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online casinos in usa

USA Casinos · Overview

Whether land-based or online, the casinos in the USA are definitely one of the most lucrative and sought-after by players all around the world. It is no wonder if we take into account that the United States is probably the birthplace of modern gambling. You guessed it – we are talking about Las Vegas. The US market, though tempting and blooming, when it comes to online gambling is highly regulated and restricted. For now, only 10 countries have licenses, with California, New York, and Massachusetts trying to get on board in the future as well. It is our duty here at Gamblers Connect to save you time and conduct our standard advanced research in order to bring you nothing but top-tier online casinos in the USA on a platter. Each casino must pass the strict Gamblers Connect criteria for a chance to end up on this list. In other words, rest assured that whatever casino you choose here, you won’t make a mistake.

USA Online Casinos · Perks

Rarely do we find a player who is not a fan of the US gambling culture. Especially if we acknowledge the influence the US gambling scene has almost in every corner of the world. Needless to say, when it comes to gambling, the USA does it right. Although the market comes with strict regulations and hard-to-get licenses, the potential of the US online casino gambling scene is yet to hit its peak. Consequently, Gamblers Connect functions as the vessel in order to bring you the ultimate US casinos on demand. It is our job to find the perfect house for you, in order to best experience the US gambling culture and win some hefty rewards. Afterward, it is up to you to decide which casino suits your style the most. Just know, whatever you choose, you are in for a treat.

History Of USA Gambling

Well, considering that the USA is one of the synonyms for modern gambling in the past 70 years or so, it is only natural to dwell deeper into the roots of US gambling and see where it has all started.  Especially if we take into account that the USA is the birthplace of the first, and so far only city that is dedicated completely to gambling, Las Vegas.

In fact, if we take into account the influence of Las Vegas in the world of gambling, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise whatsoever why this city has been dubbed the Mecca of casino gambling. Being that it hosts not only the biggest and most popular casinos in the States but probably in the entire world. However, despite the cult status of the Sin City and the fact that it has been an inspiration for countless movies, gambling in America goes much further down the line in the past, all the way back to the riverboats in New Orleans and the cowboy saloons in the infamous Wild West.

Speaking of New Orleans and the beginning of modern gambling, this historic city is known as the birthplace of poker. This is because even the earliest documented records of this mega-popular card game can be traced to 1829 when an actor from the United Kingdom that went by the name of Joseph Crowell made the first official record of a certain card game that very much resembles the poker of today. 

Yes, despite the enticing nature of this game, due to the all-out ban on any legal gambling in most US states, it wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century that poker literally exploded on the world stage, especially after the creation of the World Poker Series.

Even the popular slots that are the essence of basically any casino, regardless of whether it is an online or physical establishment, go back to the USA. More specifically, the first slot machine ever was created by a man called Messrs Pittman just a few decades after poker emerged in New Orleans, or in 1891. The way Pittman did this was by successfully integrating a full deck of 52 cards on drum reels that were specifically created for this purpose.  

Yet it wasn’t until three years later, or in 1894 in San Francisco, that Charles Fey created the most advanced slot machine until that point, the legendary “Liberty Bell”. Not only did this machine manage to provide a far more transparent outcome, but it was the first machine with multiple reels (three), and it even introduced the first ever fully automated payout structure up to this point.

Consequently, all of these technological achievements in the world of gambling, as well as the increase of crime related to gambling due to illegal betting and casino parlors, led to the government in the US changing its stance on this form of entertainment, and making a full switch from one of the most restricted countries in the world, towards the home of modern gambling as we know it today.

The Beginning of Online Casino Gambling In The USA

When it comes to online casinos in the United States, we can say that they grew proportionally with the expansion of the World Wide Web, or the internet. To give you a brief history lesson, the first online casino ever went online way back in 1994, after the governments in Antigua and Barbuda approved the Free Trade And Processing Act that served as the green light for the creation of the first digital casinos.

