USA Online Gambling

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Legal Gambling in the United States

Welcome to PlayUSA! Legal online gambling is exploding across the country, and it can be difficult to manage all the opportunities that are happening near you. This site provides you with the latest news, reviews and information on states allowing online gambling, and those that are next in line.

PlayUSA also covers online casino, poker and sports betting, with pages dedicated to how to bet and bonus offers. This allows you to compare the best gambling sites in the US. You can try demos of popular Vegas slots here, too.

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US sports betting updates

Updated: Sept. 16, 2022

Six of the eight states that border Missouri have legal sports betting, leaving the illegal status in Missouri as more of an outlier than ever. The Missouri legislature is currently in a special session and considering bill HB4 that would set up a regulated system for in-person and online sports betting in the state.

Ohio Casino Control Commission gave eight applicants the OK for in-person sports betting licenses. Four state casinos and three pro sports teams received the thumbs up to take bets as of Jan. 1, 2023.

US casino updates

Updated: Sept. 16, 2022

PlayUSA did a monthlong examination to reveal the legal US gambling industry is valued at $215 billion. The amount is more than the value of all the NFL teams, President Biden’s student loan forgiveness and all the ice cream cones.

Slot and casino influencer Brian Christopher is coming to a California casino this weekend to launch three of his slots and to host a group slot pull. PlayUSA will be there for the unveiling.

We share a roundup of the best fair-inspired foods to try while playing slots.

State-by-state legal gambling guide

Get the status of online gambling and sports betting in each state and the broader climate for legal gambling in each state with our Guide to Gambling in the US.

  • Legalized some form of sports betting
  • Expecting action
  • Online casino and sports betting

Where is online gambling legal in the US?

Arkansas legalized online sports betting in March 2022. Betly and BetSaracen are the only legal online sportsbooks in the state. For the foreseeable future, online gambling in Arkansas is likely to be restricted to these options.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed HB 2772 legalizing retail and online sports betting in early 2021. The bill created many options, including 20 sports betting licenses, tribal sports betting and sportsbooks at pro-sports stadiums. Sports betting went live on Sept. 9, 2021.
Colorado Colorado introduced its regulated sports betting industry in May 2020, six months after voters legalized retail and online wagering in the Centennial State. With its entry, Colorado became the 18th state with operational and legalized sports betting.
Connecticut legal online casinos, online sports betting and retail sports betting were signed into law in May 2021. Two retail sportsbooks opened on Sept. 30, 2021, and online casino and sports betting entered a soft launch testing period two weeks later. On Oct. 19, 2022, online gambling and mobile betting became available to the general public.
Delaware offers online poker even though all other forms of gambling are legally relegated to in-person wagering only.
Illinois launched online sports betting in June 2020. While online registration access was phased in and out during the pandemic, the state removed the in-person registration requirement for good on March 5, 2022.
Indiana launched retail sports betting in time for football season as retail sportsbooks opened in September 2019, followed two months later by the Hoosier State’s first betting apps.
Iowa went live with online sports betting with remote registration in January 2020. Before that, the state had retail sportsbooks and online betting if you visited a physical casino to sign up.
Kansas legalized only sports betting in May 2022. Online sportsbooks went live in Kansas in September 2022, in time for NFL kickoff.
Louisiana Louisiana accepted its first online bets on Jan. 28, 2022, with five online sportsbooks launching in the state. Online sports betting is not legal in the whole state, however. Nine of Louisiana’s parishes will have to wait for the privilege.
Maine Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill into law that gives tribal casino operators in the state control over online sports betting.
Maryland voters approved sports betting through a referendum in 2020, and Gov. Larry Hogan has signed an implementation bill into law. Online betting hasn’t kicked off yet but there will be plenty of licenses available along with retail sportsbooks at stadiums like FedEx Field, home of the Washington Commanders.
Michigan gave its residents a memorable Christmas gift in 2019, as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed off on legislation that legalized sports betting, online casinos and online poker. As a result, Michigan became the fourth state to legalize all three verticals. The retail sports betting portion launched on March 11, 2020, and online betting and online gambling both kicked off on Jan. 22, 2021.
Mississippi residents technically have access to one legal sportsbook, BetMGM. There is a caveat, though. To legally bet on sports online in the state, bettors must physically be on the corresponding casino’s premises. That’s why, for the most part, online sportsbooks haven’t been launched in the state.
Montana has a unique system in which online sports betting is legal, but only in specific locations in the state. Bettors must be on the premises of a licensed sales agent to place wagers. The only legal book is Sports Bet Montana.
Nevada has offered online casino and sports betting play for years. However, it requires players to register their accounts for online gambling in person at a casino. For that reason, the market remains limited.
New Hampshire became partners with DraftKings to allow sports betting in December 2019. While retail books have opened in the state since then, DraftKings online sportsbook retains a monopoly in the state.
New Jersey New Jersey is one of the most competitive markets for regulated online gambling. Over a dozen legal and licensed online casino sites and poker rooms compete for an overall market worth hundreds of millions annually.
New York New York legalized online sports betting, and those sportsbooks started taking action on Jan. 8, 2022. The state legislature attempted to legalize online casinos and online poker play in 2022.
Ohio legalized online and retail sports betting late in 2021. The law allows for 25 online sportsbook licenses and 40 retail sportsbook licenses. Sports betting is expected to go live on Jan. 1, 2023.
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania is the fourth and biggest state to legalize and regulate online gambling. Sports betting (retail and online) and online casinos are all legal and live. In early November, PokerStars kicked off legal online poker in the state.
Rhode Island Rhode Island was among the first to offer its residents retail sports betting, adding an online option in late 2019. There are two legal online sportsbooks in the state, each connected to the state’s commercial casinos.
Tennessee became the first state to have online-only sports betting when it launched in November 2020. Since then, the market has continued to expand despite the state’s unique 10% hold requirement.
Virginia went live with online sports betting in January 2021. FanDuel and DraftKings were the first online sportsbooks. To date, there are 14 sportsbooks available in the Old Dominion.
Washington, DC Washington, DC, has a two-tiered system for online sports betting. Bettors can use the DC Lottery’s Gambet online sportsbook anywhere in the District. Alternatively, they can use privately operated and licensed sportsbooks like BetMGM and Caesars, but only within small proximity of the connected physical sportsbooks.
West Virginia West Virginia law allows mobile sports betting, online casinos and poker play. FanDuel and DraftKings launched in late summer 2019, and more like BetRivers have followed.
Wyoming Wyoming only offers online sports wagering. The first online sportsbooks, BetMGM and DraftKings, went live in 2021. FanDuel joined them in March 2022.

