Last Updated on 09/23/2022
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
Welcome to our guide to the gambling laws in the US. Here we’ll hopefully settle the question of ‘Is online gambling legal in US?’ once and for all. Take a look below to get the answer.
You’ll know that there are some legal gambling states, while other states will burn you at the stake just for asking ‘Is online gambling in US?’ What makes things even trickier is the fact that gambling laws in the US are constantly changing. Confused? Keep reading to see where you stand in regards to the law.
Nearly, but not quite all. In fact, 48 of all US states currently have some kind of gambling. The only states that aren’t legal gambling states are Hawaii where they have much better things to do, and Utah where they have polygamy to keep them busy.
To be fair, much of these gambling entertainments in these supposedly ‘legal gambling states’ are pretty limited. Some states will allow you to experience the thrill of blowing your cash on the lottery, while other states might give you the chance to bet on some horse racing and not much else.
We’ve seen states like California that keep their gambling options restricted to the so-called ‘tribal casinos’, while other states like Alaska and Alabama appear to be more keen on keeping us in the Dark Ages rather than letting us play some casino games or bet on sports.
It depends where you live. To partake in legal online gambling US states now gets to choose whether they legally let you bet on sports or play casino games online. Some states like Nevada and New Jersey leapt at the chance to allow online gambling. We’ve seen other states like West Virginia and Michigan joining the party slightly later on.
As such, it means that there’s no simple answer to the question of ‘Is online gambling legal in US?’ This is because gambling laws in the US are changing all of the time. Recently we’ve seen the likes of Maryland legalizing sports betting, but state legislators are still working on getting it going.
This basically means that we could give you a full list of legal states for online gambling, but by the time that we’d finished typing, another state would need adding to the list. All of which means that you’ll just have to keep checking back here to make sure that you know whether legal online gambling in your state has been allowed.
Uh yes and no! It depends where you live. Here goes… People in New Jersey and Pennsylvania were among the first to be able to enjoy legal online sports betting. However, other states quickly followed to make sure that anyone living in West Virginia, Indiana, Iowa, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Oregon and Delaware could legally bet on sport online.
While this is encouraging, it’s still just a fraction of states in a nation that’s crazy about sports. Thankfully, it looks like many more US states are making encouraging noises about legalizing online sports betting.
We’ve already seen how Maryland has taken a big step towards giving sports fans a legal way to bet on their favourite sport online. Our prediction is that other states like California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York and Ohio could be next in line to join the online sports betting revolution!
Again, it depends on which state you live in. If you live in New Jersey, you’ll be able to play online casino games as easily as you breathe oxygen. Similarly, anybody living in Pennsylvania will most likely have legal slots and table games coming out of their ears. Delaware might not be well-known as a glittering casino hotspot, but you can legally play online casino and poker games in The Diamond State.
Interestingly, you can only play online poker in Nevada which is crazy considering that this state is the global epicentre of casino gaming. Once again, there are real efforts underway in many state legislatures to deregulate online casino gaming.
So which will soon be legal states for playing online casino games? We’re glad you asked and we reckon that California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nevada and New York could be next in line to legalise online slots and table games.
While there are plenty of legal gambling sites out there, there are still a handful who are completely opposed to allowing any kind of gambling. You’d be laughed out of town if you asked, ‘Is online gambling in US states like Utah?’ and you’d probably get a similar response in Alaska and Hawaii.
However, even a few more ‘conservative’ states could one day change their minds about online gambling. While Alabama doesn’t even have a lottery, it recently had a sports betting bill in the works. Although you can’t even try fantasy sports in Idaho, state laws permit horse racing betting and one day you might be able to take a horse racing bet online here.
While for residents of Minnesota, Nebraska and Oklahoma, it looks unlikely to permit legal online gambling in your state anytime soon, but we reckon they might change their minds once they see how much tax revenues it brings in. So although online gambling might be out of action everywhere from South Carolina to Wisconsin, this doesn’t mean that it’s always going to be this way.
For a long time, the gambling laws in the US were seriously out of date. Thankfully, the online revolution is looking like it’s changing things. The Wire Act of 1961 obviously never accounted for the online technologies of the future, and so the existing laws are having to play catch-up to the ever-changing situation. This meant that some US gambling fans had previously taken the risk of using offshore gambling sites which is about as safe as sticking a knife into a toaster.
But gambling laws in the US changed in 2011 when the Department of Justice reinterpreted the law to allow individual states to permit new forms of gambling such as online casino games, online poker and so on.
Things got really interesting when the Supreme Court made the momentous decision to overturn the federal ban on legal sports betting in 2018. Since then, there’s been a trend of deregulation across different states to permit legal sports betting and casino gaming. While this doesn’t make the answer to the question of ‘Is online gambling legal in US?’ any clearer, it does show that things are definitely getting better!
Guess what? There’s no simple answer to this question. Yeah, that’s right, it’s once again down to the individual state as to how old you have to be to blow your cash on some casino games and sports bets. Plus different kinds of gambling like casino gaming and horse racing betting have different minimum age requirements.
