Online gambling in the US » Apr 2020
- Online Gambling Legal
- Limited Online Gambling Legal
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Online Gambling in the US FAQ
Sometimes, it's smart to start with the basics!
❓ What is online gambling?
Gambling involves playing risk-based games with a monetary value riding on the outcome or result.
Online gambling, which includes wagering on sports games at online sports betting sites and playing online casino games, allows you to do so on the internet.
🇺🇸 Is online gambling legal in the US?
Since there is no federal law in place, it is legal to gamble online in the US. However, this does not mean online gambling is live countrywide.
Legal online gambling is decided on a state-by-state basis. As a result, it’s only possible to gamble online in a select number of states.
📍 Where is online gambling legal in the US?
There are a number of states with legal, regulated online gambling:
- Online Gambling in Nevada
- Online Gambling in New Jersey
- Online Gambling in Mississippi
- Online Gambling in West Virginia
- Online Gambling in Rhode Island
- Online Gambling in Pennsylvania
- Online Gambling in Iowa
- Online Gambling in Indiana
- Online Gambling in Oregon
- Online Gambling in New Hampshire
If you live in a state not mentioned, legal online gambling is not available.
While this is the case, illegal online gambling sites still exist and are widely accessible. We strongly urge all players not to gamble online at such sites.
Unlike legal gambling sites, there are no regulations in place to guarantee the safety of players gambling online.
📱 Can I bet on sports online from my mobile device?
If a state permits online sports betting then, yes, it is possible to wager from a mobile device.
Some states, though, do have restrictions on how and where a mobile sports app can be used.
Full-scale mobile betting (sign-up and bet from anywhere):
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
- New Hampshire
Must sign up in-person at a land-based sportsbook:
- Rhode Island
Mobile wagering only permitted at a land-based sportsbook:
🤔 Can I gamble online from a mobile app?
Mobile sports betting apps ensure online gambling is more accessible and convenient. As such you will find a mobile app available for the majority of online gambling sites.
♣️ Are there apps that offer all types of online gambling?
💯 What is the best site for legal online gambling?
The million-dollar question to which the answer will vary from bettor to bettor. Generally speaking, your decision-making process will be based on the following:
- Your state: which sites are legal?
- Sport(s)/betting markets: is your sport covered in-depth?
- Betting features: is live betting and cashout available?
- Mobile app: does the site allow online gambling via an app?
- Payment method: how do you want to fund your account?
For more on the factors to consider when choosing an online gambling site click here.
✍️ Who regulates online gambling in the US?
Rules surrounding online gambling are devised by a regulatory body specific to the state.
You can find yours below:
- NJ: Division of Gaming Enforcement
- PA: Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
- WV: West Virginia Lottery
- IN: Indiana Gaming Commission
- OR: Oregon Lottery
- NH: New Hampshire Lottery
- NV: Nevada Control Board Gaming Commission
- MS: Mississippi Gaming Commission
- RI: Rhode Island Lottery
- IA: Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission
Your #1 guide to Online Gambling USA
Welcome to United Gamblers, the place to immerse yourself with everything centered on the largest developing gambling industry in the world.
Perhaps you're wondering which states have legal sports betting?
Whatever your reason for dropping by, our comprehensive guide to legal online gambling in the US has all the answers!
Where can I gamble online in the US?
Nevada and its array of land-based casinos in Las Vegas was once the only legal state you could place a sports bet of any kind, i.e. single-game wagers, teasers, props, futures. Fortunately, this is no longer the case.
Since the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, numerous states have moved to legalize the industry and devise a regulatory framework inclusive of online sports betting. Cue a new era for US gambling.
Las Vegas, Nevada is no longer the only legal sports betting state
Legal online gambling states 2020
These states have launched online gambling in some form:
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
Legal Online Gambling NJ
New Jersey Online Gambling
After leading the campaign to take down PASPA, New Jersey has since become the largest market for US online gambling with umpteen sports betting sites and apps, to add to an existing online casino scene.
NJ Online Sports Betting ✔️
The most competitive online sports betting market in the US. Since DraftKings set the ball rolling in August 2018 a further seventeen online sportsbooks have launched in the Garden State. NJ is the ultimate proof of mobile meaning money with $3.83 billion wagered on via mobile sportsbooks in 2019 - nearly nine of every ten bets come from sports betting apps in NJ.
