Ever since the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed in 2006, the US has struggled to maintain a strong global online gambling environment due to a misunderstanding of the legislation. However, US casino players can play the slots, blackjack, roulette and other table games online legally and for real money.
Best online casinos for Americans
About US online gambling laws
Online gambling has been around since the mid-90’s but the US didn’t focus its attention on regulation until 2002. Google and Yahoo acted before the government did, removing all online gambling advertisements in 2004.
When the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed in 2006 by both the House of Representatives and Senate, many online casinos and poker sites withdrew from the US market. This was due to the section which has contributed to the myth US players cannot legally gamble online, as it states: “The Act 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 (termed “restricted transactions” in the Act).”
The key term here is ‘accepting payments’, as there’s nothing stating it is illegal to send money on the web. Still, this terminology has resulted in some online gambling operators blocking US players.
This is how it is: if the site accepts USD and American players, as so many still do, you can legally play here. However, it is incredibly important you only play at secure sites – don’t just settle because it accepts the American dollar.
Besides the UIGEA overseeing the entire nation, some states have made it expressly illegal to gamble online. Thus, it is important to do your research, as the laws may or may not be enforced.
American states which allow online gambling
While there’s no law which expressly says it is legal to play online in most of these areas – some states either don’t mention it at all, or focus on the operator instead – there’s nothing to say it’s illegal in these states either. New Jersey is one state where online gambling is completely legal, and more are expected to follow that lead after the US Supreme Court overturned a nationwide sports betting ban in 2018.
- New York
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
The following states will require extra research into your local laws as it is quite ambiguous as to whether it is legal or not to gamble online. Many of these states accept online gambling at poker sites, but not at online casinos, including Nevada.
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
US states which don’t allow internet gambling
The rest of the American states not listed above each have legislation which means you cannot gamble legally online – their key terms are generally quite clear unfortunately. You can do some research to see if it is enforced but it seems to us it’s very concrete.
Best American USD casinos
While we recommended a long list of online casinos to play at which are each licensed by advanced jurisdictions to ensure player protection comes first, some may not be compatible with US players. There are also secure online casinos which don’t allow you to indicate you are located in America but do accept the USD. It is important to be careful when opting for these sites as they may not accept cash outs – you can gamble here safely but there might be an issue when it comes to withdrawing funds if it’s a large amount of money.
These sites all offer real money slots, table games, casual games, poker and more by top software providers but as we mentioned before, perhaps contact them to see what their policy is in terms of where you are located in America.
Live dealer casino games
Playing table games is a favourite of Americans with some great sites like Bovada.lv and BetOnine.ag featuring blackjack, roulette and baccarat at tables limits to suit both high rollers and low limit players.
While the USA does have as many options as say a player from the United Kingdom, there is still a huge rang of games available in the live dealer range that are fair and run by respectable brands.
If I had to make one recommendation as to where to play live from the states I would say BetOnline.ag which is a sportsbook casino. For whatever reason the platform has been the most solid for me, with both Bovada and GoWild (which is actually owned by BetOnline) sometimes not working when I want to play.
At a glance, there is blackjack, roulette, baccarat and Super6 available to players at BetOnline.ag. In blackjack table limits range from $10 per hand right through to $5000. Other games at this casino have similar limits.
Read our guide to Live Dealer casinos in the USA
Famous USA citizens who gamble
Some of the most famous USA citizens are huge gamblers at both land-based casinos and their online equivalents. Poker stars like Phil Ivey enjoy rock star status in the States. Actors like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are also known to be big gamblers.
The world’s most famous boxer Floyd Mayweather is another who frequents gambling establishments and is known for placing some of the most publicised large bets of anyone.
And of course potentially the most famous of all Americans, President Donald Trump, has a long history in gambling with his many casino resorts and other gambling establishments.
Deposit options for US players
Since the law says it is illegal for online casino operators to accept payment, many banking options may not be available to use at online casinos. Web wallets are ideal for US players as are prepaid methods wanting to gamble online.
Neteller and Skrill are both incredibly popular e-Wallets at internet gaming casinos but Neteller only offers limited service to US players, so opt for Skrill which accepts American players and the USD.
Euteller is another great option for American players, and you can create an account in just a few minutes and fund it with the USD to use at the sites listed above.
You can try Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards or even a bank transfer too, but they might not be processed. You can opt for the paysafecard prepaid voucher or Baloto prepaid card if this is the case – but remember you can’t use these types of payment methods for withdrawals.
Gambling guides by USA City
Phoenix: The capital of Arizona has a diverse gambling industry including casino gambling at many great venues. Our personal favourite is the Talking Stick Casino.
Chicago: The capital of Illinois is one of the biggest cities in the USA so naturally it has extensive gambling options. Casinos are plentiful in the Windy City while you will also find race tracks featuring slots.
Miami: This Florida city has a diverse and wonderful gambling scene, including many casinos. A personal favourite of ours is the Calder Casino and Race Course. What could be better than horse racing and casino games (including over 1000 slots) at the same venue.
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