Important Notice Regarding Gambling Regulations within the US
NOTE: It is important to note that some States have restrictions on online gambling. Unlike Europe, where gambling restrictions are fairly uncommon, many U.S. states have implemented legislation that prohibits online gambling. So it's important to determine if you're in a region that permits gambling online. Due to these restrictions, some online casinos have banned US players entirely.
On this page you will have access to information about gambling regulations, restrictions and laws of each state within the United States. You can do so by clicking on the desired state on the map above. Likewise, you may also use the dropdown menu on the right-hand side of the map to select your desired state. However, you will find that the states on the map are divided in two categories: “Allowed” and “Not Allowed”. Under the “Allowed” states, you will find states that have passed a bill that makes online gambling legal. The remaining states in grey have yet to pass a bill to legalise online gambling, or have no intention of doing this at all. Due to each state having its own state laws and is governed differently, you might find that it’s illegal to gamble in the state you live in, while your neighbouring state is free to do so.
If you are a resident within the United States, then you know that each state has its own state laws. According to the Constitution, each state is able to create and enforce laws according to their own needs. When it comes down to gambling, we have seen states allowing to pass a bill that makes gambling, sportsbook or online gambling completely legal in order to drive tax revenue back into the economy. Tax revenue is the biggest driving force behind passing bills that legalise all forms of gambling.
Because each state acts as a sovereign entity, it is entirely up to the state in question whether it wants to legalise online gambling or other online gambling activities. That being said, while states have control over their own regulations and legislations, the Federal Laws still reigns supreme over state laws, making it a difficult to navigate landscape for punters. Under the Federal Laws that restrict gambling you will three most talked about topics:
►The Federal Wire Act of 1961
►The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA)
►The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2016
These three Federal laws do not strictly prohibit gambling and online gambling, but rather put major restrictions on the act. Every state within the US if free to pass their own laws on gambling practices and aside from Utah and Hawaii, every state does have some form of gambling. Land-based casinos are legal state-wide within Nevada and Louisiana, while other states must rely on Native American casinos or racinos (a horse racing track with a slot parlor).
When it comes down to online gambling, there are far more severe restrictions in place, making it unattractive for state governments and courts to bend over backwards in order to pass a bill that allows people to gamble online. PASPA prevents any wagers to be made online on live sport events, and has been a major topic for many years now. Only recently several states have moved towards making online sports betting legal. When it comes down the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, it does not prohibit online gambling itself, rather the financial transactions to online gambling providers and services. With that in mind, here at CasinoTopsOnline we only list online casinos that have been regulated within each respectable state by its legislative body in order to be compliant with each state laws.
Originally having the main objective of hindering fraudulous bookmakers and organised crime, the Federal Wire Act was passed in 1961. The law prohibits the communication of sports betting-related information over wire communication (at that time mostly telephone and telegrams), but now also covers the internet. The Wire Act does not allow wagers or bets to be transferred through any kind of telecommunication, meaning that people back then had to own a regulated betting shop. The law also prevents businesses (legal or illegal) to receive any funds or profits gained from sports betting services. This was effective against underground bookmakers and organised crime gangs, cutting off a major source of their income.
The law itself only concerned itself with sports betting until recently. In 2018, the US government issued an opinion to change the Federal Wire Act to cover all betting and gambling solutions such as online poker, online lottery and online gambling. While nothing is set in stone, it does create an upheaval within the iGaming industry.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA for short) is a law against online gambling that was passed in 2006. Well, to be more accurate, the law prohibits any gambling businesses knowingly accepting wagers and betting transactions. It does not specifically state that online gambling itself is illegal, but rather the transactions made to deposit funds into one’s online casino account. Without funds, you cannot gamble, which effectively renders it impossible to play at any domestic or off-shore online casino.
The law is not limited to cover just a player’s online casino account, but also prohibits the funding of account at any fantasy sports and skill-based games providers. This meant the complete obliteration of the US poker scene and Daily Fantasy Sports fanbase, much to the dismay of players. Currently, more states are looking into abolishing the UIGEA law in order to bring in tax revenue and allow punters to safely gamble under supervised regulations. In states where the UIGEA still reigns supreme, more players are likely to end up at unlicensed and dodgy online casinos because people who seek to gamble will do so anyways. It is better to establish a regulated market where players can be assured of a safe gaming environment while still being compliant with federal laws.
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 or PASPA for short is another bill that covers the prohibitions of sports betting, whether that be online or offline. PASPA was create to stop the spread and popularity of sportsbook throughout the United States.
When the bill was signed in 1992 by George W. Bush, only four states were made exempt because the bill did not state that any existing sports betting regulations needed to be abolished. Rather, the PASPA bill prevented new laws from being made that could potentially legalise sports betting. The passing of the bill was more of an act of prevention rather than to make sports betting illegal altogether. The four states that were made exempt from the PASPA will were Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon, as they has already legalised some form of sports betting.
In 2018 the PASPA bill was struck down in the Supreme Court through the sheer effort made by the state of New Jersey. The Supreme Court declared the bill unconstitutional on May 14th 2018, paving the way for other states to legalise sports betting.
