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Legal online casino gambling has gathered pace in the USA since 2011, particularly in the past couple of years. A growing number of online casinos have recently gone live in states across the country, so there’s never been a better time to join in the fun.
Want to know more? Read this Gambling Spotlight guide, which talks you through some of the best online casinos in the USA – from NJ to NV – and covers everything from bonuses to online safety.
Guide to Online Casino Laws in the US
After the Department of Justice reinterpreted the Wire Act of 1961 in 2011 to clarify that it applied only to sports betting, lawmakers across the US took notice. Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware launched online gambling platforms in 2013, with other states have followed suit soon after. Since 2020 alone, we’ve seen legal online casinos make their debut in West Virginia, Michigan, and Connecticut.
Where online casinos are legally available, state gaming authorities set strict regulations to ensure sites are run with integrity. These regulators ensure games payout fairly, player details and funds are kept secure, and clear avenues are provided for the escalation of complaints. State gaming authorities also set out rules for players, who must be over 21, have a valid SSN, and be physically located within relevant state lines to play at online casinos for real money.
Finding the Best Value in Online Casinos in the USA
As the number of USA online casinos grows, so too does the opportunity for players to seek out some real value. A key thing to look out for is a good welcome offer. For example, you may be able to find online casinos with no deposit bonus deals, letting you try slots and table games without spending a cent.
Existing customers at an online casino also stand to reap the benefits of ongoing promotions awarding free spins and deposit bonuses. So, before signing up to any online casino in the US, it’s worth taking the time to compare the sites available to see which will give you the best value.
USA Player Acceptance
Casino operators are authorized to offer online gambling on a state-by-state basis, so your options will vary depending on where you’re located. The BetRivers online casino, for example, is available in West Virginia but not Connecticut. That’s not to say you can’t open a BetRivers account in Connecticut, but to play real money games with BetRivers, you’d need to physically go to West Virginia – or another state in which the operator is licensed to run an online casino.
There are offshore online casinos that accept American players from all states, even those where the practice hasn’t been legalized. Such sites are often entirely unregulated and come with all kinds of potential risks, including lackluster customer service, rigged games, and delayed or non-existent payouts. Our advice is to stick strictly to casinos licensed to operate where you are.
How to Compare Online Casino Websites
With multiple online casinos available, how do you know which will be the right fit for you? Here are some key factors to consider.
- Does the online casino hold a license in the state where you want to play? Steer well clear if it doesn’t.
- Does your chosen site have a wide choice of games? Ideally, the casino will have a wealth of slots, along with a good spread of table and live dealer games – if the latter is available in your state.
- Is your preferred banking option available? If you want to pay or withdraw using a particular method, you should check the cashier page to ensure you can.
- What’s the quality of the customer support like? You’ll want to check you can contact staff easily on live chat, email, and/or social media – at hours that suit you.
- Does the online casino offer mobile gaming? A native app you can download to your smartphone or tablet is the gold standard when it comes to on-the-go gambling.
- Can you claim a new player bonus? The best sites offer a matched deposit bonus, free spins for top online slots, or a combination of both.
Online Casino Sites in the USA
Here’s a quick overview of some of the best online casinos for US players.
The product of a partnership between MGM Resorts and Entain Holdings, BetMGM is one of the most popular online casinos in New Jersey and several other states.
BetMGM is one of a growing number of online casinos with no deposit bonus deals, and also offers a 100% first deposit match up to $1,000. The casino boasts a huge library of real money games, including several exclusive jackpot slots.
Operated by Rush Street Interactive, BetRivers features an extensive games collection from software providers including NetEnt and IGT. There’s plenty of value to be gleaned thanks to the iRush Rewards program, which can offer loyal customers perks including bonus dollars and casino stays. You can also give your opening balance a boost with BetRivers’ $250 deposit match bonus for new players, which has a mere 1x playthrough requirement.
