February 5, 2023

Are Online Casinos Legal in the USA?

Gambling is a passionate pastime and one of the most popular adult entertainment. There are different types of gambling, but the most popular are sports betting, casino games, horse racing, poker, and bingo. This article will investigate if online casinos are legal in the USA.

The best online casino offers more than just casino games. A wide array of betting options include sports, horse racing, poker, and bingo. Added to this are other benefits that make them the preferred channels for players

  • Comfort and privacy
  • Completely remote, anywhere and anytime
  • Cost saving – no travel, hotels, etc
  • No time constraints – play when you want to, how often you like, and for any duration you desire
  • On any device – computer, tablet, smartphone

So, why would the US deny its citizens all these benefits? Let’s take a look.

Is Gambling Legal in the US?

Gambling in all its formats is entirely legal in the United States. As a matter of fact, in 2021, there were 466 commercial casinos and 561 tribal casinos (1,027) in the US, which generated over $53 billion in revenue (Statista).

In 1961 the Us introduced a law that prevented cross-border gambling. So, while people were not allowed to place a bet outside their state, their freedom to enjoy their favorite bet was still intact. Remember that online casinos did not exist at the time.

Three US laws affect gambling in the US.

  1. The PASPA: (The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) This law prohibited all states except Nevada from accepting traditional sports bets. It was struck down in 2018.
  2. The UIGEA: (The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act). The law was created in 2006 in an attempt to reduce illegal offshore betting companies from competing within the US gambling industry. The law prohibits financial institutions from providing services to these entities.
  3. The Wire Act: This law tried eliminating the Mafia’s interstate betting operations.

Online Casino Gaming in the US

The US states continue to prohibit businesses from operating online casinos. The laws do not affect the individual bettor who is allowed to bet online, how corporations may not process these bets.

State Betting versus Federal Laws

With the elimination of the PASPA act, many states have now made it legal to wager online. The federal government has no regulatory bodies for gambling and online casinos. This left it up to the states to create their own.

Here are the states that have legal online gambling laws and the governing bodies. I have listed them in three categories; those states that are only accepting online sports betting, those that accept online casinos, and those that have already completed the full license.

States that only  Accepts Online Sports Betting

These states have started the processes and deliberations to offer the full online gaming package. However, to date, they only offer online sports betting.

List of States: Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana.

Online Casino or Poker

This group of states has legalized online casinos, sports betting, and or poker. We have placed details beside each since they differ and would fit under a single list.


Connecticut accepts online sports betting and is one of the few states with online casinos.


Delaware has an active online casino program but still works out its sports betting law.


Michigan is the leading state that now offers the major betting vectors online. They have online sports betting, online casinos, and online poker.


Nevada has yet to go live with its online casino, but it may not be long since it has already authorized online sports betting and poker.

Future of Online Casinos in the US

The elimination of the PASPA law has started an online casino gold rush across the United States. Many states have already legalized some form of online gambling while the majority have started to process that will soon enable online casinos across all states.

The US, however, moved to isolate its gambling industry from the rest of the world in 2006. Many countries, including Germany and Japan, threatened to retaliate before the World Trade Organization.

The United States responded by awarding these countries additional access to other sectors of its economy. Although gambling is never included as a part of GDP, its financial impact on the world economy can not be ignored.

Effect of US Online Gambling on the International Market

Many offshore online casinos are home to US-based bettors. This number will reduce as more states open up online betting permits. Most users prefer to play at home rather than trust external companies.

Anticipating this move, several casinos, such as Betway, have opened free gaming sites in many US states. The aim is to build a user database that can be quickly turned into loyal depositing players.

Online casinos offer all-inclusive betting, with extensions growing daily. Some of these options include

  • Live casino: This is a simulation of Vegas-style walk-in casinos. The program project an interactive live dealer and .tables
  • Sports betting: Besides the big four, football, baseball, hockey, and basketball, casinos allow players to bet on most world sorts. Ranging from the pro team to inter-country competition. Major series and televised events allow players to cheer for their favorite teams while lining their pockets.
  • Live Poker: Poker rooms are the favorite skill games for high rollers and the popular James Bond series. Poker was made famous by the WSOJ and offshore sportsbooks that have added it to their all-inclusive games.
  • eSports betting: eSports is the trend of betting on computerized team competition. It is more like betting on fantasy sports games.
  • Bingo: The oldest form of table game, is now a part of online platforms. Bingo is a typical townhall game for adult women and some men,

These games and more will soon be available in every US state. And Us citizens can’t wait long enough to play online casinos at home.

About the author 

Peter Hatch

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