The gambling industry in the United States is expected to reach $92.9 billion by 2023, and up until 2025, the industry is believed to be on the rise with a total of 14.78%. We are talking about impressive growth and many Americans are curious about gambling and potentially joining an online casino, but there are some things you need to know before you dive headfirst into the sea of gambling sites out there. US gambling laws are different from laws in some other countries, and it is always best to be informed.
The Best Casinos in America
What to Consider When Looking for the Best American Casinos Online
In the United States of America, one of the first things that come to mind when talking about gambling is, of course, Las Vegas. The city is packed with casinos and gambling establishments and people come in from all over the world. However, not everyone is able or willing to travel to get a chance to gamble, and many turn to gambling via their computers and in mobile casino apps. What are the rules for online gambling in the US? That’s what we are here to shed some light on.
It is no secret that the online gambling industry is expanding rapidly all around the globe, and experts predict that the United States will be caught up with some of the top countries for online gambling within a few years. That said, there are many different legal restrictions in the United States, and you might have already noticed how some of the biggest online casino sites out there choose not to offer their services to players from the US.
This can, for obvious reasons, be a bit problematic when you want to gamble on the internet, but we are the bearers of good news! There are many ways for you to gamble safely and legally in the United States, as long as you are willing to do your research and opt for trustworthy casino sites that target the US gambling community.
US States That Might Legalise Gambling
Multiple states are in the process of potentially decriminalising online gambling and making it legal in one form or the other, and we have listed some of these states below. This does not mean they will legalise online gambling, and only that there have been indicators of an interest in relaxing the state’s current online gambling laws.
Note that gambling, including online gambling, is legal in the District of Columbia.
While 48 US states are currently allowing some types of gambling, there are still two where online gambling is forbidden. The two states in question are Utah and Hawaii, and in the case of Utah, the continuous ban is most likely in relation to the strong religious hold that exists within the state.
Sports Betting in America
When the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 was signed, sports betting in all forms were nationally banned, and it took until 2018 for the Supreme Court to review the existing ban and come to the conclusion that it would be considered unconstitutional. Sports betting became legal again, but it would also be up to each US state whether they would choose to make changes to their state laws.
A total of 30 states were allowing sports betting as of early 2022, but only 18 of those have legalised online sports betting in addition to land-based sports gambling. It is clear that it is a process that is going to take some time, but it is the gambling type that is currently legalised in most US states compared to casino gambling.
Gambling at Foreign Sites in America
Here comes the good news! Regardless of the strict in-country gambling laws, there is actually nothing stopping American gamblers from playing at offshore online casinos. There are no laws that prohibit gambling at foreign casinos, and this is one of the main reasons why online gambling is so popular in the United States.
The only issue is the 2006 Safe Ports Act that prohibits banks from approving casino transactions, which means you can’t send or receive money to an online casino via an American bank account. A way around this is to use alternative payment methods such as e-wallets, as these won’t inform your bank of what the money was used for.
Another bump in the road for US gamblers is that numerous large offshore gambling sites opt not to offer their services to American players, often as a way to stay out of any of the bureaucracy that surrounds the US gambling industry. You may struggle to find a casino that will let you sign up and play, but don’t worry, we’ve listed some of the top sites for US players to give you a head start.
Gambling Authority in America
The ruling gambling authority depends on your home state, and most states have several active authorities depending on the type of gambling an entity belongs to. It goes hand in hand with the legal situation for online gambling in your state, but just keep in mind that the local gambling authorities are not the ones that decide whether gambling is legal or not.
For a corporation to obtain an American gambling licence, they need to meet a long list of requirements and comply with all the existing tax regulations in their respective US state. As a result, operating gambling sites and establishments may be limited despite gambling having already been decriminalised.
Popular Casino Games in America
One of the first things gamblers do before they sign up for a new casino is to browse through the game library to see what is available. A sign of an ample catalogue is usually a long list of game developers, and the more software providers a casino collaborates with, the more games there will be for you to play.
For beginners, Americans appear to often choose slot machines both at land-based casinos and casinos operated online. This is understandable due to how easy it is to play slots and as it doesn’t require much knowledge or understanding for a player to play successfully.
Here is a list of some of the most popular games among American casino players:
If you are planning to play on an American gambling site, then you’ll first need to double-check what types of casino games are legal in your state, as this will directly affect the game selection you’ll be given access to once you join. However, these laws won’t affect you if you opt to gamble at an overseas online casino instead.
