Check out the US States that Allow Online Gambling
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CA born, casino expert
CA born, casino expert
Ashley is our golden girl from the Golden State. Native to San Francisco and a former UCLA student, her initial passion in life has always been sport. A keen soccer, volleyball, and softball player, she presumed her life would involve continuing to play sports in her spare time and making use of her Master’s in Psychology during professional hours — and then she visited Las Vegas.
Making her first trip on a weekend getaway with three friends, Ashley immediately fell in love with Vegas, and it’s a relationship that shows no sign of diminishing. As well as being dazzled by the riotous sights and sounds that draw so many to the desert, Ashley found herself watching slots games and the people who played them, and wanting to find out more.
Upon returning home, Ashley focused on learning as much as she could about the mechanics of gambling and everything it has to offer. Combined with multiple trips back to Vegas, and a keenness to dabble in the online casino world when she couldn’t make the trip, Ashley’s aspirations began to change. She began to write articles in an effort to spread her ever-growing knowledge of the gambling world, focusing initially on casinos, but then expanding further into the sports betting and casino realm. Now, Ashley is a Contributing Editor of Las Vegas How To; our golden All-American-girl whose life took a surprising, but hugely rewarding, direction the moment she first inhaled Las Vegas’ dry, opportunity-rich desert air.
US gambling laws are notoriously complex, so trying to establish which states are legal gambling states isn’t the easiest. We’ve prepared this guide to gambling by state, making it much easier for you to assess your options.
We’ll explain which states allow gambling, as well as identifying the best online casino and sportsbook sites that are available. Find out everything you need to know to gamble safely online, no matter where in the US you live.
Trying to get your head around the US gambling laws isn’t easy, and the picture is constantly changing, making it even more difficult to understand which states allow gambling. Many people will tell you that the majority of states simply don’t allow it at all, but that isn’t actually the case, as we’ll explain.
If we take a look at gambling by state, we find that only Utah and Hawaii don’t permit gambling in any form. The other 48 states all allow at least one form of gambling, although there’s no clear pattern. Some states permit sportsbook betting only, whilst others embrace the full land-based casino experience.
The number of states that allow online gambling is constantly changing. Until recently there were only a handful of states with online gambling, but the number is steadily increasing, as statistics relating to casino payouts by state will confirm. And perhaps surprisingly, the laws apply to casino operators, rather than bettors, so offshore casinos have stepped in to offer the perfect solution to the problem!
Check out which type of online gambling your state allows!
Gambling in the US has a long and chequered history, starting with the earliest settlers, who enjoyed playing games of chance to while away their leisure time. Lotteries soon became popular as a way of raising community funds, but this practice was condemned by the British, an attitude that’s believed to have contributed in part to the American Revolution.
For a time, New Orleans became the gambling capital of the USA, with Mississippi riverboats hosting gambling parties, and the Californian Gold Rush helping to bring gambling to the west coast. But by the early 20th century prohibition was taking hold, and all forms of gambling were outlawed. But the Great Depression saw Nevada introducing legal gambling as a means of generating wealth, with Las Vegas soon becoming the center of activities – a position it holds to this day.
New Jersey was the next state to legalize gambling, with Atlantic City becoming a popular destination for bettors by the late 1970s. Soon there were a couple more states that allow gambling as riverboat casinos opened up in Illinois and Michigan.
Towards the end of the 20th century online gambling started to take hold. But although there’s nothing in federal law to prohibit gambling, individual states can decide for themselves whether or not to allow it. However, online gambling is subject to extremely strict regulations, with a complex network of laws to muddy the waters.
Some states that allow gambling only permit certain types of wagers, so sports betting might be allowed but nothing else. And trying to sort out which states allow gambling, and which don’t, isn’t a static situation. Some states with casinos also allow online casinos to operate within state lines, whereas others don’t permit it at all.
To make things even more confusing, the UIEGA, or Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was introduced in 2006. Many US citizens believe this prohibits online gambling completely, but it isn’t that simple. The act doesn’t make online gambling illegal, but it prevents online casinos from making any financial transactions. Luckily for bettors, this is easily circumvented by offshore online casinos allowing US residents to sign up and play, no matter which state they live in.