What states are considering legalizing online gambling?

California California: The state has been trying to pass a bill to regulate online poker for the better part of the last decade. Online casinos have never been part of the conversation, though sports betting has been. Voters in the state will weigh in on a potential constitutional amendment that could legalize online sports betting in November 2022.
Massachusetts Massachusetts: The House and Senate agreed in the early hours of Aug. 1, 2022, to legalize sports betting. Online and retail sports betting will likely go live in early 2023.
Online Casinos

Legal online casinos are currently available in New Jersey, Delaware, Michigan, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. If you aren’t in those states you can play at sweepstakes casinos where you can play casino games for cash prizes.

Sports Betting

Legal sports betting is currently active in these states: Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Colorado, Tennessee, Washington DC, West Virginia, Virginia, Wyoming and Arizona. Currently, several other states have active bills in progress or are pursuing legislation to create additional land-based and mobile US sports betting options. Here is a complete guide on where to bet. Plus, find out which states are in the process of legalization.

US Online Lottery

While a majority of US states offer a form of lottery play, only a select few offer the addition of an online lottery. These states are Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. Get a brief history of the online lotteries in these states and an overview of the types of games offered.

Online Poker

Legal, regulated online poker is available in Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. New Jersey has the largest amount of poker networks, while Nevada’s only regulated online poker is through World Series of Poker (WSOP). Similarly, Delaware has one sole poker site, 888 Poker. As for Pennsylvania, PokerStars entered the online poker world in late 2019.

Horse Racing

Horse racing is one of the oldest forms of gambling and is legally available in most states. Not only can you go to racetracks around the US, you can also bet on your phone or online in more than half of the states in the country. Learn more about your options for legally bet on the ponies and how to wager.

Fantasy Sports

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) operators, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, are available for play in most US states. However, many states come with legal, gray areas and operators that only serve select states. More states, including New York, have gone through various DFS legal battles and/or have legislation in progress. Get a full rundown of where to play and new promotions.

More about legal online gambling options

Scroll down to the bottom of a casino site and look for the logo of your state’s gaming regulatory body. In New Jersey, this is the Division of Gaming Enforcement. In Pennsylvania, this is the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. If you don’t see a logo or mention of your state regulator, then you’re not playing at a legal online casino or sportsbook.

Some sites may proclaim to have regulations in other jurisdictions; this does not make those sites legal. If you have any question about the legality of an online casino or sportsbook, reach out to your local gambling regulators or feel free to contact us.