Summary of Casino Bonuses
|Welcome bonus||Usually a match deposit bonus for new players who make a deposit. Sometimes comes with free spins.|
|Cashback||A percentage of your wagers back when luck isn’t on your side.|
|Free spins||Bundles of free spins to play on certain slots without risking your own cash.|
|Reload bonus||A mach deposit bonus for topping up your account.|
|Loyalty bonus||Special rewards and bonuses for regular players.|
Popular Payment Methods in America
Online casino payments in the United States can be somewhat problematic, due to the restriction that stops US banks from allowing casino transactions. Using your Mastercard or VISA credit card therefore isn’t an option when picking out one of the popular casino payment methods at your chosen gambling site, as this will pop up on your bank statement and get blocked by your bank.
The way around this if you wish to use card payments is to purchase a prepaid VISA or Mastercard, as these are not tied to a bank account. Bear in mind that prepaid debit cards might not be an available payment method at all online casino sites.
While regular debit and credit cards as well as bank transfers are out of the question, you can opt for using e-wallets such as EcoPayz, PayPal, Neteller, Skrill and more, as these only show up on your bank statement with the name of the e-wallet. It is perfectly fine for you to gamble online at foreign gambling sites or in the US states that allow online gambling, as long as you choose a payment method that isn’t affected by the 2006 Safe Ports Act.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and others offer American players a discrete and mostly anonymous way to make casino transactions, and yet another one that doesn’t involve an actual bank. It is growing steadily in population all over the country, but there are still online casinos that haven’t started allowing their players to pay with crypto just yet. If you are already a savvy cryptocurrency user, don’t let this hold you back and just make sure you take yourself the extra time to find a site with crypto as a payment option.
Responsible Gambling in America
One of the things that should be taken into consideration when considering online gambling in the US is the importance of gambling responsibly. One of the main motivations behind gambling bans is the fear of a population developing widespread gambling addiction, and casinos in the US are obligated to offer a long list of resources to their players to prevent misuse of their platforms.
Examples of these are the option to decide how much you can spend during a set time frame, such as per day, week or month, and you should also have the option to suspend yourself from using a gambling platform if needed.
Gambling addiction is one of the top arguments against the legalisation of gambling in the country, and while it can seem like a foreign concept to those who are only just starting to gamble on the internet, it is something that should never be taken lightly. Always gamble responsibly by using bankroll management techniques and common sense, and make sure you never deposit more money than you can afford to lose.
If you feel you need help beyond what the individual casino can provide you with, then it is time to seek help from one of the many national helplines and organisations. Regardless of the state you are in and of the current gambling laws, you won’t be punished for having gambled or been caught up in an unhealthy gambling behaviour, and there is help to get.
Here are some resources worth checking out if you need help with your gambling:
Online gambling should be fun and not something that negatively affects your personal life, relationships, work or finances, and the moment you feel like it’s lost its charm or like gambling is starting to cause anxiety or problems, then it is time to reach out for help.
Final Words on Casinos in America
If you have been hesitant about online gambling due to restrictions in the past, then hopefully this guide will have eased your mind! It is important to understand why gambling laws look the way that they do in the United States of America, but also how they work and what changes we can expect to see in the future.
There are currently many gambling opportunities for US gamblers in the majority of states, even though two still remain very strict about all types of gambling. Regardless of what the rules are in your home state, you can always turn to online gambling at foreign casinos, as these do not have to abide by the country’s rules and legislations.
That said, if you opt to gamble at foreign sites, you need to make sure the casino site is properly licensed for your own safety. All trustworthy casino sites across the globe should have a licence from a reputable licensing authority such as the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) or the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. Such licenses help regulate casinos and work as a guarantee for you that they offer fair games, high-security standards, and guaranteed payouts. Enjoy your gambling and play responsibly.
The land-based and online casinos in the United States of America are heavily regulated, and controlled by gambling authorities in each respective state. You can be sure that if a site is legal in the United States, then it is because it complies with a long list of requirements and safety regulations.
Online gambling is popular all over the country, and more so in the states where it has been decriminalized and where gambling takes place both online and at land-based casinos. The popularity is expected to rise over the next few years with an expected industry growth of 14.78% before the end of 2025.
The gambling laws in America are complex. The supreme court did legalize gambling on a national level in 2011, but it was left to each state to decide whether it would be permitted there, and if so, what type of gambling should be considered legal. With this in mind, it is important to read up on the gambling laws in your state before partaking in any gambling activity.
Most casinos in the United States require their players to be 21 years old. However, if the gambling establishment does not serve alcohol, the player may be able to gamble as long as he or she is over the age of 18.
E-wallets are good payment methods in the United States, as US banks are prohibited from approving gambling-related casino transactions. With an e-wallet, your bank will not be directly involved and you can make deposits and withdrawals without having to worry about your money getting stuck somewhere.
Most, if not all, American gambling sites are free, and you can sign up as long as you are of legal age to play.
No, the United States does not have a gambling monopoly the way countries like Sweden and Austria do.
It depends on the state. Sports betting is legal in most states in the US today, but the type of sports betting players can participate in may vary depending on where you are located.
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