States With Legal Gambling - Is Gambling Online Legal In My State?
Our guide to legal gambling by state will have you prepared to use any type of online gambling site or even gamble in person. We admit that we don't know all there is to know about the different laws in the various states around the U.S. and we're not going to pretend like we do. Instead, we provide a real-world perspective of online gambling in the U.S.; the laws can say one thing but the actuality/reality of those laws can really vary greatly.
Below, this guide will educate you on what we and other online gamblers have learned through years of experience. Before going any further, know that we are not legal professionals in any state. We started out just as many of you did... confused. But through trial and error, plus input from trusted contributors, we've managed to make sense of the whole thing so that you can know what you are truly risking when gambling online.
As always, if you are still uneasy or uncertain about the gambling laws where you live and the legality of online gambling in your state, we recommend consulting a paid legal professional to answer your questions. Those with a bar license in your state are far more educated about the ramifications of gambling online, if any. This page is for informational purposes only and is in no way meant to be interpreted as legal advice/consultation.
Guide To Online Gambling By State
Below, we have a chart of which states actually have laws on the books that expressly forbid online gambling by its residents. States that do not have those types of laws on the books can be considered to "legal" for online gambling as there is nothing from a legal standpoint to stop you as long as you meet the required age to gamble online. You may use this to reference whether or not your state has laws against the activity.
Do know that even if your state does forbid some type of online gambling, such as online casinos, that doesn't mean you will get into trouble and that certainly doesn't mean that you will not be able to play casino games for real money at websites.
We Suggest These Websites For Online Casino Games, Sports Betting, & Poker
Bovada - Industry Leader For Live Sports Betting; One Of Largest Online Poker Sites - Click Here To Visit
Without a doubt, Bovada is the best all-around gambling site for USA players... in 47 states. Unfortunately, Bovada does not allow new registrations from the state of New York, Maryland or those that live in Washington State; for everyone else, this site is wide open for legal sports wagering, online poker plus casino games. In each of these areas, Bovada is considered to be an online leader and their product has become the benchmark that other sites strive to achieve.
Bovada will never disclose any of your information and it is very discreet for being such a big player in the industry. Players in the U.S. will find the deposit options at Bovada to be rather friendly which is good because you will want to deposit to take advantage of their many bonuses available for different types of online gambling activity.
BetOnline - Accepts Deposit Methods That Other U.S. Gambling Websites Do Not - Click Here To Visit
If you live in one of those three states excluded by Bovada, you may want to consider BetOnline (welcomes all U.S. users at least 18 years old) especially if you want to bet on sports or play legal online poker. We don't necessarily recommend their online casino, though available, because there are better options out there. Unfortunately, that would mean a different account at a site that is just for casino games but that is honestly the better route.
Besides the difference in software and games offered, BetOnline doesn't have as good of a bonus for casino games as what you would find with a dedicated online casino. While their 15% or 25% lifetime load/reload bonus is very generous (worth up to $900 on every deposit) when it comes to sports betting and poker, it fails in comparison to first time/new player deposit bonuses available from the site below.
Lucky Red Casino - Specializes In Real Money Casino Games; 18 Years Old To Play - Click Here To Visit
As far as dedicated online casinos that are legal for players in the US, it just doesn't get much better than what you will encounter at Lucky Red Casino. Beyond accepting anyone that goes through the proper steps for registration (extremely simple), this online casino is powered by the best games provider that USA online casinos can use... RTG or Realtime Gaming.
This casino is just a spoke in a larger wheel of extremely reliable online casinos. Of those casinos in that network, Lucky Red allows depositors to collect some of the biggest bonuses imaginable. Who doesn't like slots? Well, Lucky Red lets you play more of them when using the bonus code LUCKYRED400 which is good for a 400% (up to $4,000) match of your first deposit into the casino for playing online slots. A compliment to this bonus is a 100% to $1,000 table games bonus that is achieved with the bonus code LUCKYRED100.
