Many times a casino will acquire a weaker operating license just to keep the operating costs down. So before you decide on the reputation of a casino based on its license do some online research first.
States with legal online gambling
Legal online gambling is not possible in most of the US states. This is because in 2006 the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed in congress.
This act basically “prohibits gambling businesses from knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in a bet or wager that involves the use of the Internet and that is unlawful under any federal or state law.”
Because of this all of the big names in the online gambling industry decided to stop providing services to players coming from the US in order to avoid potential lawsuits and fines from the government. The gambling act was in power until 2012 across the entire territory of the US.
First US state to legalize online gambling
The first state to allow its residents to place real money online wagers was Delaware in 2012. The state legislation allowed for players to play online poker games and compete against other players with real money wagers.
At the same time, the three Delaware casinos launched online sites where players could try slots, table games and poker. At the time the casino games were free to play, meaning that you couldn’t play with real money bets. Still, this set the foundations for the future of legal online gambling.
Legal Online Gambling Nevada
The state of Nevada legalized online gambling on February 25th 2013. But players can’t place bets on the regular casino games which are available at online casinos. On the territory of Nevada, only online poker is allowed to play with real money. The first site in this state to offer regulated online poker was Ultimate Poker.
State with fully legal online gambling
The first state to fully legalize online gambling on its territory is New Jersey. The bill was passed on February 26th 2013 allowing residents of New Jersey to freely create an account and play for real money at any of the casinos regulated by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. Since New Jersey is the first state to fully legalize online gambling the regulations for online casinos are very strict.
The applicant for an online casino license must first pay a non-refundable fee of $100,000 in order to fund the application process. This fee is counted towards the $400,000 total cost of the gaming license. But that’s not all. Applicants will also need to pay a $250,000 renewal fee and an additional $250,000 annual fee, which is meant for the compulsive gambling programs. The fees don’t stop there. Operators will also need to pay a total tax of 17.5% of the gross gaming revenue.
Once approved the casino sets up its operations and must fist pass a soft opening. In this period they are only allowed to accept a limited number of players. In this time the casino will need to prove to the licensor that it functions in a professional and fair manner. After the soft opening goes well the online casino is allowed to start working at full capacity.
Terms for players
The regulations for players who want to play at New Jersey online casinos are also very strict. All players must be 21 years of age or older in order to legally play at any New Jersey online casino.
The player will also have to be physically present in the state of New Jersey in order to play at the casinos. You can register from any location in the world and you don’t have to be a resident of New Jersey in order to create an account. But if you want to play you will need to be located in New Jersey.
Can I legally play at other online casinos?
Yes, you can. The gambling regulations in the US are for online casinos which operate on the territory of the United States. But there are also a number of reputable online casinos which are licensed outside the US.
Because of this US players are allowed to freely create an account and play the casino games for real money. Most of these casinos are regulated in the jurisdiction of Kahnawake, Costa Rica or Curacao. These jurisdictions allow US residents to freely make monetary transactions from and to the casino.
Which are the best online casinos outside the US which offer legal online gambling?
Finding the best online casinos outside the US which offer legal online gambling is not an easy task. Our casino experts have to spend long hours searching for the best online casinos for US players and thoroughly check what every casino has to offer. You can easily find a big number of US online casinos, but finding the best ones is never easy.
But, all of the hard work has paid off and today players from the US can choose from our list which features the best online casinos for US players.
All of the casinos in our list have been tested numerous times and they proved that they meet all our expectations.
So, if you’re a player from the US all you need to do is choose a casino from our list, create an account and you can freely play for real money.
What’s the difference among casinos from the US and from other jurisdictions?
In general, there isn’t a very big difference among an online casino which operates on the territory of the US and a casino from some other jurisdiction. If the casino accepts US players you can freely make real money deposits and withdrawals. You can pretty much play the same casino games and enjoy all of the benefits the casino has to offer. The biggest difference between domestic and foreign online casinos is the regulations.
Casinos from the US have a much stronger regulation and if you run into any problems you can always file a complaint against the casino at the licensor. This is hard to do when the licensor is halfway across the world, so online casinos regulated in the US are considered to be safer operators for US players.