Editor’s recommendation – the best online gambling operator for users in the USA
Our experts examine every single online casino available to US players, and we don’t cut any corners as we examine them in forensic detail. We read every little bit of the fine print to make sure we can keep you informed about everything you need to know. And when it comes to states with legal online gambling our editor found one operator offered something a little extra – BetMGM.
BetMGM is available in online gambling legal states, so if you’re lucky enough to live in Colorado, New Jersey, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Tennessee, Michigan, Virginia, Nevada or West Virginia you can sign up and start playing. You’ll find a huge variety of games to play – there’s a sportsbook as well as a casino, and you can even play on your mobile. And of course, there’s a fantastic bonus offer with low wagering requirements, so you can make your initial deposit stretch even further!
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Five tips for a secure and fair gambling experience in the USA
The number of states that allow online gambling is gradually increasing, so although some of our advice may not be relevant to you right now, it’s important to keep checking back as the situation changes. But for anyone considering playing in states where gambling is illegal at the moment, it’s important to make sure you stay safe.
Look for security measures and encryption
For those living in states with legal gambling options, safety and security is of major importance. When it comes to online gambling legal states should usually take steps to ensure the legality of sportsbook and casino operators, but never be tempted to rely on this. So make sure that your chosen operator’s web address begins with ‘https://’ – and look for the padlock symbol in your web browser as an additional guarantee of safety.
You’ll also need to make sure that your operator is fully licensed with a reputable industry regulator – but be careful here! Not all regulatory bodies have the same high standards, and some of them will happily issue a license to anyone prepared to pay for it. This is an issue you don’t have to worry about with any of the operators featured on our site, as we’ve already done the checking for you!
Read our reviews
Our gambling experts go to extreme lengths to assess every single operator across our website. We undertake a whole series of checks, covering every single aspect of each website, and we don’t skimp on the details. In addition to keeping you up to date with the top gambling states that allow gambling, we visit every new casino and sportsbook that launches, to see whether it meets our exacting standards.
Pick one of the operators from our site, and you can be sure that it will provide you with a safe, fair and secure gambling experience, every single time you log on and play a game or make a wager.
Check out what other players have to say
We give you an overall picture of every reputable operator we come across, but we can’t possibly recommend a specific site for every player, simply because tastes vary so widely. So it’s well worth taking the time to read what other players have to say too. Reading player reviews gives you insights into whether an operator might be suitable for you, highlighting any problems or issues that they may have had when withdrawing winnings, for example. They may have comments to make about their experiences with customer support, or otherwise impart information that could help you make up your mind.
Always read the small print
Our reviewers go through the terms and conditions of each operator, and we check that sites are legitimate and fair. But we still recommend paying attention to the fine print, particularly when it comes to player bonuses and deposit matches. Many bonus offers and awards are time-sensitive, so you’ll miss out if you don’t use them quickly. And there are almost always wagering requirements attached to bonus awards too, so make sure you understand them to avoid missing out.
Make sure your favourite sports and games are covered
Once you’ve come to a decision about your preferred operators, it’s time to dig a little deeper. Visit each site on your list to make sure the sports and games you enjoy the most are all featured. Perhaps you’re a keen Roulette player looking for the opportunity to explore some new variants? Or maybe you’re a dedicated slots player wanting to try out a broad selection of the latest games from the top software developers?
Whatever your passion, check and double-check that your preferred operator can accommodate it. There’s nothing quite so dispiriting as signing up to an online casino, only to find it doesn’t offer the games you enjoy playing, so make sure you check this out before depositing any funds!
What do we look for when evaluating online gambling operators for USA residents?
We tackle our assessment of online gambling by state, to establish which players can access each site. But with more and more online gambling legal states going live, we often find ourselves playing catch-up, reviewing newer offerings on a regular basis. And if you’re wondering how many states allow gambling online, or which are the states that allow online poker, our answer is that it’s constantly changing, so it’s almost impossible to give a definitive answer.