Boston-based gambling giant DraftKings may be best known for daily fantasy sports (DFS), but the operator also offers a formidable online casino site. The brand’s sporting heritage is apparent with exclusive table games like Baseball Blackjack and Basketball Roulette, and it’s one of the few US online casinos to offer real money online craps – although currently only in New Jersey. DraftKings also offers a particularly chunky 100% matched deposit bonus of up to $2,000 for new members.
A subsidiary of the Dublin-based Flutter Entertainment, FanDuel is – like DraftKings – arguably best known for its DFS offerings. But there’s a lot to discover on the casino side, too, including
a rather unique welcome offer – 24 hours of risk-free gambling.
This means you can enjoy real money gambling for a full day and have 100% of your net losses returned, up to $1,000. There’s certainly plenty to keep you busy at this casino site, from a wealth of jackpot slots to table games from major software developers.
Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino became Rivers Casino in 2019, but the brand remains live online as PlaySugarHouse – part of the BetRivers family. New customers are welcomed with a $250 deposit match bonus with 1x wagering, as well as the kind of sprawling games library you’d expect from one of the best online casinos around. Slots, table games, video poker, they’re all here, along with special happy hour promotions on selected slots.
Choosing Online Casino Games
Online casinos come packed with exciting real money casino games. Here’s a snapshot of some of the options you’ll discover.
You can take the iconic roulette wheel for a spin at pretty much any online casino. Many sites offer both American and European Roulette, while some add the French variant as well as cutting edge, contemporary variations like 100/1 Roulette and First Person Lightning Roulette.
As a time-honored card game, blackjack makes a strong showing at online casinos in the US. Like roulette, it comes in many forms. At most casino sites, you’ll find classic blackjack sitting alongside modern variants such as Perfect Blackjack Pro and Blackjack Xchange.
Online slots tend to make up the bulk of an online casino’s game library, with some sites boasting thousands of titles. Progressive jackpots and famous slots like NetEnt’s Starburst aren’t hard to find. It’s not unusual for a site to offer a couple of exclusive online slots, too.
Craps is quite tricky to find online, perhaps because of all real money games, it’s the one most synonymous with the buzz of playing in person. That said, DraftKings has rolled out an online version and we’re hoping to see the game feature in more casino site portfolios as time goes on.
A lottery-style game that’s popular in brick-and-mortar casinos, keno is offered at many of the top online sites in the US. It’s worth knowing that some states also make real money online keno games available to play on official state lottery websites.
How to Play at Online Casinos with Real Money
Whether you want to play at online casinos in Michigan, West Virginia, or any other legal state, getting set up is straightforward – here’s how:
- Decide which online casino you want to join. At Gambling Spotlight, you can compare our casino reviews to make an informed choice without having to wade through countless websites.
- Use our link to head to your chosen casino’s sign-up page.
- Enter some personal details as prompted. The casino may also require you to upload additional documents to confirm your identity. Remember to enter the promo code for the welcome bonus, if required.
- Unless you’ve been given a no deposit bonus, you need to head to the cashier to pay money into your account using your preferred banking method.
- That’s it! You’re now ready to explore the slots and table games on offer and play for real money.
Safety and Security with Online Casinos
Security is of paramount importance whenever you use an online casino. Here are three factors that ensure your personal details and funds aren’t compromised:
To be considered legitimate, online casinos must be licensed by the gaming authorities of the states in which they operate. Online casinos in New Jersey, for example, are licensed by the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) while in Pennsylvania, it’s the Gaming Control Board (GCB). You should see the license details displayed on every casino’s homepage. If in any doubt, you can always double-check with the relevant gaming authority.
Real money casino games are tightly regulated to ensure their outcomes are random and they pay out fairly. This means that ample testing takes place before games are hosted at legit online casinos. In some states, the relevant gaming authority conducts games testing. Others rely on organizations like eCOGRA and iTech Labs. Either way, this is essential and legal casinos aren’t shy about publishing information on regulation.
Safe and secure online casinos have valid SSL encryption certificates. This allows you to make secure financial transactions on their sites and is the same technology used to protect your sensitive data when you shop online. It’s simple to check if a casino has this in place. Just look for a padlock icon in the address bar and/or for a domain that starts with HTTPS.
