Legal US Online Gambling

By Jon Young

Discover the best online gambling sites in the USA with our superb guides. Unearth great casinos bursting with slots and table games, the top poker rooms and even the biggest sportsbooks offering free bets. We are your one-stop shop for regulated online gambling.

States That Offer Legal Online Gambling

US online gambling is now legal in multiple states across the Union. The choice of regulated online gambling sites differs from state to state. Some US states have legalized all types of internet gaming, while others offer sports betting and poker but not casinos.

State Online Casino Online Poker Online Sports Betting

StateOnline CasinoOnline PokerOnline Sports Betting
New JerseyYesYesYes
NevadaNoYesYes
PennsylvaniaYesYesYes
MichiganYesYesYes
DelawareYesYesYes
West VirginiaYesYesYes

New Jersey Online Gambling

New Jersey paved the way for US online gambling sites back in 2012 and 2013. You can now play online casino games and poker or place sports bets via mobile and desktop. Market revenue in March 2021 was $359.3 million, an increase of nearly 120% year-on-year. Major US gambling sites in the Garden State include Golden Nugget, DraftKings, FanDuel and 888.

Michigan Online Gambling

Michigan launched its first legal gambling sites in early 2021. The Wolverine State has issued a blanket pass to all forms of online gambling site. You can play poker online, try slots and roulette or bet on sports. Plus, many of the top online gambling sites have launched in the state, including TwinSpires, BetMGM and Stars Casino.

Pennsylvania Online Gambling

Pennsylvania allows the best US gambling sites to operate within state lines. Online casino and poker are legal, and – as of 2019 – sports betting, too. You can also purchase online lottery tickets through the PA Lottery website. Pennsylvania offers some of the best online gambling United States players will find. Major operators like SugarHouse and FanDuel have sites up and running.

West Virginia Online Gambling

Online casino gaming was legalized in WV back in early 2019. DraftKings beat the competition and opened its virtual doors in July 2020. Online poker, Daily Fantasy Sports and online sports betting are also legal in West Virginia. Gaming revenue is set to increase in WV as more and more online operators join the party.

Delaware Online Gambling

Delaware was one of the first states to legalize online poker and casino games back in 2013. The state is rather unique in that every operator is partnered with a single betting entity: Scientific Games and 888. Online sports betting is legal, but as of 2021 there are still no regulated sportsbooks operating in the state. You can travel to one of Delaware’s racinos to place sports bets.

Nevada Online Gambling

The gambling home of Las Vegas was one of the first states to legalize online poker. However, it fell short of regulating casino and still doesn’t allow online games like roulette and slots. Online sports betting is now legal in Nevada.

States That Are Likely To Legalize Online Gambling

Since 2013, a handful of US states have allowed online gambling sites to flourish. While some states have dipped their toes in the water with just legalized sports betting, others have gone full steam ahead with regulated poker, casino and sports. Here are some of the states likely to legalize one or more types of online gambling. United States players now have more choice than ever!

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • Florida
  • Ohio

States That Do Not Allow Gambling Online

While online gambling games are more widely available in the US than ever before, some states are reluctant to liberalize their gaming laws. Some states, such as Connecticut, have legalized online poker and other games but are yet to launch any sites. Many states have also passed sports betting laws in recent months.

States without a full roster of online casino games, poker and sports betting: Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Washington, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

US Online Lottery

Lotteries have been around in the US since the early colonial area. Over the centuries, individual states have regulated their own lottery laws, but the biggest prize draws are run across multiple states. Some states also let you purchase tickets online.

US states with legalized lottery in 2021:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Only six US states allow online lottery purchases:

  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • Pennsylvania

The History Of Online Gambling in the USA

The US has made it difficult over the years for residents to gamble online legally. While many states in the USA are starting to relax their laws, it hasn’t always been plain sailing for lovers of the top online gambling sites.

1994: The Free Trade & Processing Act is passed in Antigua and Barbuda. The nation becomes a base for overseas online gambling companies and software providers looking for a license.

1999: The Internet Gambling Prohibition Act is passed in the US Senate. It attempts to shut down online gambling sites USA players have access to.

2002: The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rules that online sports betting should be prohibited under the Interstate Wire Act 1961.

2004: The World Trade Organization states that the US restrictions on online gambling sites licensed in Antigua and Barbuda violate international treaties. The USA appeals.

2006: The Unlawful Internet Gambling and Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is rushed through the Senate as an additional piece of legislation to the SAFE Port Act. UIGEA is an updated version of 1999’s Internet Gambling Prohibition Act. Online gambling transactions for US citizens to casino sites and poker rooms are made illegal.

2009: The Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act is introduced by Congressman Barney Frank, which would overturn the restrictions of UIGEA.

2011: “Black Friday” sees three of the largest poker sites – PokerStars, Full Tilt, and Absolute Poker – shut down overnight and US operations suspended.

2011: The Department of Justice (DOJ) relaxes its stance on the Wire Act, stating that only online sports betting falls within the remit of the law.

2013: New Jersey lawmakers pass the first online gambling bill in the USA. Online gambling will be made legal within state borders. That year, New Jersey and Delaware make online casinos and poker legal, with Nevada legalizing online poker only.

2014: Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson launches the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG) to lobby politicians to ban all online gambling games.

2017: Pennsylvania becomes the fourth state in the USA to legalize online gambling websites. USA players in the state can bet on poker, casino games, daily fantasy sports, and – now - sports betting.

2018: The Supreme Court overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) which made it illegal to bet on single sporting events. Individual states are now free to establish their own top gambling sites. Following the Supreme Court ruling, states like New Jersey legalizes sports betting at its casinos. It also opens the way for online sportsbooks to apply for licenses.

2018: The Department of Justice reconsiders its position and states that the Wire Act applies to all online gambling, not just sports betting.