NJ Online Casinos ✔️
New Jersey has the most online casinos of any other state. Just about every major casino operator owns an NJ based online casino site, going to show the size of a market thought to be worth more than $225 million a year.
The industry has grown steadily year on year since launch in 2013 with revenue rising by $50 million in each of the past two years, pushing earnings close to the $925 million mark.
Legal Online Gambling PA
Pennsylvania Online Gambling
PA legal gambling includes both mobile sports betting and online casinos. Sports bets can be placed in-person or online via PA sports betting sites or mobile betting apps. The same applies to the state's casinos many of which have launched online casino sites.
PA Online Sports Betting ✔️
As expected, a sport-loving state of over 12 million people made PA one of the hottest sports betting destinations for operators. FanDuel, DraftKings, and FoxBet among others have launched sportsbooks since the launch of the first, SugarHouse, in May 2019. The Quaker State is second only to New Jersey in terms of sports betting handle and continues to grow in stature with eight active online sportsbooks in total and more to come.
PA Online Casino ✔️
The Keystone State officially expanded its online gambling options in July 2019 when two PA-based casinos, Hollywood Online Casino and Parx, launched online offerings. Unibet, PlaySugarHouse, and FanDuel are also among eight online casino options for Pennsylvanians to choose from.
Legal Online Gambling WV
West Virginia Online Gambling
It was on. Then it was off. But now, fortunately, online sports betting in WV is back underway. Players can bet on sports from a mobile device via sports betting apps from FanDuel and DraftKings. After legalizing online casino gambling in 2019, online casino apps are expected at some point in 2020.
WV Online Sports Betting ✔️
After the disastrous debut and subsequent shutdown of BetLucky, online sports betting in WV stood still for over half a year. But FanDuel and DraftKings - who else - saved the day launching within days of each other in August 2019 to resurrect the online market in the Mountain State. The duo have since been joined by BetMGM who launched its sports betting app in January 2020.
WV Online Casino ✔️
After the state’s five casinos were given the go-ahead to roll out casino and poker apps, West Virginia’s gambling options will soon be complete. Expect a launch date to be confirmed once regulations are finalized.
Legal Online Gambling IN
Indiana Online Gambling
Mobile sports betting is GO in the motor racing capital of the US. Bettors can wager from anywhere within The Hoosier State from a mobile device or by visiting the sportsbook at one of the state's land-based casinos.
IN Online Sports Betting ✔️
Few would have had Indiana at the forefront of sports betting but that’s exactly where they are. Retail and online sports betting is in full flow with DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetRivers all live. 888, bet365, Fox Bet and William Hill are just four names rumored to be launching in the not so distant future in what’s set to become, rather surprisingly, a super competitive market.
In Online Casino ❌
Despite the arrival of online sports betting, Indiana’s legal stance on online casinos is less hospitable. As such online casinos are strictly forbidden and considered a criminal act to play at. On the other hand, there are retail casinos to visit - 13 in fact - should you crave for slots or typical casino games.
Legal Online Gambling OR
Oregon Online Gambling
Originally exempt from the ban on sports betting imposed by PASPA, Oregon was always likely to feature among the first states to launch. Onboard with online sports betting, Oregonians can bet on the Blazers at the state’s only sportsbook app, Scoreboard, overseen by the Oregon Lottery.
OR Online Sports Betting ✔️
Currently, the online sports betting scene in Oregon is a fairly lonely affair. Scoreboard, created by The Oregon Lottery who’ve been entrusted by the state government to oversee the entire market, was released in October 2019. The app functions the same as any other in the sports betting industry but the lack of options and competition is hardly doing much for the market as a whole.
OR Online Casino ❌
You may have sensed the appetite for online gambling in Oregon isn't as great as other states. Predictably, online casinos and online poker aren't on the agenda for lawmakers in the Beaver State who will focus energy on sports betting instead.