Not long after this legislation was passed, Microgaming created the first-ever casino software, and later, in 1995, launched the first online casino ever, the Gaming Club. Albeit it changed its name after a couple of years, the impressive thing about the Gaming Club is that this casino operates to this very day, making it not only the longest-running casino website but the oldest online casino on the internet.

Consequently, right after the launch of the Gaming Club, in. a span of just two years, there were more than 200 online gambling websites. Even more impressive are the numbers behind the revenue, being that this type of entertainment was already a billion-dollar industry even in 1998, the same year that the internet saw the creation of the first online poker rooms. 

And the USA was ahead of everyone, since the first online casino in the States opened way before the creation of the first online poker rooms, or in 1997, to be exact. Not only did this pave the way for the US to become the leader in technological advancements in the field of online gambling, but it also solidified its place as the country with the most advanced gambling scene regardless of the real, whether physical or digital. 

This fast-paced technological advancement is what makes the US gambling scene so unique, and what sets it apart from most countries in the world. Consequently, in 2022, if you want to attract new players from the US, one simply must comply with the latest inventions in the iGaming world, including:

  • Cryptocurrencies
  • VR and AR Technology
  • eSports Betting
  • Fantasy Sports Betting

Is Online Casino Gambling Legal In The USA Today?

One look at the history of the United States and the art of gambling and you immediately see a worrying pattern: most of the time the majority of all forms of gambling have been illegal at some point. And online casinos are certainly no exception to this fact, despite the country being one of the pioneers of both physical and digital gambling. Sadly, even today, there are a lot of states in the US that have imposed strict restrictions on all gambling activities, regardless of their nature.

It all started with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, passed by the US government outright banned all gambling sites that provide gambling activities involving real money. However, being that this legislation applies to gambling sites that are only operating from the US, operators simply moved their business offshore, which consequently de lure liberated them from the obligation of following US laws. 

Soon after, the number of online gambling websites with licenses from Curacao, Panama, Costa Rica, as well as Barbuda and Antigua started to grow, making it legal and safe for all American citizens that want to do their gambling online. The only online casino websites that have trouble doing the same thing are the Las Vegas and Atlantic City casinos and their digital counterparts. In their instance, the casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City offer their services for free, operating in a sort of promotional manner to attract players to their land-based casinos.

Online Casino Gambling In The USA By State

The first major breakthrough that set the tone for the liberated US gambling scene came in April of 2018 after the Supreme Court voted to lift the PASPA federal law adopted back in 1992. More specifically, the PASPA law prohibited all sports betting in the country (with the exception of Nevada, Montana, Oregon, and Delaware), on the grounds of protecting both amateur and professional sports. 

Consequently, by lifting the ban, the Supreme Court allowed local state governments to individually vote for themselves whether they want to allow or prohibit online gambling activities in the respective states.

New Jersey is definitely the biggest and most potent online gambling scene in the entire USA, with a year-to-end revenue of more than $230 million. With dozens of online casinos available, this state has legalized all verticals of online gambling, including online casinos, online sports betting, and online poker rooms.

Michigan is the 4th state to legalize all three verticals of online gambling, after passing the Lawful Internet Gaming Act back in December 2019 and is the 5th overall state to legalize online poker rooms.

Pennsylvania is one of the top 5 most successful gambling markets in the US, and the 4th largest state in the country that legalized online gambling, offering all three verticals of this entertainment including online sports betting, online casinos, and online poker rooms.

West Virginia allowed fantasy betting since 2016, it passed the Lottery Interactive Wagering Act in 2019 and with that opened the market for sports betting, and later in July 2020 for online casino gambling, with online poker expected to be regulated as soon as possible.

Delaware has allowed for all three online gambling verticals to be legal offering big names such as 888 and William Hill and is noted as the first state ever to establish an online sportsbook ever since the Supreme Court lifted the ban in 2018.

Indiana officials made sports betting legal in 2019, allowing both online and offline sportsbooks,  paving the way for three operators including FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetRivers, and opening the market for 5 more upcoming operators.

Colorado legislated online sports betting in May 2020, making it the 18th state overall to make this activity legal. It is known for the low license fees for operators starting at just $2000.