As a basic rule, you will have to be at least 21 years old to play casino games. Yeah, that’s right, you can buy a shotgun and ammunition when you’re 18, but you’ll have to wait three more years to play some simple slots and table games.
However, it’s worth noting that you’ll often be able to bet on sports at the tender age of 18. We’re not sure why sports betting is supposedly safer than casino gaming, but hey, that’s just the country we live in.
There are obviously some variations according to what state you’re living in. People in Georgia can happily blow their money on most forms of in-person gambling from the age of 18, while bingo fans in Maine can get started from just 16 years old. Spare a thought for those poker fans in Michigan who have to be 32 years of age before they can sit and play in a poker room.
So let’s say that you live on one of the legal gambling states that let you put down an online bet on sports. What do you do then? Well first off, you’ll want to come to our site and we’ll instantly show you a sportsbook that’s licensed in your state.
All of these online sportsbooks have been checked for your safety and you can use them to get awesome odds on anything from football and basketball to baseball and hockey. Easy! Here’s how we make sure that each legal sports betting site is good enough for your needs.
Licensing: You’ll quickly get to see which licensing body is actually letting you bet online on sports. For example, if you live in New Jersey, you’d expect a license from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement in the sports betting site’s footer. All of which means that you’ll be given a safe and fair betting experience. Plus we’ll make sure that the website is hack-proof to make sure that your data stays secure.
Odds: Only those sportsbooks with competitive sports betting odds will make our shortlist. We carry out odds comparison tests for each bookmaker to make sure that it gives you great bets for NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and much more.
Live bets: We’re massive fans of live betting as it can liven up even the dullest football game. We’ll show you those sportsbooks with more in-play bets than you’ll ever need and reveal which bookmakers even give you free live streaming.
Imagine you woke up one morning and found yourself in a legal gambling state that actually lets you play casino games online. What bliss! But how do you transport yourself from this dreamworld to actually be playing these online slots and table games. By coming to our site of course.
We’ll give you a roll-call of online casinos that are legal in your state. This means that you can look forward to playing a mind-melting selection of slots and table games and actually make some real money winnings. Sound good? Here’s how we handpick each legal online casino for your benefit!
Legalities: All of our recommended casino sites will have been checked to make sure that they are licensed in your state. So if you live in Pennsylvania, we’ll only feature those online casinos that are licensed by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. This means that you’ll receive plenty of customer protection when you play at this site. Plus we’ll be checking that each online casino has all of the required encryption technologies to stop anyone running off with your personal data.
Gaming selection: Chances are that you’ll want to play more than just one moldy game of craps. So we’ll unveil those online casinos sites that have literally thousands of stunning slots and table games to enjoy. From racking up that monstrous win on a progressive jackpot slot to shaming yourself against the live dealer in a game of blackjack, you’ll find that there’s no shortage of ways to make some real money wins.
Fair play: Playing online casino games usually means playing against a random number generator. Wait! It’s more fun than it sounds, we swear. Each of our featured casinos has been independently tested by third-party agencies to make sure that the casino site can’t doctor with the basic mechanics of these games.
OK so by now you’ll know one thing, and that’s that there is definitely no simple answer to the question of, ‘Is online gambling legal in US?’ To be honest, we don’t think that the USA gambling laws could be any more complicated if they tried.
But the good news is that things are definitely getting better. The list of legal gambling states is growing all of the time, and you might be able to eventually bet online in states like Idaho at some point before the sun swallows up our planet. So keep checking back with our site to see whether you can legal gamble online in your state.
Where do we begin? You’ve already asked ‘is gambling legal in all states’ and although gambling rules are a little complicated, the main answer is ‘no’. While there’s an overall movement towards legal gambling in the US, it has to be said that gambling is still illegal in many states like Oklahoma, Utah and so on. But take a look at our guide on legal states for online gambling, and the current range of legal gambling sites for New Jersey and Pennsylvania. All of which makes it easy to find the best legit online gambling sites USA has to offer.
The vast majority of US states have casinos. However, as the gambling laws in the US vary according to different states, there are still a handful of states like Hawaii and Utah that remain firmly opposed to permitting casino gaming entertainment. Remember that different laws apply to physical and online casinos. So take a look at our guide that answers the question of ‘What is the best online casino?’ if you’re keen to play in the digital domain.
You will probably already know that even neighbouring online gambling legal states like Idaho and Nevada can have vastly different laws when it comes to gambling. As a result, it’s little wonder that so many people are asking the question, ‘Is online gambling legal in US?’ So read our guide that will show you where you can legally gamble, and we can even reveal the top casino sites and best sportsbook for US players too.
The legal gambling age varies according to which state you are resident in. For example, you could legally gamble in Washington three years earlier than you would be able to if you lived in Wisconsin. Plus the legal age varies according to what kind of gambling you want to participate in. Take a look at our guide to the gambling laws in the US where we aim to clarify who can play which casino games and in which states they can do this.
It depends which US state you are currently resident in. This is because some states only permit online sports betting, while some allow you to play on online casino sites too. Take a look at our guide to legal gambling states for more about this. Here you’ll get to see some of top online casinos and also the best betting sites US players can use in a variety of different states