Legal Online Gambling NH
New Hampshire Online Gambling
Another state with a monopoly, at least for the time being, is New Hampshire. After legislators gave the green light in July 2019, DraftKings launched the first (and only) online sportsbook and app on December 30, 2019. 10 retail locations are set to follow in 2020 of which all ten will be DraftKings.
NH Online Sports Betting ✔️
The Granite State bucked the trend of the majority of states by launching an online sportsbook before a retail one. New Hampshirites will have the chance to wager at a physical sportsbook in early to mid 2020 but for now online, at DraftKings, is the only way to bet. It’s an option attracting plenty of interest though with $2.31 million in bets for Super Bowl LIV alone.
NH Online Casino ❌
Officially it’s a no to online casinos in New Hampshire. But you never know what you find until you try! Visit selected taverns and restaurants in NH and roulette, blackjack and other table games may be available.
Read about the best online gambling app in your state
Legal Online Gambling IA
Iowa Online Gambling
It took just 94 days after passing legislation for Iowa to launch legal sports betting, showing the rest how to go about a successful launch. The Hawkeye state became the first Midwestern state and the 11th state in total to roll out a regulated industry comprising mobile betting. There is one condition however with in-person sign-up is compulsory until January 2021.
IA Online Sports Betting ✔️
The curious case of Iowa online sports betting. After its rapid three month launch, there was the potential for lawmakers to inadvertently slow the market by not permitting sports betting accounts to be created online (until 2021). However, given the short term nature of the rule, both players and operators have seemingly not been deterred. Around 80% of sports bets are placed online or on a mobile device via sportsbooks already launched, Pointsbet and William Hill. Given that, 888, BetStars, DraftKings and FanDuel are among the big names expected to enter the IA market.
IA Online Casino ❌
There would need to be a change in the law for online casinos in Iowa to even be considered. This is not expected to change anytime soon. Iowans seeking out an online casino are best visiting sweepstake sites.
Legal Online Gambling NV
Nevada Online Gambling
The glitz and glamour of Las Vegas will forever be known as the gambling capital of the US in the traditional sense. But having held a legal monopoly of legal sports betting for nearly two decades, Nevada is no longer the only hotspot for gambling in the US.
NV Online Sports Betting ✔️
Despite the widespread belief that online sports betting began in 2018, Nevada launched an online industry in 2010. The Silver State had of course been the only state that could offer full-scale legal sports betting for the best part of two decades. Although Nevada remains the go-to sports betting destination for many bettors, its market appears a little out of tune compared with the likes of New Jersey and Pennsylvania who allow its residents to register and fund betting accounts from their own home. This is not possible in NV where in-person registration is compulsory.
NV Online Casinos ❌
Would the land-based establishments remain as popular as they do today if there were online casinos in Nevada. Highly unlikely, hence their absence in NV. Let’s be honest though, it’s not like there’s a shortage of casinos to visit - according to the Nevada Gaming Board, there are 441 casinos, the majority of which are located in the four main casino areas of Las Vegas, Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Laughlin.
Legal Online Gambling DE
Delaware Online Gambling
New Jersey had been expected to become the first state outside of Nevada to ring the sports betting bell. But nobody told Delaware. “The First State” certainly lived up to its nickname, pipping NJ to the post and rolling out legal sports betting before anybody else.
DE Online Sports Betting ❌
Full-scale mobile sports betting is permitted, though, as yet, there are no apps live.
Delaware Online Casino ✔️
DE became the first state to make online gambling legal in 2012, a trend they were to repeat a few years later with sports betting. The market went live in 2013 with casino sites operated by the state’s three racinos at Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway.
Legal Online Gambling RI
Rhode Island Online Gambling
Two referendums four years apart indicated a strong desire for sports betting in RI. Twin River Casino launched mobile sports betting September 2019. Customers are required to create an account in person before wagering.
RI Online Sports Betting ✔️
Mobile sports betting is permitted in the Ocean State. Sportsbook Rhode Island powered by William Hill remains the only online option right now. Could the division of monies (51% of sportsbook revenue goes to the state, only 17% of revenue generated is kept by the book) have anything to do with this? Apparently not. Further launches are anticipated under the Twin Rivers brand, responsible for operating the state’s two casinos.