2019: Michigan allows for legal gambling sites to operate within the state. West Virginia officially legalizes online casino gaming the same year.

2021: The first online casinos and betting sites officially launch in Michigan. Connecticut legalizes online poker. Virginia also launched regulated sports betting, despite having no brick-and-mortar casinos. Over 25 states in the USA now have some form of legalized online gambling.

US Federal Online Gambling Laws

Is online gambling legal in the US? It’s a question that gamblers and lawmakers alike have asked many times over the years. Some of America’s most recent gambling laws have their origins in legislation that is now many years out of date. And, despite many attempts, there is still no one law legalizing or banning gambling outright across the country.

The Interstate (Federal) Wire Act 1961

The Federal Wire Act was signed in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. The law was brought in specifically to target organized crime, who were making a fortune taking illegal sports bets via the phone across state borders. However, the law came in decades before the internet and was deemed to be out of date when it was used to justify banning online gambling payments.

Interpretation of the Wire Act has changed over the years. The Department of Justice first declared that it related only to sports betting before reversing that decision. And powerful lobbyists like the late Sheldon Adelson have attempted to reinstate the Wire Act so that all online gambling is banned.

In 2021, the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit sided with the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, who had brought a legal case against the DOJ arguing that the Wire Act shouldn’t apply to lotteries.

For now, the Wire Act applies solely to sports betting, although individual states have pushed ahead with regulated sports betting within their own state borders.

The Professional & Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA)

PASPA came into effect in 1993 when Bill Clinton had become President of the USA. The law effectively made it illegal for states to allow bets on individual sporting outcomes. However, some states with existing laws, like Nevada, were allowed to continue with their own retail sportsbooks.

However, in 2018, the US Supreme Court ruled that the federal law was unconstitutional. New Jersey had objected to being shut out of what was a lucrative business for those states allowed to take bets.

The ruling opened the doors for New Jersey and other states to open brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and license online sports betting. Up to 30 states now allow access to the best US gaming sites in the country.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA)

No other law has shaken up USA online gambling more than the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). There had already been attempts to ban outright the best US gambling sites back in 1999. However, some US senators got their way in 2006 when they tacked on UIGEA to the unrelated SAFE Port Act.

Under the terms of UIGEA, it became illegal for offshore online gambling sites to accept real-money web transactions from customers based in the US.

The law was challenged in 2009 when Barney Frank introduced his own bill – the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act. The bill failed, and two years later, three of the biggest online poker sites were shut down in the Black Friday raids.

The Future of Online Gambling USA

In the USA, online gambling looks here to stay. However, despite federal attempts to completely ban gambling sites, individual states look safe to continue regulating. Online gaming revenue in states like New Jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania has reached billions of dollars, and other states are keen to get in on the act.

And even where some states are leaving out casino games and poker from their bills, they are keen to legalize online and mobile sports betting. In addition, some states that have never had brick-and-mortar casinos are now passing laws to build their very first resorts.

A federal law legalizing online gaming sites in the US seems unlikely in the foreseeable future. However, expect more and more states to pass their own laws in the coming years and even team up with other states to share player pools and jackpots.

Join a Top Regulated Online Gambling Site Today

It’s never been a better time to join the safest online gambling sites in the USA. Play poker online, hit the roulette table or bet on the night’s NFL game – all from the safety of your own home.

USA online gambling is here to stay, but it’s important to find the best online gambling sites. USA players should all follow our simply tips:

  • Only Play at Legal US Gambling Sites: Only trust the best US sites that are legal where you live. Never sign up with offshore casinos or poker rooms that can’t guarantee your safety.
  • Try Multiple Gambling Sites: We always recommend signing up to multiple online casinos or sportsbooks. Open a few accounts at once and take advantage of several promotions at once.
  • Explore the Promotions: You will find a broad selection of gambling promotions at the best US sites. Claim a welcome bonus and earn free cash, or follow it up with a reload bonus, free spins, or a VIP program!
  • Practice Responsible Gambling: Online gaming should be fun and risk-free. If your gambling is becoming an issue you should learn to limit your sessions. All reputable online casinos and gambling sites will provide a list of resources which offer contacts and helplines.

USA online gambling is now legal in many states. You can play slots or roulette online, or place sports bets through your mobile phone. You can even enter your card details and make real-time deposits straight away.

With so many new US internet gaming sites out there, it’s important to get the selection right. Read our reviews and make the right choice, then use a promo code and claim free bets or a deposit match!

Legal US Online Gambling FAQ

Yes, if you only play at a regulated online gambling site. Only trust licensed online casinos, sportsbooks or poker sites and always change your passwords regularly.

It seems unlikely that online gaming will be legalized in the US on a federal level. However, more states are passing their own laws regulating casinos and sports betting.

There are around 30+ US states that have a mix of legalized online sports betting, online poker and online casino games. Some states also allow online lottery sales and daily fantasy sports.

Absolutely. Most legal US states offer mobile apps that let you make deposit and place bets on the move.

According to the IRS, yes. Some online gambling sites will withhold a portion of winnings if you win a certain amount. You may also be liable for tax in your home state. Check the gambling site or IRS website to understand the liability.

We only recommend legal online gambling websites that are regulated in the US. The homepage will clearly display the licensing body that regulates the site.

Online gambling sites in the US are regulated by each state's gaming commission. The body is responsible for issuing licenses and ensuring companies are offering fair and transparent online gambling.

Contributors

Jon Young

Reviewer since May 2019

Jon Young is a writer and magazine editor with over 12 years' experience in the gaming sector. He has written on everything from poker and slots to casino, sports betting and mobile gambling. When not trying to take down the Mega Moolah jackpot he can be found playing poker tournaments in casinos.

Interests: Online casinos, Online slots, Online gamig