Tennessee made online betting legal on the 1st of November 2020 and is known as the state with the most potent online sports betting scene, offering a plethora of wagering options and sportsbook operators. 

Illinois passed the legislation to allow online sports betting in 2020, and for the time being, it is the only legal form of online gambling in the state. It does offer remote-casino registration, though.

Arizona legalized retail and online sports betting in 2021 after the local government passed the HB 2772 bill. This opened the window for 20 betting licenses for tribal sportsbooks at casinos and stadiums, as well as paving the way for online sports betting as well, making for one of the best online sports betting offers in the entire USA.

Virginia allows only online sports betting at the moment, and this is ever since the government passed the law in January 2021. With operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel, it is one of the best sports betting states.

Nevada allows online gambling in the form of sports horse racing and poker, ever since 2010, and 2013, the years when it passed the law to make these legal. However, the home of casinos and slots is yet to legalize online casinos and online slots, making for a rather funny situation.

New Hampshire made online sports betting legal after it passed the H 480-FN bill on Christmas in 2019. While it prohibits online casinos altogether and allows solely for sports betting, online casino gaming is considered a gray area.

Oregon passed the bill to make online sports betting legal in 2019, and it just recently received its first retail and online betting operators. Interestingly, enough, horse racing was the first online activity that was legal prior to the new law.

Montana passed the H 725 bill that allows for online gambling in May 2019. Yet, while it is allowed to make an online bet for mobile, online, and retail altogether, the tricky part is that you must place the wager in person at the establishment that offers these services.

Washington passed the law to make online sports betting legal in January 2019, with Gambet DC by Intralot as the first and sole operator at the time. However, there are several applications for both retail and online sports books waiting for approval even as we speak.

Wyoming officials voted to allow legal online sports betting on the 1st of September 2021, with the first online betting operator in the state being the giant DraftKings, and with several other big names such as BetMGM and FanDuel currently preparing to enter the market.

Rhode Island passed the law to make online sports betting legal in September 2019, and it also allows for mobile sports betting as well.

US Land-Based Online Casinos

For the time being, the best online casinos in the States are reserved for the online counterparts of the land-based casinos in Nevada, Louisiana, and Atlantic City. Anyone that ever played at these casinos knows that you simply cannot match the digital counterparts of these amazing casinos, being that they offer the full spectrum of beautiful design and amazing visuals. Yet, as time goes by and more and more states are starting to regulate online casino gambling, we should soon expect to see US casinos that are sure to match these not just in the visual department, but also in the technical.

Best International Online Casino Gambling Operators In The USA

Basically, every online gambling operator that is not physically based in the States and operates from an offshore location with a valid license from a respectable iGaming authority. Being that these types of online gambling establishments are present in the USA since the mid-2000s, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a viable solution for your online gaming needs.

Regulation Of Offshore Gambling Sites In The USA 

Not only do licenses provide an unmatched feeling of safety and transparency, but they are also the ultimate seal of security that a modern online gambling operator can provide. Needless to say, playing at online gambling establishments that aren’t properly regulated not only increases the risk of not receiving your payments, but also the risk of getting your valuable personal data stolen, since there is no proper regulator where you can file a complaint.

Playing at offshore online gambling establishments is somewhat of a gray area, considering that there aren’t any specific laws that either prohibit or allow this activity. Moreover, almost all licensed offshore online gambling sites are licensed and operate under the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Despite not being locally regulated, the best offshore online casinos in the USA are all properly licensed by one of the global iGaming regulators. And this should be the number one priority when searching for an offshore online casino, being that you just need to take a look in the footer of the casino to see whether that particular operator is regulated.

From here, checking for a license prior to playing at an offshore online gambling provider is imperative and the first thing that a player should do when visiting such a website. Especially if we take into account the current complicated state of online gambling in the USA. For that matter, we present you with the best licenses currently accepted at offshore online gambling sites in the USA that you should look for when choosing an online casino.