RI Online Casino ❌
The emphasis is on launching online sports betting first so online casino sites are, at least for now, off the radar. In the meantime, sweepstake sites remain the best bet for players looking for the thrill of online casino games.
Read why mobile means money in US sports betting
Upcoming Online Gambling States 2020
We consider these states to be among the next batch to launch online, all going well in 2020:
Projected online launch: March 2020
A first for US online sports betting will occur in Tennessee where the absence of land-based gambling establishments will see the first online-only sports betting market. Despite a hefty fee of $750,000 for operators to renew their license, many of the big names are expected to show up in the Volunteer State, DraftKings and FanDuel among them. A firm launch date has yet to be confirmed but the market is one step closer to reality now rules and regulations are being devised.
Projected online launch: May 2020
Sports betting was (narrowly) legalized by the people of Colorado through a voter referendum in November 2019, a year on from the law being approved initially. The market will include both retail and online sportsbooks who’ll be subject to a 10% tax rate that will contribute towards the state’s water plan. Online casino, nor poker is on the agenda at this time.
Projected online launch: 2020
A sports betting license in Illinois will set operators back an eye-watering $10 million. But since the Prairie State is home to five pro sports teams across the big four leagues, the potential will leave many gambling operators unable to say no. The bill legalized in June 2019 includes retail and online sports betting which, for the first eighteen months will include in-person registration.
Projected online launch: 2021
All three online gambling verticals - sports betting, casino gambling, and online poker - were legalized in one hit in December 2019 leaving Michigan poised to become an online gambling powerhouse. March Madness is the rumored debut for retail sports betting but It’s anticipated the online side of things may take more time to implement. Any online sports betting launch will be followed by online casino sites.
Retail sports betting only
These states are up and running with retail sports betting but have either severely limited online wagering or stopped short of an online expansion.
The Magnolia State adjusted their state legislation to legalize daily fantasy sports in 2017, a move which paved the way for the introduction of sports betting. Online wagering is available but restricted to a land-based casino as per state law. Hence the retail status.
The first legal sports wager was placed in late 2018 five years on from permitting sports betting. Rivers Casino in upstate Schenectady gladly played history makers. FanDuel launched its retail sportsbook not long after at Tioga Downs positioning themselves nicely for when and if NY mobile sports betting is ever given the go-ahead by lawmakers.
The natural became state number nine with legal sports betting in July 2019, Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort taking the first legal wager and officially kicking things off. Under state law, online gambling is restricted to onsite at a casino and this isn't set to change anytime soon.
Against the odds, New Mexico became the sixth state with legal sports betting, without state law permitting the activity. The Tamaya Nation opened the sportsbook at Santa Ana Star Casino after discovering a loophole in the state’s gambling law. It's one of five tribal casinos in NM, none of which offers mobile sports betting.
Legal US Gambling sites: Compared & Reviewed
It's still relatively early days in terms of legal online sports betting and online casino gambling in the US. But competition is already strong in the states that have launched.
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, and New Hampshire are home to many of the world's best gambling operators giving eager-to-wager Americans, like yourself, many options in terms of choosing an online sportsbook or casino site.
Too much choice can be a problem though, especially when you're not entirely sure what makes one different from another. That's where we come in.
We'll not only take you to the best online sportsbooks and casinos your state has to offer. But help you decide which one is best for your gambling needs.
Above all else, our goal is to guarantee the safety of players gambling online. You can expect all of the gambling sites we feature are:
- Authorized to operate in your state
- Licensed by the state's gambling regulatory body
- Compliant with legislature relative to the state in question
Essentially we’re players ourselves. We enjoy gambling online as much as you and have been doing so, safely, for several years.
Over time, while our enjoyment and passion continued, the lack of information around the subject of online gambling as a whole became apparent.
We noticed a big gap in the market in terms of finding genuine information, from how to open an account, deposit funds and place a wager but particularly how to remain safe playing online.
Once the sports betting ban was lifted in 2018, we set about trying to help like-minded players make sense of a fast-moving and complex industry the best way possible. And so here we are.
Getting started with US Online Gambling
As with anything new, knowing where to begin can be daunting - we know we've been there. But get ready to bat those worries away!
With the help of our comprehensive guide to online gambling, we'll put you on the right track and give you the confidence to ace the start of your gambling career.