Top USA online casinos have a wide variety of perks in store for players old and new. Here’s an overview of some of the different types of casino bonuses and promos up for grabs:
- Welcome bonus – This is for new players only, and usually consists of no deposit bonuses or matched deposit offers – or even a mix of both.
- Reload bonus – A promotion that rewards existing players for making ongoing deposits. Reload bonuses often consist of free spins and/or bonus funds.
- No deposit bonus – As the name suggests, this is a bonus offered without a deposit being required. No deposit bonuses are most often provided to new players just for signing up, though loyal customers may also get them occasionally.
- Matched deposit bonus – This hugely popular perk sees the operator match your deposit with bonus funds, up to a certain percentage.
- Free spins – Slots are a big deal for online casino players, so it’s no surprise that online casinos frequently reward their customers with free spins. This freeplay offer is often for specific slot games only.
Mobile Casino Apps
Many people prefer to play slots, blackjack, and other casino games on their mobile devices, and operators are wise to this. That’s why most sites offer native mobile casino apps you can download to your phone or tablet – we’d recommend getting one if you have the storage space.
Almost always available for Android and iOS, mobile casino apps for US players come with key advantages over mobile-optimized websites. You can fire up games in short order just by tapping the app rather than having to log in through the web browser.
Apps are also custom-designed for devices, which can mean a swifter, more seamless navigation and playing experience. But, it’s the push notifications that seal the deal for many players. These optional notifications deliver the latest casino bonus offers directly to your mobile device.
Find Casino Payment Methods to Suit You
The best real money online casino sites will offer an array of ways to make deposits and withdrawals. The precise options will vary depending on the site in question, but as a general rule, there will be more ways to pay in than cash out.
Widely accepted deposit methods include debit cards, credit cards, ACH/eCheck transfers, online bank transfers, prepaid Play+ cards, and PayNearMe, which lets you pay your deposit with cash at participating retailers. All deposits tend to land in your account instantly, except for PayNearMe which can take around 15 minutes.
Withdrawals are often possible through ACH/eCheck, online bank transfers, check by mail, PayPal, and Play+ cards. Processing times for withdrawals will depend on the method and the casino. Thanks to the security, speed, and convenience they bring, PayPal and prepaid Play+ cards are highly recommended for both paying in and cashing out and tend to come with the fastest withdrawal times.
Problem Gambling Support in the USA
Gambling is supposed to be a fun, light-hearted source of entertainment. Unfortunately, it can have a negative effect on some people’s lives. If you find that you’re spending beyond your means, suffering emotional distress, or neglecting other aspects of your life due to gambling, you can seek help from the following organizations:
National Council on Problem Gambling
Live chat: https://www.gamtalk.org/chat/
Ready to play online casinos, USA?
Now you know what to expect from the world of online casinos in the US, you can try them out for yourself. You can compare the best sites and welcome bonuses right here, and click through to sign up at the online casino that fits the bill for you.
Is online gambling legal in the USA?
Yes, but in some states only. You can play at legal online casinos in PA and NJ, for example. Be sure to check back at Gambling Spotlight for the latest news on legalization as well as the newest online casino site launches.
How do I know if I’m playing at a licensed online casino?
A legal online casino will display its licensing information on its home page. You can rest assured that any site we recommend at Gambling Spotlight will be licensed and legit.
Will I be taxed for my casino winnings?
Yes, gambling winnings are subject to federal tax and usually – but not always – state tax.
Is online gambling fair?
Yes, assuming you only play at licensed casinos. All online casino games have a house edge by their nature, but regular audits at legal gambling sites ensure game outcomes are random.
Which is the best online casino site in the USA?
You’re testing us now! The fact is, a site that appeals to one player may not tick the same boxes for another. Your best bet is to check out our online casino reviews, where we lay out the various pros of each site, from the types of bonuses available to the size of the game library.
Are there any new online casino sites in the USA?
New online casino sites frequently launch in states that have legalized real-money iGaming, and several have emerged in 2021 alone. You can find regular updates about new online casinos for US players at Gambling Spotlight.