Many online casinos accept players that reside in the United States of America, but what is the best casino for you?
Although the online casino market is restricted in the USA, there are more and more online casinos, which accept US players.
Our team of casino experts has done extensive research and selected only the very best and most reliable online casinos for you.
We have reviewed a significant number of online casinos by playing ourselves. We have made a thorough assessment, based on the quality of software providers, games selection, welcome bonuses, payment services, licenses and customer support.
We are convinced that each of the online casinos in the following list will provide you with an excellent player experience.
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Is online gambling legal in the USA?
The legal status of online gambling in the USA is rather complicated. On a federal level, there are two critical laws regulating online gambling.
The first law is the Interstate Wire Act 1961. With the adoption of this Act, sports betting by wire between states became illegal. Later, when the internet developed, the US federal government argued that this law also applied to other forms of online gambling.
Around 1996, the first online casinos were launched in the USA. Many of those casinos were operating with a license from the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. Rapidly online gambling became extremely popular in the USA.
This all stopped in 2006, when the second important law, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was introduced. This federal law prohibits gambling businesses from accepting payments in connection with internet gambling.
This does not mean that online gambling is illegal. However, all related financial transactions are illegal, making it more or less impossible to run an online casino.
Many of the best online casinos withdrew from the American market and did no longer accept players from the US. However, other casinos continued to accept players from the US.
In 2011 the US Department of Justice changed their interpretation of the Wire Act 1961, by stating that it only applied to online sports betting and not to other online casino games.
The US federal government now delegated the decision to legalize online gambling to the states.
Since 2012 several states have legalized online gambling:
- New Jersey (online casinos)
- Delaware (online casinos)
- Nevada (online poker only)
- Pennsylvania (online casinos)
- West Virginia (online casinos)
In those states, online gambling is allowed. However, in most cases, it is restricted to residents who are physically located in the state. Players can only gamble at licensed online casinos, which are often linked to land-based casinos.
The expectation is that soon, more states will be legalising online gambling, in some form or another. In the following states, legislation is already being prepared:
- California (online poker only)
- New Hampshire (online casinos)
- New York (online poker only)
- Massachusetts (online casinos)
- Michigan (online casinos)
Please be aware, that in several states online gambling is explicitly prohibited:
- South Dakota
Lobby groups strongly influence the regulation of online gambling in the USA. Within the casino industry, there are conflicting interests. Some land-based casino owners consider online casinos as their main competitors and are lobbying for more restrictive regulation towards online gambling.
In January 2019 the U.S. Department of Justice reversed their opinion from 2011 again, now stating that the Interstate Wire Act 1961 applies to all internet gambling. This means that online casinos would be illegal again. Was this all the result of the casino lobby?
The impact of the reversed opinion still needs to crystallise out. In due time, the new interpretation of the law will undoubtedly be tested in the US courts.
Is gambling at offshore online casinos legal?
Due to the unclarity about the online gambling regulation in the USA, many online casinos accepting players from the USA are located offshore nowadays. In those offshore locations, online gambling is legalized. The online casinos are operating there outside US jurisdiction.
Popular offshore locations are Curacao, Costa Rica, Panama and Kahnawake. Although licenses from those locations are not highly respected, this does not automatically mean that the offshore online casinos are unreliable.
Many of those online casinos have an excellent track record. They are providing high-quality and reliable online gambling to players in the USA and also other countries.
Gambling at offshore casinos is not illegal unless you are located in a state where online gambling is illegal. In some states, where online gambling is not clearly regulated, offshore gambling can be considered a grey area.
In practice, gamblers at offshore online casinos will rarely be facing any problems or be prosecuted. But please be aware that, in theory, you might be prosecuted and even face a jail sentence, when you are gambling overseas.
What is the legal age for online gambling in the USA?
The legal age for online gambling is determined at state level. In most states the minimum age is 21; in some, it is 18.
The minimum age might also differ depending on the type of gambling. For sports betting it could be 18, whereas for online casino games it is required to be 21.
Most offshore online casinos use a minimum age of 21 for all US players.
Games selection at US online casinos
When we review online casinos, the games selection is usually one of the first things we are looking at. To a large extent, the quality of the games determines the quality of the casino.
And if you are playing for real money, you probably only want the best games from reliable providers, don’t you?
USA online casinos offer a wide range of games from respected providers on the online casino market.
The USA-based online casinos use games from various top providers, such as Netent, IGT, NextGen Gaming and Evolution Gaming. The most popular providers of offshore casinos are RealTime Gaming (RTG) and Betsoft.