What we can tell you is that we’re always looking out for changes in legislature that will affect US gambling fans. And when we identify a new operator we get straight down to our checks, so that we can provide our site visitors with honest and up-to-the-minute reviews.
We’ll let you know what each operator’s website looks like, and how easy it is to navigate. Then we drill down a little deeper to let you know the deposit and withdrawal methods on offer, as well as a guide to timescales, so you know how long it might take you to access any winnings.
Next, we dig down into the operator’s licenses and security features – we’re extremely hot on ensuring that player funds are kept in a separate account, and we check the full details of every single license, assessing whether it’s been issued by a valid industry regulator.
Then we explore the levels of customer support available, as well as taking a long, hard look at the bonus offers and reward programs you can expect to participate in. A breakdown of the games and sports on offer is all that’s needed to leave you with the complete picture, so you can make the most informed decisions about which operators to sign up to.
Here are our top rated sites
Finding the right online gambling operator for you
To source your perfect operator, we recommend starting with our in-depth reviews. We cover online gambling by state, so it’s easy to find the sites that you can access, but you’ll need to narrow down your options before coming to a decision. And if you’re not currently residing in any of the states that allow gambling, we recommend you keep checking back in case the situation changes.
Check out our articles about the top gambling states, and discover which states allow gambling and which don’t – at least at the moment. And don’t forget that even if you’re not currently living in one of the states that allow gambling, it’s still possible to sign up to an offshore casino or sportsbook site, although your deposit and withdrawal options will be much more limited. If you opt for this route, don’t forget that for your gambling winnings state taxes still apply. Failing to declare them can lead to prosecution for tax evasion.
Define your requirements
We all have different requirements from our gambling sites. Some people enjoy playing during the night, in which case it’s important to look for an operator with 24-hour customer support. Sporting fans who enjoy watching live streams should make sure they seek out a sportsbook operator that offers this facility. And it goes without saying that fans of a particular casino pastime, such as Baccarat or slots, should establish that their preferred operator offers plenty of opportunities to play these types of games.
And of course, as we’ve already pointed out, it’s a great idea to check through our comprehensive operator reviews. They’re packed with invaluable information that will help you narrow down your options, ensuring you find the perfect gambling operator to suit your needs.
Conclusion: discover the states with online gambling operators
We’ve established that federal laws allow gambling by state legislation, but right now there are only some states with online gambling operators. The top gambling states, such as New Jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania all offer plenty of options, with more and more states joining the party every year.
As we’ve pointed out, in some states gambling is legal, and now we’re finding an increasing number of legal states for online gambling too, so the situation is changing all the time. We suggest bookmarking this site so you can keep checking back to discover what legislative changes have been made and to discover which online gambling operators you can legally access.
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Gambling by state FAQs
☝ Which states have online gambling?
Nevada, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey used to be the only states that allow online gambling, but that’s no longer the case. If you’re wondering how many states allow online gambling these days, the answer is that it’s constantly changing. Read our article about online gambling by state to find out everything you need to know.
❓ How many states have legalized gambling?
It’s difficult to give a definitive answer to how many states have legalized gambling, as it’s actually down to the individual states themselves to decide on the matter. In some states online gambling is legal, and even where it isn’t, the law is a bit of a grey area. Read our complete article to find out more.
🎲 Which states have legalized gambling?
We’ve got the complete lowdown on what makes online gambling states legal in the US, and where you can safely gamble without fear of prosecution – or of being scammed for that matter! Our site is packed to bursting with helpful advice, operator reviews, bonus awards and much, much more, so come and take a look!
🎱 Is it legal to sign up to an online casino in any US state?
In the US we have federal laws which permit gambling, and state laws, which allow each state to make its own decision about online gambling. And to compound matters, some states permit sportsbook betting only, whilst others might allow poker but nothing else. Unravel the legal maze by reading our full article and following our links to the top legal online gambling sites.
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
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