On the map shown above you will find all the states that allow online gambling in green. As stated before, CasinoTopsOnline only advertises casinos that are regulated and are in possession of a valid licence to operate within each state. Currently there are four states that allow online gambling within a regulated market and accept real-money bets and wagers. These state include: Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
While online gambling within these states still come with more restrictions and rules than what is common in Europe, players are still able to enjoy a casino experience from their own home. In the past few years there have been massive breakthrough in giving US citizens the choice to gamble freely, which is a trend only likely to continue. There are several states that are in the process of loosening the laws surrounding online gambling and sportsbook. This not only gives power back to the players, but will also create thousands of new jobs within the industry and millions, if not billions, of dollars in tax revenue.
Basically, you are free to play all the games that European players are able to play and more. There is a big chance that a US-facing online casino will offers games that US players specifically prefer. Aside from slot machines, American players seem to give a special preference to live casino games, mostly because of the thrill they give. Other popular games include:
So if you find yourself at any of the available US casinos we have on offer here, you will most likely find a game that suits you.
However, since software providers need to posses a licence that allows them to distribute their games to US casinos, not all slot machines will be available as of yet. Acquiring a licence that allows a software provider (or even an online casino) to be operational within the US jurisdiction is a lengthy and tedious process, and can take months up to years in order to acquire. This is a small setback for US players, since the gaming market is just opening up here and is filled with bureaucracy and legal forms.
Gambling is a popular hobby worldwide and US online casino sites have made it simple to enjoy all the fun of a casino, without ever leaving your home! When reviewing the web-based casinos accepting players from the US, it's important to look for certain qualities and features to ensure you're playing with one of the top US-friendly casino establishments. We recommend that you look for the following qualities:
- Look for reviews on US online casinos right here at CasinoTopsOnline.com! We have the top selections of casinos for you when you're looking to play on desktop or at US mobile casino. You can learn a lot about the credibility of an establishment by reading these reviews. This is important because you are dealing with money – sometimes, large amounts of money. So it's essential that you deal with a reputable, secure and trustworthy online gambling website.
- Popular software providers in the US market include WGS Technology, RIVAL Gaming, Pragmatic Play and some proprietary game developers like Slotland and 3Dice casino. In New Jersey, players have additional choice of incredibly popular casino software like IGT, WMS and NetEnt, but unfortunately these games are restricted outside the State of New Jersey.
- Seek out a US-friendly casino that offers fun special features such as VIP programs, tournaments and so forth. Cash prize tournaments are quite popular at US online casinos and most players opt to play because of the low investment to enter and big jackpots on offer. For high rollers and frequent depositors all casinos listed on this page feature unique VIP clubs, special events, personal account manager, birthday gifts and more.
- Look for a site that offers free spins, free cash and deposit casino bonuses – a bit of extra gambling credit provided to new players at an online casino. We feature the latest casino bonuses for US players, so don’t forget to use the amazing bonus codes and win some real cash without risking your own funds!
- The top US-friendly casino websites offer high payout percentages and 24-hour customer support. These are important features to look for, in addition to proper licensing, which is a standard industry-wide requirement.
Fortunately, the number of USA mobile casino sites and foreign-based mobile casinos for US players is rapidly growing. Are you ready to play?
If you're a player in the United States, you've probably already discovered that you can't play at many of the online as well as mobile casinos. This is the result of the current gambling laws, which prohibit many casinos from allowing Americans to play. Fortunately more and more US-friendly online casinos are becoming available on mobile devices.
The best US mobile casinos offer a wide range of games including mobile slots, mobile blackjack, roulette, video poker, bingo and mobile table games - all of which are available to players in the USA. The most popular mobile casino games in the United States are created by Realtime Gaming and Betsoft Gaming.
Many mobile casinos also offer token play and real money play, along with no deposit play and free mobile bonuses, which make it easy to sample an online mobile casino's offerings without risking any cash!
What's more, there is new legislation also in the pipeline, which means you should see an increase in the number of US-friendly mobile casinos for iPhone, iPad and Android-powered smartphones and tablets, even Windows Phone, BlackBerry phones and other Java-compatible devices.
Browse our info on the best US mobile casinos and the top US-friendly mobile casinos on the web to find a new online gambling home!
In one word: “bright”. The future for online casino within the United States seems very promising. Although there are many different hurdles to overcome, and the federal government does not seem lenient towards paving the way on its own, we will have to rely on individual states to make a change. New Jersey has already set an example with fighting for the removal of the PASPA bill in 2018.
Within every single state there is some form of talk about loosening the restrictions on all forms of gambling. Some might argue that it would spark an epidemic of problem gambling, which is understandable. However, if the market becomes regulated and casinos have to apply for a licence in order to operate, it would create a much safer environment for US players. This means that US players will be shielded from unsavoury online casinos, can set deposit limits for themselves and can even self-exclude themselves for several months and up to 5 years.
There are many different methods that allow the player to have control over how much they gamble and how to do this safely. For more information on how to gamble responsibly, you can read our comprehensive responsible gambling guide.