We take a look at all of the states in the US that allow legal casino
US Online Casino Legal States
Gambling in the US is widespread across different states. Yet, it is one of the activities heavily regulated under federal gambling laws and at the state level. It means several limitations are in place, including where one is gambling and the means and forms of gambling.
Online casino gambling is popular, with mobile casinos among the main means to play games. However, only six states allow you to play at online casinos on desktop or via mobile casino. They are New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Connecticut, and Delaware. This is unlike sports betting which has gained ground rapidly over the last few years in many US states.
But in the 40+ states not legalizing casinos, there has been a void that offshore casinos have filled. They seem enticing from the outside but do not meet the highest standards set by legal casinos. This explains why we are always against these casinos. They remain illegal and are not reputable or accountable. So there is no reason to risk your hard-earned money on these sites.
Our guide looks at the casino legal states and provides you with a list of top-rated online casinos. We will also briefly look at the states looking to legalize and which states are in the process of legalizing sports betting and casino gambling.
State by State Best Legal Online Casinos
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Currently, online casinos are only legal in 6 states across the US. In these states, their gambling laws are laid down.
For example, an online casino looking to go live must partner with a land-based casino. This ensures they receive an operating license. The partnership also guarantees high levels of integrity and safety of online gambling. Finally, it contributes to other aspects like taxation, market reach, and brand recognition.
The table below summarizes each state with the top online casinos in each. We also look at their physical casino partners and the official gambling regulators.
Resorts Casino & Hotel
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
|New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement
Hollywood Casino at The Meadows
Valley Forge Resort Casino
|Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
Bay Mills Resorts & Casino
Motorcity Casino Hotel
MGM Grand Detroit
|Michigan Gaming Control Board
Hollywood Casino at Charlestown Races
|West Virginia Lottery Commission
Foxwood Resorts Casino
Mohegan Sun Casino
|Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Gaming Division
|Delaware State Lottery Office
Online Casinos in New Jersey
All popular forms of gambling are legal in New Jersey. The state ranks among the pioneer states to make online gambling legal. In-state online casino gaming has been legal within the state lines since 2013. This is after the passage of the A2578 bill, a brainchild of Sen. Ray Lesniak.
The bill gave the land-based casinos in Atlantic City a window to apply for online casino gaming permits. It also allowed them to partner with other operators or iGaming software providers. Caesars and Borgata online casinos would emerge as the pioneers in New Jersey during the legalized gambling era. This was in the same year, 2013, in November. After their launch, many others would follow suit as the bill allowed them to host various online casino games, such as slots and table games. Besides casinos, Garden State operators offer NJ sports betting events and NJ online poker.
Today, the Garden State has the most online casinos, standing at thirty (30). While many options guarantee a great online gambling experience, the following pass as our favorites:
- 888 Casino NJ
- DraftKings Casino NJ
- Virgin Casino NJ
- Bally’s Casino NJ
- bet365 Casino NJ
- Golden Nugget Casino NJ
- Party NJ Casino
- Resorts Casino NJ
Online Casinos in Pennsylvania
On October 26, 2017, Pennsylvania was added to the list of states to permit online gambling. The Keystone State would become the second state to legalize online casinos. The H271 bill, signed by Gov. Tom Wolf, was a package that also included online poker and daily fantasy sports. It would also legalize online sports betting.
Despite passing the law to legalize gambling in 2017, it would take until 2019 for the first online casinos to launch. Parx Casino was the pioneer, followed by Hollywood Casino. While it was a slow 2019, many legal PA online gambling casinos would pitch tents later. Today, you will find 18+ online gambling establishments in PA, with the following topping our list:
- DraftKings Casino PA
- FanDuel Casino PA
- BetMGM Casino PA
- Caesars Casino PA
- Harrah’s Casino PA
- BetRivers Casino PA
You can find the latest casino promo codes in PA here.
