Online CasinoGambling in the U.S has always been a complicated affair since different restrictions and laws govern different locales. There are specific laws relating to privately-operated casinos and state lotteries and then there are other laws covering activities taking place under the sponsorships of Native American communities.

The U.S Congress limited online gambling through the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act and the Federal Wire Act. In 2006, The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act stated that any transactions from banks were not allowed on any online gambling site while the Federal Wire Act, passed in 1961, stated that Americans were not allowed to pass information across telecommunications lines for sports betting.

Casinos are extremely lucrative money-makers for each of the states and now, numerous state governments are taking the law into their own hands through bills that will ultimately legalize online gambling within their state boundaries. In multiple states, the legislative action is pending including Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New York.

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New Jersey

New JerseyThe state of New Jersey took the lead in the U.S and managed to legalize most forms of gambling.

This made New Jersey gambling laws the most unrestrictive in the nation.

Almost every form of gaming activity is allowed in the state including off-track betting, charity games, amusement games, casino gaming, horse racing, and many other forms of gaming pursuits.

The legislature of New Jersey legalized in-state online gambling in 2013 on specific authorized sites such as the Tropicana Casino and Resort site, the Golden Nugget site in Atlantic City, and the Caesars Interactive Entertainment site.

The gaming successes in New Jersey inspired several other states to follow suit. Land-based casinos have been operating in Atlantic City for several decades and currently, computer servers situated in Atlantic City are eligible to provide online gambling sites, operating out of land-based casinos in Atlantic City.

To successfully evade federal prohibitions aimed towards online gambling, New Jersey managed to create a casino control commission. The casino commission in Caesars Atlantic City ensured that all bets were placed from within New Jersey. Within the first year of operation, online activities managed to generate close to $100 million in the state of New Jersey, and this lead to other states researching their options to follow suit.

New York

New YorkGambling in the state of New York has conventionally been regulated to Native American tribes operating tribal casinos located in upstate New York.

Thanks to four brand-new land-based casinos the exclusive control of commodity has been broken and advocates of gaming believe they can push legislators in making gambling more easily available through the World Wide Web.

The legislature is watching Pennsylvania very closely as they are extremely close to finalizing online gambling. The state of Pennsylvania is just across the border from New York and its quite evident that the state officials of New York aren’t prepared to lose out on potential tax revenues by banning online gambling activities in their state while residents can simply collect their winnings a few miles away.

The legislators are also hoping to increase gaming opportunities by bringing in new jobs and to increase tourism. The legislature in New York can’t legalize full online gambling. The constitution in New York prohibits gambling, except for land-based casino activities, lottery gambling, and horse racing. While the state constitution would be near impossible to re-write, the lawmaker’s success to classify online poker as a game of skill will allow online casinos to enter the online market.

The expanding of state gambling was never a consideration until 2013 when the voters of New York approved the construction of 4 non-tribal land-based casinos.

Once the land-based casinos were approved in Adelaar, Waterloo, Schenectady, and Tioga Downs, the doors opened and gaming advocates started exploring options for other forms of gambling endeavors in New York. The gaming advocates are quite confident that, as brick-and- mortar casino gaming successfully expands, lawmaker’s will be more motivated to continue the expansion into the online gambling world. They also point out that the Federal Court of Appeals have already managed to rule that online gambling is not covered by the Wire Act and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is open to a court challenge.

Pennsylvania

PennsylvaniaIn the state of Pennsylvania, casino protesters are relying on Senator Jay Costa to successfully push the cause of expanding gambling in the state. Senator Jay Costa is the leading advocate of gaming activity in the state of Pennsylvania.

The state is currently home to twelve land-based casinos including one in Philadelphia and one in Pittsburgh, with others in both populated and rural centers.

Advocates view gambling as a money-maker and would like to expand the options within Pennsylvania. However, they do not foresee healthy opportunities for newly built land-based casino centers and therefore are looking at online gambling possibilities.

The plan would ultimately allow land-based casinos to collaborate with online gambling companies. Through this, the state of Pennsylvania can offer casino gaming and online poker, while keeping the revenues generated by the business. Senator Jay Costa’s bill license casinos in Pennsylvania to offer online gambling. The casinos will then be able to pair up with other companies that have obtained their own licenses, allowing the state to earn 25% of all gambling proceeds through state tax.

Michigan

MichiganThe state of Michigan has witnessed a great deal of success with its Detroit riverfront casinos, drawing players from Canada and surrounding states. With this success in mind, the legislators in Michigan have been considering ways to introduce online poker to visitors and residents.

An online gambling bill, backed up by MGM Resorts, made its way to the Michigan House of Representatives but was unfortunately blocked in the Michigan Senate. However, there are new plans to introduce a brand-new bill in 2017.

Backers stated that they will go ahead, although strong opposition is coming from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

The Michigan Attorney General is adamantly opposed to the proposal where he even signed a letter, circling state attorneys, asking President Donald Trump to take the necessary steps to completely ban online gambling in the U.S

You are never usually very far away from a land based casino no matter where you are in the US, and it has always surprised people when they learn that online gambling has been available to US based players since the early 1990’s, however it was only in 2006 that the US Government made any attempt to make a legal judgement as to the legality of playing casino games online for real money.

