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USA Gambling Laws

USA online casinos are a thing, and hundreds of players wagering on their favorite slots and casino games without leaving their homes. Still, US laws and regulations regarding online gambling can be confusing as laws differ depending on the state, you’re playing in. This guide focuses on those laws and provides players insights into the gambling regulations you can expect from each state.

Is it legal to Gamble Online in Every State?

US Online Casinos

Federal laws don’t directly explain whether or not online gambling in the US is prohibited, so many players are confused as to whether or not they should risk making a deposit. The only laws regarding this are the 1961 Federal Wire Act and the UIGEA, which Congress passed in 2006. The Wire Act prohibits staking on sports online, while the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) dictates that banking institutions can’t process any gambling-related payments made by Americans.

However, the DOJ has long since revised the 1961 Federal Wire Act, now declaring that the Wire Act only applies to online sports betting. Since then, it has been up to the different states to determine their laws regarding online gambling. Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware have legalized online gambling in their states. You’ll find more information about the US gambling laws below below.

State-by-State Gambling Information for the USA

Gambling regulations in the US are state-specific which means they’re always different depending on the state you are playing in. Many US-based gambling enthusiasts have access to commercial and tribal casinos, horse racing tracks, and state-run lotteries. For US online casinos, the popular games are video slots, jackpots, poker, roulette, baccarat, blackjack, and bingo. Some online gambling sites even offer versions of table games that are streamed in real-time with a live dealer. With that being said, US laws focus on punishing any illegal gambling platform offering any of these games and players usually go scot-free.

How do these Gambling Laws Work?

Gambling Laws

Federal gambling laws apply to gaming operators and banking institutions rather than US-based players. Still, neither the 1961 Federal Wire Act nor the UIGEA prevents US citizens from gambling at offshore online casinos. However, the US Department of Justice still believes banking institutions shouldn’t process gambling-related payments.

Consequently, e-wallets prefer not to work with offshore gambling sites even after the DOJ revised the Wire Act and UIGEA. This is also why many banking institutions in the US block credit card deposits related to gambling, even though they’re free to operate in Europe. When it comes to state laws, most US states haven’t made new laws to regulate gambling in their region.

Players can still operate in states that haven’t bothered passing new gambling laws. However, many won’t bet online because they know that the authorities can argue that anti-gambling laws still stand. The only exception to this rule are US states that have already legalised online gambling, including Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. On the other hand, Washington has criminalized ogambling, so the punishment is more official.

Gambling Ofshore

US players are still free to wager their money at offshore online casinos, and sure enough, the player pool at those sites is bigger than that of the US-based casino sites. This is because the traffic of intrastate casinos in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware pales compared to that of US-based casinos. It’s also worth knowing that even US-based players prefer offshore casino sites because they offer bigger bonuses.

Where can US Players find Ofshore Sites?

Many offshore casino sites welcome US-based players with open hands, and in turn, players can enjoy games from top-notch software providers such as Real Time Gaming (RTG) Betsoft. Unfortunately, online casinos offering games from Playtech and several other companies still won’t accept American players. This is because those studios want to avoid the controversial issue of cooperating with sites that accept US players without being licensed in the United States.

Depositing & Withdrawing Your Winnings in the US

The preferred payment method of American players when funding their offshore online casino accounts is credit or debit card. As you know, the payment might still be blocked. But since e-wallets are out of the question and the fact that players won’t lose any money nor face any legal consequences, this is still the most popular deposit method for US-based players.

VISA has the highest success rate for deposits into offshore online casino accounts from player reports. MasterCard still has a chance at depositing the funds successfully, while American Express will most likely fail to process the deposit.

A popular alternative to using a credit or debit card to deposit is cash transfer services like MoneyGram and Western Union. Still, finding offshore online casinos that accept these deposit methods from US players is hard. Plus, using MoneyGram or Western Union comes at a fee that stacks up quickly.

As for withdrawing your winnings from an offshore casino site, US-based players will have to use bank wire transfers. Another option is to cash out via a check from a courier. However, if the fees for those two options are too much, you also can use cash transfer services to cash out. Just note that you would have deposited using MoneyGram or Western Union before you can withdraw using these payment methods.

A new player in the gambling online payment methods game are cryptocurrencies. A lot of casino sites have become crypto-friendly and this has become in an increasingly popular way for US players to get their money in and out of online casinos.

Developing Legal Scenarios

The legal scene in the USA now dictates that states that don’t have strong anti-gambling laws, such as California, should pass new ones like the states of New Jersey and Delaware have done. Many experts predict that iGaming-friendly states will join forces and pool their resources together sooner or later. This partnership should allow US-based casinos to rival offshore casino sites in terms of sheer traffic and, thus, cash pool. Still, offshore casinos have been going strong for years, and that doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon because five or six US states can’t compete with the global iGaming market.

How to Choose the best Option?

The factors to consider when choosing a USA online casino, whether offshore or not, is as follows.


Confirm if it has more positive reviews than negative reviews by visiting forums and other gambling review sites. It should also be licensed by a reputable licensing company such as the UKGC and MGA.


The safety of your personal and financial information matters a lot and the only way to guarantee asite can protect it is by checking for SSL encryption software. Try to find a badge confirming the encryption software, so don’t just take the customer support’s word for it.

Deposit Methods

A good online gambling site should give players access to a wide range of deposit methods including credit and debit card as well as bank wire transfer. At least, for US-based players.

Fast Payouts

An online casino with fast payouts should have MoneyGram and Western Union since payments through bank wire transfer can take up to 10 days to be processed. So, consider the withdrawal methods you have before settling for any offshore site.

Customer Support

An excellent customer support doesn’t only have an email option, there should also be the likes of live chat and phone number support. Also, the support options should be available 24/7, so players can get answers as soon as the issue pops up.


If you opened this article to confirm whether your state supports online gambling, you should have your answer now. The same scenario will apply to you if you look for information about gambling at casinos not based in the US. Ultimately, we hope the review has answered all doubts that you have about US casinos (online-based ones at the least).

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