Remember, only state-regulated, real-money online gambling sites are legal. The rest are operating illegally, and you should not trust them with your money or personal information.

Online casinos offer many of the same games you’ll find in a land-based casino. All of the standard casino games, like blackjack and roulette, can be found online. You’ll also find almost all of your favorite slot titles online, including big-name slots like Deal Or No Deal and a wide variety of progressive jackpot slots. The same companies that make the land-based slot machines also make the online slot machines, so the gameplay, features and graphics are all the same as your favorite games.

As a bonus, online casinos are always adding slots. The largest legal online casino in New Jersey in games (the Golden Nugget online casino) offers nearly 600 different slot machines and adds almost a dozen new ones in an average month.

The payback is often as good or better than what you find in a land-based casino. This is especially true when it comes to games like blackjack and video poker. You can find high-payback versions of these games online at limits you won’t find in a typical land-based casino. That’s because the online casino doesn’t have to worry about making the most money per square foot the way a land-based casino does.

Online gambling customers also tend to be very price-savvy, meaning that online casinos have to compete in price to attract top customers. That leads online casinos to offer blackjack variants that pay nearly 100 percent back and the highest-paying versions of other popular games like roulette and craps.

Remember, the house still has an edge. But the smaller the edge, the longer you can play.

Several online gambling sites in the legal New Jersey market offer a full range of gambling choices, including poker, sports betting and casino. A few examples of operators that offer all three products include Caesars and FOX Bet.

As legal online betting continues to expand in the US, you’ll see more legal gambling websites open up a greater variety of products. The one that is likely to remain somewhat limited is online poker, as not all legal sites are making a choice to offer poker.

Yes. The free bet is a common promotion at real-money online gambling sites in the US legal market. In fact, it’s a rare casino or sportsbook that doesn’t offer some type of free bet.

For casinos, the typical free bet ranges from $10 to $25 and is available only for new customers. Different terms and conditions apply, so be sure to read the fine print. For sports betting, free bets range from $10 up to $50 and also are only for new customers. View current free casino bet offers here and free sports bet offers here.

Different legal gambling sites offer different deposit and cash-out options, but the most common options include credit/debit card, prepaid cards, bank transfer, PayPal and depositing at the casino. You can generally pick up your winnings in cash at the casino, request a check or get a bank transfer. Generally speaking, most transactions are settled within a few hours, but there may be some brief delays for your first deposit and your first withdrawal.

Advantages of legal online gambling sites

What is great about legal online gambling sites is they make it much safer to gamble online versus playing at illegal sites.

We discuss the advantages of legal online gambling sites versus illegal sites below.

But in a nutshell, here are some of the reasons why it’s safe to gamble online:

  • You know the games are fair. They’re regulated and tested by the same agencies that oversee land-based casinos.
  • You know your money is safe. Legal online casinos are required to safeguard your funds.
  • You’ll get paid if you win. It’s always a fear that an illegal online casino will not pay you, because there’s little to make them do so. But legal online casinos are safe to play at because they are required by law to do so. Otherwise, their license is at risk, along with various civil and even criminal penalties.

Illegal gambling sites may tell you their games are fair and tested, but how do you know? With legal online gambling operators in states like New Jersey, the games are tested by the same regulators who test everything at the land-based casino. That should give you confidence that a slot machine is paying back what it’s meant to pay back, that a deck of digital cards is dealt fairly, and that every other aspect of every other game is on the level.

And games aren’t just tested — legal online casinos and sportsbooks are required to submit detailed reports of everything that happens within a game so that regulators can spot anything irregular. That record-keeping means that if you have a dispute with a casino, regulators will be able to solve it with facts. You can’t get that level of assurance at illegal gambling websites.

Many legal online casinos are operated by the same company and brand as a land-based casino, meaning that you have the opportunity to earn points via their online gambling site that can be used at the land-based casino. One example is Caesars, where you can use your online points for the casino, poker and sportsbook.

For those who get the value of rewards points, this is a significant advantage and one that you’re never going to get gambling at an illegal site. You can improve your status tier and earn points that can be redeemed for a variety of rewards by playing online, points that can add up over time.

An illegal casino could be run by anyone, anywhere. You have no idea what the revenue you help them generate ends up going. But with legal online gambling sites, you know exactly what companies you’re supporting, and they’re often companies that operate in your backyard — they may even be companies that employ people that you know. Let’s face it; most of us won’t come out winners at the casino, but it’s nice to know that the money we leave behind goes to supporting something we can feel good about, as opposed to contributing to illegal activity.

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