At the same time in 2006 that the Safe Ports Act was signed into law the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was also passed into law, and this was going to be the death knoll for a lot of online casinos based outside America that had been offering their services to US players for over a decade. CasinoUSA.com has the latest list of US online casinos if you want to view to up to date list.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act made it illegal for any banking institutions based in the US to allow funds to be sent to a casino site, which has one of two effects on the casinos that had been accepting US player up until that moment in time, many simply stopped accepting US players and some continued to do so but made available lots of other banking options for their US based customers.

As many US States have a large amount of their tax income generated from land based gambling venues since 2006 many of them have now decided to legalise online casinos that are located in their respective State boundaries, and as such residents in New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada can sign up to the online casino sites operated by land based casinos in those States and legally play any of the games offered for real money.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are based the US and wish to start playing any type of casino games online for real money then you are best advised to have a look through this frequently asked section below, for you will find plenty of answers to a wide and varied range of online gambling related questions that should allow you to discover If you can legally play casino game online.

  1. Can I play Blackjack games online?

    If you want to play Blackjack online from within certain US States then you are going to be able to find plenty of different variants on offer. You will also now be able to play both software driven Blackjack games and also live dealer games. Whichever game you do choose to play you will be 100% confident that the games are fair as each game is tested to ensure complete integrity before being released.

  2. Are online casino winnings taxable?

    All winnings accumulated online are taxed in exactly the same way as they are when you win in a land based casino site. You are of course able to be sent your entire gaming logs from any legal US online casino site which you can then submit when compiling your tax report.

  3. How often are bonuses awarded at casino sites?

    There are several types of additional bonuses that you are going to be able to claim when you are a customer of a US based online casino site, every new player will be awarded, if they choose to accept it, a new player sign up bonus when they make an initial deposit or some casinos offer a completely free of charge no deposit type of bonus, and once you become a regular player you will then be offered from time to time other bonuses.

  4. How generous are the casino comps online?

    There will be just as many comps and special player promotions on offer to you if you do decide to become a customer of any legal US online casino site, and the way you earn them is much the same as when playing in land based casino, however your comp points will be automatically added to your comp club account and no longer will you have to remember to insert your card into the slot or video poker games.

  5. What RTP’s are offered on online slot games?

    The slot game RTP’s and those of other games such as video poker are the same when you play at any online casino site, the actual payout percentages are however dependent on just which game you play and whether you play with optimal strategy as is the case when playing video poker games online.

  6. How do I know online casino games are fair?

    US licensed online casinos have to go to the very same lengths as land based casinos in regards to proving their games are completely fair and random before they are permitted to make those games available to players, and as such by playing only at licensed casinos as opposed to those licensed offshore then you can always be more than confident the games you are playing are fair and random.

  7. How do I fund online casino accounts?

    As you may be aware when trying to fund an offshore based online casino account you will rarely if at all find that you are able to make a deposit into using a credit and debit card and the reason for this is that many banking intuitions have blocked these types of transactions. However, with more and more US States now legalising online casinos and other gambling sites these blocks are slowly being lifted, and using one of those two types of cards is going to be the easiest way to deposit.

  8. How quickly will I get my winnings sent to me?

    You will of course want to get access to any and all of your winnings achieved when playing at an online casino site just as quickly as you would when playing at a land based casino, with this in mind you are very strongly advised to never play at an offshore based casino site for by doing so you may find that the casinos may never pay you anything if you win, and if they refuse to pay then you will have nobody at hand to help you. So only play at licensed and legal US online casinos as they will always pay you rapidly and with no problems what so ever.

  9. Is there a minimum legal age?

    You can only play online casino games online for real money from within the US if you are over the age of 21, any person under the age of 21 is not allowed by law to gamble online. When you sign up to any site you are going to be subject to an age verification process, this can often be done automatically but if the site is unable to verify your age you will be requested to send in some form of identification documents to prove your age. Your account may be locked until such a time that you send in age verification documents as requested

  10. Are land based games available online?

    The most entertaining aspect of playing online casino games is that you are going to find a mix of both land based games and more unique games on offer, and as such if you enjoy playing video poker or slot machines then many of the games you will have played at one time or another in land based casinos are going to be able to play at online casinos, so you will never have any shortages of games to play when encompassing the online gaming environment.

Legal US Licensing Jurisdictions

The two US States who can now legally issue online gambling licenses to online casinos based in their jurisdictions are listed below.

  • New Jersey Casino Control Commission – If you are based in either the New Jersey or Delaware State boundaries you can play all manner of different casino games at any casino site that has been issued with a New Jersey Casino Control Commission online gaming permit.
  • Nevada Gaming Commission – Any player who is currently within the Nevada Sate boundaries can now play at a large and growing number of online casinos holding one of their gaming licenses.

Not Legally Recognised Gambling Jurisdictions

Two countries still issue their own licenses which companies holding those licenses see as a way of them being able to offer their casino games to US based players, however those gambling licenses are not legally recognized in any US State, and these two countries respective gaming commissions or license issuers are listed below for your information.

  • Government of Curacao – Curacao does not and never really has had any highly efficient type of gambling regulation in fact any casino licensed here will have applied for and have been granted a business license allowing them to trade from within Curacao.
  • Antigua Directorate of Offshore Gambling – Whilst Antigua has been issuing gambling licenses for many years and have had a high level of success in regards to regulating online gambling sites, the popularity of those license has been declining in recent years as many countries no longer recognize them and will not let players based in their respective countries legally play at those sites with an Antigua issued gambling license.