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Yes – online gambling is legal in the U.S., but only in states that have passed legislation that expressly permits it. In the absence of wide reaching federal laws, each state is required to pass its own.
Since each state is able to individually establish its laws, the rules and regulations are different in each market. Some states have only approved online sports betting or casino, while others have greenlit sports, casino, and poker. It all depends on the state you are looking to bet in.
Regulated iGaming got its start in the U.S. in New Jersey. Its legislature passed A2578 back in 2013, which paved the way for online poker, as well as online casino games like slots, blackjack, craps, video poker, roulette, and plenty more. Sports betting followed in 2018, with New Jersey again leading the way.
After years of being relegated to mainly Nevada (and the black market), legal online sports betting is now growing quickly throughout the United States. In fact, while watching any major event on TV you will see advertising banners in stadiums, graphics on the broadcast, and sportsbook commercials during breaks. So why now? It all comes down to PASPA.
PASPA, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, was put in place in 1992. The law prohibited new states, outside of those that already had existing legislation (mainly Nevada), from offering sports betting of any kind. Its presence greatly restricted the growth of the industry.
After a multi-year pursuit, the state of New Jersey managed to finally raise the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2017. In May 2018 PASPA was officially struck down, opening the doors for all states to pursue both online and retail sports betting. Since then a wave of new states have legalized the activity, giving gamblers a safe and secure way to bet on their favorite games, while adding a much needed source of tax revenue.
It’s a great question, and one that you will want to be mindful of. Just because a state has legalized online casino gaming or sports betting, doesn’t mean every gambling site you find online is legal. There are still unscrupulous offshore sites operating illegally, which you will want to avoid at all costs.
First of all, you can be certain that all online gambling sites discussed or advertised on this site are regulated and completely legal. In our guides and overview pages you’ll usually find complete lists of legal gambling sites in each state, ranked by our seasoned team of reviewers.
If you aren’t sure a site is regulated in your state, you can usually scroll to the footer of the site’s homepage to find its licensing information, or lack thereof.. This can be done via a statement, indicating that the site is licensed by your state’s chosen governing body, or through an image/seal/logo. If the site is not licensed and regulated by the proper authorities in the state, it is not a legal site – steer clear.
All of the protections associated with legal, regulated gambling in the United States disappear when using a site that has not attained the proper permissions. The safety of your personal information, wagers, and bankroll, are not guaranteed with offshore sites.
Online gambling in the United States generally relies on two requirements that everyone must satisfy before they can be dealt a hand or place a bet: Age and location.
Generally speaking the age requirement across the board is 21 years old. If you’re not of age yet, you’re out of luck. It’s non negotiable. There are a very small number of exceptions to the 21+ rule. For example, in New Hampshire you can use online sportsooks at the age of 18, however, this is far from the norm. Legal online gambling sites will require your name, address, date of birth, and the last four digits of your social security number. If they aren’t able to ID you, no wagers can be placed.
Much like real estate, online gambling is all about location, location, location. If you are not physically located inside of a state that has legal, regulated online gambling, you may not place a bet – period. Your location is confirmed through the use of geolocation software. If you are using a computer, the site will automatically prompt you to download a special plugin. Mobile bettors are good to go as long as they’ve granted the iGaming app access to their location services. Your phone/tablet’s GPS can handle the location confirmation automatically. It doesn’t matter if you’re stuck at the airport for a layover, sitting at home, or pushing a cart around the grocery store.
As long as you are 21 years old and inside of a state with legal iGaming options, you’re good to go.
All legal online gambling sites will offer a large variety of options for both depositing money, and cashing out.
From Credit Cards, to eWallets, bank wires, eChecks, and even in-person cash transactions – there’s no shortage of ways to add money to your account, or withdraw it. While available options will vary based on the state and iGaming operator, they’re all fast and efficient. Visit the cashier of your preferred online casino or sportsbook to see what is available. Popular choices include:
While using a regulated site you never need to be concerned about the safety of your cash. It will always be held in a separate, segregated account, and can always be sent to you promptly upon request. Your money is safe, and many of the options are lightning fast.