Online Casinos in Michigan
In December 2019, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the H4311 bill. The bill would see MI residents enjoy legal online gambling within the state. In the bill was a package to make online casinos legal and legalize sports betting and online poker. But plans for legal online casinos to go live would take until January 22, 2021, for several reasons. They included the time taken to sort out licensing, partnerships with the three commercial casinos and the twelve (15) tribal casinos, and the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.
Today, about fourteen (14) online casinos have already been admitted to the MI gambling industry, with the Michigan Gaming Control Board regulating all gambling activities. Our top selection of the best legal online gambling casinos in MI includes the following:
- Pointsbet Casino MI
- BetMGM Casino MI
- SugarHouse Casino MI
- Unibet Casino MI
- WynnBET Casino MI
- FanDuel Casino MI
- Caesars Casino MI
You can discover their respective MI online casino promo codes here.
Online Casinos in West Virginia
On March 27, 2019, lawmakers passed the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act. The act would see online poker and online casino gambling made legal in the Mountain State. As usual, operators had to partner with either of the five land-based casinos, with each casino allowed to make up to three (3) partnerships.
In hindsight, WV was the fourth state to legalize online casinos. DraftKings would pioneer, with other WV online casinos coming up and operating under the state laws laid down by the West Virginia Lottery Commission. The top WV legal online gambling casinos are as follows:
- DraftKings Casino WV
- Caesars Casino WV
- FanDuel Casino WV
- BetMGM Casino WV
- Pointsbet Casino WV
- BetRivers Casino WV
Online Casinos in Connecticut
October 19, 2021, saw the residents of Connecticut connect (no pun intended) with others from NJ, MI, PA, and WV in enjoying legal online gambling. The HB 6451 bill allowed online casinos within state lines.
Moreover, it would allow legal online sports betting and daily fantasy sports and invite residents to play online poker. Unfortunately, only a handful of online gaming operators are available. The only two tribal casinos in CT are Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Casino. The following two online casinos partner with them:
- DraftKings Casino CT
- Mohegan Sun Casino CT (FanDuel Casino)
Online Casinos in Delaware
Delaware does not feature much on the mention of online gambling in the US. Yet, it is the other state besides NJ, to legalize each form of gambling. This includes online casinos, sports wagering, daily fantasy sports, online poker, bingo, and the state lottery. It also gets the title of being the first state to enter the online gambling industry.
Home to three racinos, you can only expect a handful of online casinos. Unfortunately, they are not as popular as those in Atlantic City or Las Vegas. The Delaware State Lottery Office is the official body overseeing gambling activities. The body has only licensed these little-known online casinos:
- Delaware Park
- Dover Downs
- Harrington Raceway
Expected States to Legalize Online Casino Gambling
The pace at which online casinos are coming up in the US is not comparable to that of legal betting sites. But this year looks like a good year for a few more states looking to join NJ, PA, MI, WV, CT, and DE in offering online casino games for real money. We take a look at some of these states:
- New York Online Casinos: The state surrounds New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. It is one of the reasons pointing to the Empire State joining the chat in no time. The hope of New Yorkers is on Sen. Joseph Addabbo, who successfully pushed for legal sports betting in NY, with the first online bet taken in 2022. There were attempts to push for other forms of gambling, like online casinos and poker. But while they remained unsuccessful in 2022, the odds are seemingly in favor of the bill being successful this year.
It is projected that New York will enjoy an annual revenue of above $3 billion once they make online casino gambling legal. It would make it the most profitable state in the country.
- Indiana: Recent attempts in 2021 and 2022 to legalize online gaming have been unsuccessful within Hoosier State. But there have been increased lobbying efforts from Sen. Jon Ford and Rep. Ethan Manning, with key legislators throwing weight. After the legalization of IN sports betting in 2019, it looks like this year might be the year casino internet gaming becomes legal. Bookmark our IN online casinos page to stay on top of the latest updated.