1. Do I know the online gambling options in my state?
Familiarise yourself with the online gambling sites and mobile apps that have launched in your state.
Since sports betting is introduced on a state-by-state basis, not every state has the same choice of sportsbooks and apps, nor the same operators.
In New Jersey, for instance, the selection of online gambling options is vast. New Hampshire meanwhile sits at the other end of the scale with one single operator.
2085352. What do I want from an online gambling site?
Depending on the legal landscape of your state, you could have numerous sportsbooks to choose from. Or, a select few.
In any case, what do you want from an online gambling site? For you to sign up with an operator and create an account, ask yourself, what must a site have?
Is a big juicy welcome bonus top of your list? Do you require a specific payment method? Perhaps, you want to be able to bet on a lesser-known sport?
3. Do I know the difference between online gambling bonuses?
Welcome bonus offers are used by online gambling sites to entice new customers to sign up.
Typically a bonus is either a free bet or free spin that enables a new player to become familiar with how a book operates.
There’s not only one type, however. Bonuses come in many different shapes and sizes and carry a specific set of terms and conditions.
It's good to know the difference between each one.
What’s the deal with The Wire Act?
States are nowhere near as quick in legalizing online casino gambling, the same way they did sports betting.
Many states - at least in the short term - are holding back from fully expanding its gambling options.
But why? Well, have you heard of the Wire Act?
The Interstate Wire Act of 1961, better known as the Federal Wire Act, prohibits the use of wireless facilities to transmit gambling information and money.
Put simply, the law removes the prospect of cross-state betting.
As with many laws, they apply to a certain era and as time goes by, they no longer serve their original purpose.
Originally, the law was introduced exclusively for sports betting to help combat organized crime within the industry. Moonlights before the advent of the internet of course.
Now, though, the Department of Justice has altered that view and extended it to include all online gambling, leading to conflicting claims as to whether the act covers just sports betting, or, all forms of online gambling.
As you can imagine such ambiguity is having a direct impact on the online casino industry moving along.
Many states are open to playing the waiting game to see what transpires, hence the slow(er) progress in the online casino industry than we’ve seen with sports betting.
With nobody none the wiser as to whether the act will be overturned, upheld or relaxed, it’s a case of waiting it out, for now.
Brief history of gambling in America
US gambling indeed resembles a complex mish-mash of laws currently. But it hasn’t always been like this. Or, has it?
One would say the shifts seen in US gambling almost mirror US history itself.
Another country with red, white and blue in their flag are viewed as being responsible for the birth of the gambling industry in the US. Settlers from France, in search of the land of opportunity, are believed to have brought with them ‘poque’, or, as you would know it in its final form today, Poker.
Roulette also carries French roots with the two games becoming part of the American fabric faster than you could say ‘full house’.
While the notion of gambling became more widely received in this period, it wasn’t clear there would be an industry boom until the 20th century, Las Vegas showing the way.
Viva Las Vegas
Without doubt responsible for gambling standing as tall as it does in the US today. The city underwent a serious facelift in the early ’90s with the building of casino after casino dominating the skyline.
Casinos becoming part of prestigious hotel complexes hasn’t stopped Vegas losing its tag as the number one place in the world for gambling. Even with Nevada losing its monopoly of the industry recently, the appeal of Vegas is unlikely to waver.
Online Gambling Part 1
Many gambling sites popped up out of nowhere in the late 90s during a technology boom, resulting in a hike in online gamblers. This had ticked along nicely for the early noughties but things were to change rapidly when legislation was introduced seeking to put a stop on money laundering.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is seen as one of the most significant events in the history of US online gambling. It’s no surprise either given the effect it had.
Many global gambling sites were left unable to process payments, culminating in a sharp exit for many left shocked at a dramatic turn of events.
Online Gambling Part 2
The laws surrounding online gambling were relaxed at the start of the tens, leading to the point where we find ourselves now: states moving to launch individual frameworks for regulated online gambling.
Nevada - who else - was quickest off the mark in offering legal online gambling in 2013.
Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania did likewise. The current impasse centered on the interpretation of the Wire Act leaves the online industry, not for the first time, with a cloud hanging over it.