Antillaphone/Curacao license – One of the easiest to obtain, the majority of online casinos in the world operate under a license issued by the Curacao Gaming Authority. Located in the Caribbean, the CGA regulates plenty of online casinos, albeit this is mostly due to the ease of obtaining such a license. Nevertheless, playing at Curacao-licensed offshore gambling operators is always preferable rather than playing at online casinos without an official license.

Kahnawake – Operated by the Morris Mohawk tribe, the Kahnawake license regulates plenty of online gambling establishments in the USA. In addition, it is also responsible for powering a plethora of servers of online gambling sites across the entire USA.

Barbuda and Antigua – Mostly known for the infamous lawsuit against the United States at the WTO (World Trade Organization) for the interference of the Federal Government in stopping transactions at their legal casino websites, offshore online casinos with a license by Barbuda and Antigua are considered generally safe and secure.

Costa Rica License –  While there is no official regulatory body for online gambling in Costa Rica, nevertheless, there are quite a few online casinos that bear a license from Costa Rica. This is due to the fact that there are several businesses and organizations in Costa Rica that act as independent regulators when it comes to issuing online gambling licenses.

Panama License – Very similar to Costa Rica, Panama doesn’t have an official gambling regulator for issuing licenses, and the procedure for obtaining a license is very similar to the one in Costa Rica. Regardless, Panama is known for being a tax haven for a multitude of businesses, including companies from the online gambling sector.

Local state licenses – Local state licenses mean that the operators are under the strict guise of their local governments, which consequently makes for a safe and secure gaming environment that is approved by the state. While at the moment there are only a couple of US states that issue licenses and have regulated online gambling (New Jersey, Pennsylvania), it is expected more states to do so in the years to come.

Take a look at the license fee list for each of the jurisdictions available for offshore online casinos in the USA.

  • Anjuan – $17.500
  • Antigua –  $75.000
  • Alderney – $75.500
  • Belize – $30.000
  • Costa Rica – $100
  • Grenada – $40.000
  • Liberia – 10k-20k
  • Kahnawake – $10.000
  • Panama – $60.000

Independent Audits

Similar to licenses, this is one of the best ways to see whether an online casino works transparently or not is to visit one of the independent audit sites and read their detailed reviews, such as Gamblers Connect, for example. The best way to see whether an online casino has been audited in this way is to head to the footer, and look for the badge of the auditor.

The Best iGaming Software At USA Online Casinos

Just as with the licenses and the independent auditors, this is one of the best ways for you to see whether the online gambling operator you are about to visit is transparent or not. In fact, you can tell just as much by looking at the entertainment that the operator offers, as with the licenses, being that the best iGaming developers in the industry only choose to work with properly regulated online gambling operators.

So, the next time you are visiting an online casino, check the list of software providers. The best of the best are usually operators that have decades-long experience, and can easily be found on the internet within a few seconds on Google. These include, but are not limited to Microgaming, NetEnt, Play’n GO, Pragmatic Play, Realtime Gaming, Boongoo, Endorfina, etc. All it takes is a couple of minutes to find this info, yet it can save you trouble for an entire lifetime.

Choosing The Best USA Online Casinos

Just as with most things in life, the easiest way to determine whether a casino meets your requirements is to simply look at the visuals. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that a casino is transparent every single time, in 99% of the instances the quality of the design tells much more than one might imagine, being that unique artwork and state-of-the-art features usually indicate an operator that is not afraid to spend money in order to provide the best possible experience.

The next things you need to pay attention to are the bonuses and the promotions. Needless to state the obvious, a generous casino will always have the happiness of the players in mind, and this is nowhere more easily noticeable than with the bonuses and promotions. From here, the first thing you need to check is the welcome bonus, being that it is usually the most rewarding bonus of them all, and afterward, the promotions page. If you notice that the casino is not as generous as you might’ve imagined, or has shady terms & conditions, then the best course of action would be to change the casino altogether and find an operator that will make your effort worth a while.

Payment methods can also tell a great deal about the online casino, especially since partnering with the most popular banking options usually requires an operator to be properly regulated. From here, you should know that the more payment options that the casino offers the better since it shows that the casino is making sure to give you as much freedom as possible. And being that the USA is always at the forefront of new technologies, US casinos should also come with the latest digital payment options such as cryptocurrencies and blockchain payment solutions.