Other states also look promising but have lower odds than New York and Indiana. They rank as other potential states for different reasons. Some are among the states to launch sports betting activities in the country, and it is only natural for online casinos to complete the package. Other states neighbor those that legalize casino games for real money. So, which are these states expected to launch around this year? They include Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, Colorado, and Ohio.
Federal Gambling Laws in the US
Gambling is highly restricted in the US. The laws apply to gambling establishments, those in gambling businesses, and the average US person.
Today, gambling is legal under US federal laws. But, you will find interstate and internet gaming restrictions. Each state can set its gambling laws and regulate the activity within its borders. What is common is that there is a state lottery in each state. But it is different from casino gambling. Only Nevada and Louisiana allow statewide casino-style gambling. This contrasts with other states like New Jersey that restrict gambling to Atlantic City.
You will find several types of casinos in the US. From commercial casinos and Native American casinos to riverboat casinos in several states. But what are the laws regulating gambling in the US? The notable ones include the following:
- Federal Wire Act: The 1961 act outlawed sports wagering within the states.
- Indian Gaming Regulatory Act: The 1988 act was enacted to regulate and provide a framework governing gaming on Indian lands. Other purposes of the act were to protect gaming as it was the source of raising revenue for the Indian tribes. It also allowed the opening of Indian casinos in their lands and even in areas where casinos are not traditionally allowed.
- Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA): The 2006 federal law outlawed financial transactions and services that involved online gambling operators.
- Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA): The law granted a monopoly to Nevada over sports betting. However, the law was repealed in 2018, with the US supreme court allowing all states to decide whether to legalize sports betting within their borders.
The latter initiated the wave of legalized online casinos and betting sites in the US. There is still a long way to go, though.
Why Play at Legal Online Gambling Sites
With most US states not allowing online gaming on casinos, there is the urge to hop into the many offshore casinos available in the US. But, as we have always insisted, it is not the best idea to enjoy gambling activities on these sites. Here are the reasons we are against offshore gambling in the US:
- Delayed cashouts: These casinos tend to hold on to your supposed winnings. They may also place loads of unrealistic requirements prompting you to lose money.
- Unfair games: The sites rarely have reputable providers in place. So, only a handful of casino games are available. They also manipulate random number generators (RNG) and lack certifications from independent audit bodies.
- Voiding bonuses: Some will have unrealistic and predatory terms and conditions to ensure you do not enjoy the bonuses.
- Inexistent customer support: When you think you can have issues attended to, you are in for a rude shock. These sites have an inexistent support team.
- Questionable licenses: Most offshore sites use Curacao Government, Costa Rica, and Panama licenses. Others lack licensing information.
Users outside of the legal casino states can instead play at offshore casino sites alternatives called sweepstake casinos. These are legal under federal law due to the way they operate. You can still play online slots and table games and win cash prizes in any of the following:
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How to Find a Legal Online Gambling Site
Now that you have a reason to avoid offshore sites, the question arises of finding a legal online gambling site. Here are ways to find a legit online gaming operator:
- Reputable License: We cannot insist enough. Legit online gambling operators must show proof of licensing from official regulators in the state they operate. For example, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
- Software Providers: Legit online gambling sites will have casino games from reputable developers. IGT, Playtech, NetEnt, DGC, H5G, and Evolution Gaming are among them. This is unlike offshore sites that claim to develop games in-house or use portfolios from less-known providers.
- Game Portfolio: The game portfolio in a legit online gambling site must meet the quantity and quality You must have a platform featuring various titles from quality providers.
- Payment Options: A variety of banking options signifies legitimacy. More importantly, legit online casino sites will have payment options like Cash at the Cage and Play+ prepaids.
- Land-based Casino Partner: As seen in our guide, most state laws require an online casino to go live after partnering with a land-based casino. It means that a fake casino will not have any partners.
- Customer Support: Professional and available customer service must be in place. Several support options should also be on board, including live chat and phone support.
- Responsible gambling: All legit gambling businesses must have policies and resources promoting responsible gambling. They must offer options like setting limits, taking breaks, or self-exclusion.