WinPalace Casino - Exclusive Deposit + No-Deposit Bonuses For USA Players - Click Here To Visit
WinPalace Casino excels in the most important aspects of an online betting site for their players. WinPalace is a legal casino option for American players, so the good news is all 50 states can play legally here. The site offers over 120 fantastic casino game options under the direction of RTG online casino software. In a word, WinPalace is simply awesome.
What's even more for those reading this review on LegalOnlineGamblingSites.com is the fact that there is an exclusive bonus offered through WinPalace that gets you a ton of free cash that can be used for online slots. Get up to $4,000 in bonus cash simply by using WinPalace’s coupon code 4000FREE. It's that simple. This is given out following the deposit you make, which American players can use a Visa or Mastercard for efficient transfer of funds. Be sure to check out WinPalace today, and find out why it comes so highly rated.
Online Gambling FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Any States That Have Regulated Gambling Sites?
As of 2013, the states of Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada have sent bills through their legislative branches which now allow those states to offer online gaming in a regulated atmosphere. Of those three states, Nevada was actually the first to have online gambling go live with the introduction of online poker in the 2nd quarter of 2013. Right now, selection is still limited and that is why you will not see a lot of these sites listed here yet, but they soon will be as they begin gaining a larger foothold in the industry. As it stands now, using the gaming websites that were previously open to U.S. players is still the best option in many cases.
As a side note, the bill that was passed in Nevada, Assembly Bill 114, will allow the state to partner up with other states that have plans to regulate the industry for their residents. Who knows gambling better than Nevada? That is exactly what Nevada lawmakers are banking on when they established that clause.
Are There Any Federal Laws That Prevent Online Gambling?
Yes, but it depends on the type of gambling that you are thinking about pursuing. Know that the actual act of playing games at an online casino or a few hands of online poker is not illegal while activities like sports betting are in a gray area. Learn more about U.S. gambling laws by following the preceding link.
The main thing to take away from the laws that relate to online gambling is that penalties only exist for those who run or profit from owning a gambling site that operates within U.S. borders. That doesn't apply to the sites on this website and thus they will continue to operate and allow players from the U.S.
How Old Do I Need To Be To Gamble Online?
This is really a two part question that is best answered on our page about the legal age to gamble. You've got to consider the age in your state (for the type of gambling you're thinking about) and/or the minimum age to sign up for a new account at whatever site you choose.
If you want to be totally safe, meet both the age as set by your state as well as the age set by the gambling site although only the minimum age for the gambling site must be met to register and play for real money online.
Can I Get Into Trouble For Gambling Online?
Not likely. Despite what laws say (even in the states that express forbid gambling online), hardly anyone ever gets in trouble for it... on the consumer level. With that said, you are asking for a lot of trouble if you plan on opening or operating an online gambling site or an "Internet Cafe" in the state you live.
Furthermore, the government has no way of knowing that you are actually participating in any online gambling activity as none of the offshore gambling providers will ever disclose any of your details to any authority. That means the government has no record of you playing and it also means that you will not pay taxes on any winnings as they are not reported to the IRS or anyone else.
Where Can I Get More Information About The Gambling Laws In My State?
Again, you should probably consult professional legal counsel or you could try to find a copy of your state's statutes online. Most states have them somewhere online but they can be hard to find sometimes. And when you find them, finding what you are looking for can be tough and of course it's all in "legalese" so making sense of it can be tough too; just use patience.
Why Do Some Sites Exclude Users Living In Certain States?
This can be for multiple reasons but it is unlikely that it is because of the laws. More often than not, exclusions occur when users start running into problems with not being able to make deposit or in some cases, not being able to cash a payout check or receive a bank wire, etc... When it becomes too much of a hassle and it starts hurting their reputation, they stop offering services to those users living within the areas that are affected.
To remedy the frustration caused by exclusion, we only provide gambling sites that welcome players in the U.S. with the one exception being Bovada. Normally we would cast them aside but they are such a high quality operator that they cannot be ignored even if New York, Washington State, and Maryland residents aren't allowed to sign up.