Before accepting a single sports bet, dealing a hand of blackjack, or allowing a spin of a slot machine, all legal U.S. online gambling sites will need to have obtained the proper permissions to operate in that state. These permissions come from the state government itself, and the regulatory body that’s been put in place to control the industry.
For most states that had existing brick-and-mortar casinos, that responsibility typically falls to the same branch. For example, New Jersey relies on the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), and Michigan has put the Michigan Gaming Control Board in charge of iGaming. For states new to gambling, lotteries are a likely candidate to take the reigns, as seen in Tennessee.
The regulatory body will frequently inspect each site and make sure that their operation, top to bottom, is functioning in accordance with state law. This includes the legitimacy of the available games. Betting online with a regulated online casino, sportsbook, or poker room, is as safe as betting in-person at the Bellagio.
There’s a surprising number of options for online casino gaming. Whether you’re a fan of slots, or spend most of your time with table games… you won’t be disappointed either way.
Slots will be available in all shapes, sizes, and themes. Catalogs in newly regulated states typically start smaller, but evolve over time. In New Jersey, one of the most mature markets in the country, an average online casino has hundreds of virtual slots. Progressive, jackpot slots with enormous payouts are also incredibly popular.
When it comes to table games, all of the staples that regulars have come to know and love are available online. This includes blackjack, roulette, keno, pai gow, video poker, and baccarat.
Live Dealer games are also available in some states, which marry the efficiency of online casino gaming with the personal touch of having a real, live dealer facilitating the game over a video feed. The best of both worlds.
All legal online gambling sites are required to provide their customers with access to responsible gaming resources. If you think you might have a problem, help is available. Your online casino or sportsbook will have literature available that is specific to your state, as well as national resources. Check the menus at the top or bottom of the page, or look within your account settings. Contact their support staff if you’re having issues locating them.
Common software features that help protect customers include:
All of these can be controlled within your account, and help regulate the amount of time and money spent with online gambling.
Self Exclusion is also an option for users looking for a more long-term timeout. By self excluding you can barr yourself from participating for a predetermined amount of time. One year, five year, or even lifetime bans are available.
Absolutely. All online gambling sites are competing against one another for your action and will offer lucrative welcome bonuses to land you as a customer – make sure you are taking full advantage of them. After all, if you’re not happy with the experience, you can download a new app and be playing on a different site in just minutes.
Common bonuses include deposit match bonuses, where the casino or sportsbook matches your deposit with a bonus, no deposit bonuses, sportsbook free bets, and risk-free wagers.
USBets has partnered with the nation’s top legal online casinos to offer these types of bonuses, which, in many cases, exceed the site’s own public offer. All you have to do is follow the instructions on any of our site reviews and you’ll always get the max value.
After you’ve created an account and are no longer a newcomer, the top online sites will regularly release new offers for existing players to keep them interested. Make sure you are regularly checking the designated ‘Promotions’ section of your favorite online sportsbook or casino. Reload bonuses, free spins, odds boosts, etc., are all commonly available. There’s a lot of value out there.
Yes you can. Legal online gambling sites have efficient, easy to use mobile apps for all devices. Whether you’ve got an iPhone (iOS) or Android device, a phone or a tablet, they can all be used for online gambling.
With iGaming mobile apps you can take the casino or sportsbook with you wherever you go. As long as you’re inside the borders of a state with legal options, you’re able to play. Your mobile device can use its built in GPS chip to relay your location through the app without any extra efforts – it’s amazingly simple.
Plus, if you’re wondering if it detracts from the experience – you’re in for a surprise. Casino games and sports betting translate really well to the smaller, mobile screens. Slots specifically are a perfect fit. Online poker is a little more challenging, but new apps allow for a surprising amount of control while at the table.
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