At USA online casinos, you can choose from various exciting games: Slots, Progressive Slots, Poker, Roulette, Baccarat, Blackjack, Video Poker, Bingo or Live Casino.
By far the most popular games are the slots. In most online casinos, there is a wide variety of slots you can choose from, including Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest, Jumanji, Asgard, Kung Fu Rooster and Caesar’s Empire.
In most cases, all games can be played on your desktop as well as mobile devices.
How to deposit and withdraw money at US casinos
When you are playing at a US-based online casino, you can use various payment methods.
Deposit and withdrawal options include Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, AchPayments, Online Bank Transfer, but you can also use a regular check or even cash (at casino cage). Some online casinos also accept E-wallets, such as Skrill.
Cryptocurrencies are not accepted in US-based online casinos, because according to the US government, these are not regulated as a currency.
Due to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, deposits to and withdrawals from offshore casinos might sometimes be difficult for US players. This Act prohibits banks and payment operators from making payments to and from unregulated offshore casinos.
Depositing with a credit card (Visa, Mastercard or Amex) is usually possible at offshore casinos. Depending on the casino, other options include Wire transfer, Check, Moneygram, Skrill, Neteller and EcoCard.
Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple/XRP, have become extremely popular for US players at offshore casinos. At many of those casinos, both deposits and withdrawals with cryptocurrencies are possible. Transactions are anonymous, very fast and in most cases free of charge.
Apart from cryptocurrencies, the most popular withdrawal options for offshore casinos are wire transfer, Skrill, Neteller and check by courier. Checks might take a lot of time, up to 10 business days.
Please be advised to always check the payment terms in advance. At some casinos and for some payment methods, a fee might be charged when making a deposit or withdrawal.
Withdrawals might also be limited to a maximum amount per week or month, which is not very attractive to high-rollers.
USA online casino welcome bonuses
To attract as many players as possible, all USA online casinos offer an attractive welcome bonus to new players.
You might be offered a deposit bonus on your first deposit and sometimes also on your next deposits. Most online casinos also give away free spins on various slots, such as Bubble Bubble 2 or Ghost Ship.
Many online casinos also offer no deposit bonuses. This means that you will get free cash to play with when you are registering at the casino. Making a deposit is not required. No deposit bonuses can be up to even $100.
In all cases, it is strongly recommended to read the bonus terms and conditions before you deposit or start playing. The bonus terms include wagering requirements and maximum bonus pay-outs. The highest welcome bonuses are not necessarily the best.
No deposit bonuses might look very appealing, but these are also subject to wagering requirements and other bonus terms. Always remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch.
We have reviewed hundreds of bonus terms and conditions for you. In our extensive casino reviews, there is a separate section devoted to the most crucial bonus terms and conditions.
Customer support at USA online casinos
If you have any issues or require assistance, when playing at an online casino, you can contact the helpdesk. They can answer all your questions relating to games, bonuses, deposits or withdrawals.
Most USA online casinos provide 24/7 customer support, either by live chat, email or phone.
Excellent customer support is undoubtedly one of the critical elements in the selection of an online casino. When we are reviewing online casinos, we always test how friendly, quick and professional the helpdesk is.
History of gambling in the USA
Ever since the first settlers came to America in the 17th century, gambling has been popular in America. In that period lotteries and betting on horse races were a well-accepted form of entertainment.
The attitude towards gambling was tolerant in the beginning, but from the mid-18th century, some religious groups started to oppose gambling, which they considered sinful.
In the early times of the United States (1776-1800) gambling was still allowed and gambling businesses developed, with New Orleans emerging as the national gambling centre.
Later, the pressure from the anti-gambling movement increased, and several laws were introduced to restrict gambling. However, gambling continued to flourish in many places in the USA, partly underground or on riverboats.
Around 1850, San Francisco had taken over as the gambling capital of the USA, but California also introduced strict laws and gambling went underground again.
At the beginning of the 20th century, illegal gambling was widespread in many large cities and was closely connected to criminal activities. Most racetracks were closed because betting on horses had also become illegal.
Starting in the 1920s, gambling was gradually becoming legal again in several states. Horse betting was legalized, and was used as an important source of income for states.
The state Nevada legalized gambling in the 1930s. This was the start of the development of Las Vegas, which has now become the gambling capital of the USA, or even of the world.
Gambling is big business in the USA. And with the rise of the internet, online gambling has also become increasingly popular. Every day, hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of players from the USA are enjoying online gaming.