Finding The Safest Online Casinos In The USA

While on the surface this may seem like a tricky task, locating the best and safest online casinos in the US is actually quite easy if you know what to look for. This is why we created several key points that are sure to make this process easy and fun.

License – the first and most important thing before you investigate the casino is to look at the bottom at the footer for a license badge. If an operator has one, you should be able to click on the licensing badge, and you will instantly be redirected to the page of the official gaming regulator. Remember, the best and most secure online operators always have a license.

Official casino information – also located at the bottom of the page in the footer, all legitimate online casinos will make sure to display this vital information for everyone to see, and this includes the name of the parent company/owner, physical address of the company, contact information, date of creation.

Software – just as with the licenses, looking at the software/iGaming providers is absolutely crucial prior to making your first wager, simply because the best US casinos will always make sure to provide nothing but the best gaming developers Not only this entails transparent gaming sessions with properly adjusted RTP (return to player), but also higher quality and graphics of the games.

Payment methods – equally important as all of the above, the payment situation tells a great deal about the online casino, being that the best US casinos will partner with nothing but leading and popular banking solutions, such as PayPal, for that matter.

Customer Service  one of the fool-proof ways to see whether the casino is one of the best US operators or not is by exploring the customer support service. The best casinos will make sure to provide you with 24/7 customer service either by email, live chat, or phone, preferably, with all 3 at your disposal. And lastly, you should never settle for anything less than a timely and friendly response regardless of the issue or time of the day.

Terms & Conditions  Reading the T&C is absolutely crucial prior to indulging in play, and this is because many of the shady operators will put unreasonable terms and conditions that can make it truly hard to claim a bonus, withdraw your funds, or even close your account, for that matter.

Visit forums – at the end of the day, there is hardly a better way to learn about the nature of the casino than by reading first-hand experiences of users that actually visited the casino. Just be aware that there are instances where the casino will pay certain individuals to boost its reputation on forums by writing nothing but positive comments, so you should take each personal experience with a grain of salt.

What Should Newbies Look For When Playing For The First Time

While most of the above can easily be applied to newcomers in the world of online gambling in the USA, there are quite a few rules that newbies should follow so that they can have the best first experience possible. More importantly, what they need to do in order to have a successful gaming session that won’t hurt their budget.

Demo games – all of the bets US casinos offer their entertainment in two ways and that is demo versions of the game, and playing for real money. This is absolutely crucial for all newcomers that aren’t sure about the nature or the rules of the game. While you won’t make any money, it is always the best way to learn a new game, even for the most experienced online slot players.

Look for no deposit bonuses – there is a whole plethora of US casinos that offer no deposit bonuses, and these are perfect if you haven’t made the right budget strategy. The way this works is that the casino will usually hand you a bonus for either registering an account at the casino or referring a friend to join you as well.

Start small  if you are still determined to start playing with real money right from the start, then you should always start with the smallest amounts possible. Especially since many casinos make it hard to withdraw your funds after you deposit without asking you to complete certain wagering requirements.

Read the Terms & Conditions – this one can easily be applied to the start-small rule from above, being that there are quite a few casinos that put tricky requirements and conditions in the T&C department, which needless to say is frequently overlooked by even the most experienced players. Especially when it comes to bonuses and withdrawals.

Encryption technology – the best US casinos will offer the latest SSL encryption technology currently available on the market simply because that is the most efficient way to guarantee maximum protection of your personal data including name and DOB, address, credit card details, etc.

Responsible Gaming – the most trustworthy online casinos will always make sure to provide links to at least one responsible gaming website. Agencies such as exist with the sole purpose of assisting individuals with gambling addiction, and the way they do this is by putting limits on gaming habits. These include limits on the duration of your sessions, deposit limits, limits on spins, etc. In other words, a transparent casino will always have a way to assist you if you are feeling like you are losing control over your gaming sessions.