Online Casinos, Games and Offers in the USA 2020
Compare the best US online casinos 2020 with full reviews and current sign-up offers. We also review slots and other games and explain practical strategies that could help you win more.
Note that the legal situation in regards to online gambling is complicated in the US. The online casinos listed on this site are operators that accept players from the US, but they might not be locally licensed to offer services in your particular state. This site does not promote gambling where it’s not legal and accepts no responsibility for anyone using an unlicensed operator.
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Online Gambling in the U.S.
Gambling has long been a favorite past-time of people the world over, but getting to a legal game with fair odds hasn’t always been straightforward, and still isn’t. Betting games have been a critical issue both in history and in recent times, and with the advent of the internet and online gaming, things have become perhaps even more complicated. Gambling in the United States is still heavily restricted, even though gambling activities continue to accrue astronomical amounts in revenues, such as the $92.27 billion earned in 2008, a number which has grown to $158.54 billion in 2017.
Pulling these sorts of numbers, and constituting an almost $9 billion state and local tax revenue industry, as well as employing 1.7 million people, one should think gambling is on the path to becoming legal country-wide, in all its forms. Well, we’re not quite there, and even though it’s not a crime on the federal level, each state has its own set of guidelines when it comes to the various types of betting games. Still, things look to be going well: as many as 43 of the 50 states have some form of online gambling legalized, with just two states (Utah and Hawaii) banning gambling in its entirety, both offline and online.
With the relatively recent downfall of the PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) that effectively banned sports betting, online gambling is definitely looking to be gaining traction. Let’s have a look at the states that allow it.
States That Have Legalized Online Gambling
The first state to legalize online gaming in the U.S. was, surprisingly, Delaware, even though it’s the second smallest state. It looks like size doesn’t matter, at least when it comes to progressive legislature; in the summer of 2012, online gambling became legal in this state under the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act, and the market opened up a bit later, in November 2013. This was marked by the appearance of online casinos operated through the state’s horse tracks, and they offered a variety of games such as Roulette, Video Slots, Video Poker and Blackjack.
Coming from a small state, the market is also comparatively little, but the numbers coming from this industry aren’t anything to scoff at, with 2016 marking a $3 million in revenue.
Nevada has traditionally been the state most associated with gambling in the USA. The action isn’t restricted to only Las Vegas, arguably the gambling capital of the world; wealth coming from betting games is evenly distributed throughout the state, and it offers more land-based slots and table games than all other 49 states combined.
Brick-and-mortar casinos flourish, whereas slots and other gambling machines can be found everywhere from gas stations to restaurants, and even laundromats. During the PASPA years, Nevada was the only state to offer legal sports betting, and the Silver State is leading the charge in online gambling too, legalizing it in February 2013, when they authorized the issue of online poker licenses. In April of the same year, the first legal online gambling site in the U.S. went live in Nevada.
Interestingly enough, unlike the rest of the states that allow online gambling, who also allow all other types, Nevada has a restriction on Lotteries and Racetracks.
Not missing a beat, New Jersey became the third state to legalize online gambling, straight after Nevada, and only a week later. New Jersey is home to Atlantic City, the second largest and most famous gambling location, so this was a big step forward for them, too. The passing of gambling legislation allowed casinos from A.C. to apply for internet gaming permits as well as host a variety of online casino sites and online poker venue under those licenses.
In 2016, the online gaming industry in New Jersey scored record revenues of almost $200 million, or $196.7 million to be exact. This constituted a 32.1% increase when compared to the numbers of 2015, and it also helped the Atlantic City casino industry mark an increase in total gambling revenue for the first time in over ten years.
These numbers just keep rising and, by the end of 2018, the Garden State could be looking at a potential $1 billion in gambling revenue.
Pennsylvania has had a longer and more arduous path towards legalization, with some problems emerging along the way, but in the end everything came around. In october 2017, Gov Tom Wolf signed into law an expansive gambling package to authorize online slots, online table games, online poker, sports betting, VGTs, daily fantasy sports, and more. Thus, Pennsylvania became the fourth, and so far, final state to legalize online gambling. The first new market is looking to be online lottery, which began its launch this May.
States Looking to Legalize Online Gambling
Several states are planning to, or have already tried to pass legislation legalizing online gambling. Among them is California, which seems to be having problems finding consensus on a number of issues. No action is expected during 2018 after the online poker bill appeared inches away from passing but failed to do so in 2016.
Illinois is in a similar position, with lawmakers locked in a drawn-out battle over gambling for years. In 2017, a bill came close to passing, but it never went through the two chambers of state legislature.
Next is Massachusetts, who is relatively new to the world of regulated and legal gambling, and the state actually actively tried to keep Native American casinos out for ages. However, in 2011, the Massachusetts Expanded Gaming Act was passed, as well as a bill regulating, but not taxing, DFS. When the deal expires, in 2018, we could see this change, too.
Lastly, New York. This state has had racetracks and Native American casinos for decades, with four new commercial casinos opening up state-wide beginning late 2016. As for legislation, the DFS industry and New York had a prolonged legal battle before settling and passing the bill. However, online gambling laws are still in the work, although currently facing questionable outcomes, as land-based casinos in NY are struggling financially. This is swaying the public perception towards a negative opinion of online gambling, but whether legislation will be passed in the following months still remains to be seen.
Online vs Land-based Gambling
When it comes to the competition between brick-and-mortar casinos vs online venues, one would think they populate the same market and should be fierce competitors, but this is actually not entirely the case. Online gambling and land-based casinos have different demographics interested in them, with online appealing to a newer, younger crowd and brick-and-mortar locations drawing in high-rollers, tourist and aficionados. Some surveys show that Millennials, as a whole, prefer online gambling and are more likely to place bets online than at a physical venue.
Still, what is more likely to happen is that, instead of cannibalizing the physical casino market, online gambling would just increase the overall market, bringing in people who wouldn’t otherwise have played any type of betting games. The differences between the two are still so significant that a healthy market can be expected in both, with some overlap, instead of one industry completely annihilating the other.
All in all, it appears that online gambling in the US is moving in a positive direction, slowly though it may be. The following years, or even months, could see the legalization of various forms of online betting across multiple states, and that could, on the whole, benefit both the industry as well as the states, through tax dollars.
Are online casinos legal in the US?
It depends on the state in question. In some states, like New Jersey, casino operators can get an official license to operate an online casino and accept real money wagers. We list all details and state-by-state information here on casino.zone.
Are there bonus offers for US players?
Yes, we list many US bonus offers here on casino.zone. Use the top lists to compare different offers, casino ratings and other details.