Legal Gambling – Online Casino, Betting & Poker in the USA
Anyone in the USA wanting to bet on sports, casino games, poker or any risk-based games online will need to find a legal USA gambling site. There’s never been a better time to gamble online in the USA. A couple of years ago, several US states challenged the rule book and started to legalize online gambling in one form or another. Over time, several other states followed suit giving us plenty more options and a much larger selection of new gambling sites to choose from.
People always want to play at the best online gambling sites the internet has to offer. Since there are many options available online, our aim at GamblingSam.com is to explore the web to help guide you in the right direction of the most reliable gambling sites online.
Our approved websites will not only provide you the best gambling options but each is wholly legalized in the regulated in certain states of the USA. Our team of gambling experts spends hours reviewing online casinos, poker sites and sports betting sites to help you narrow down your choices. We conduct our research with in-depth fact-checking, testing out each site out so that we’re confident that our suggestions will ensure you’re guided to the best US gambling sites to suit your specific needs.
Is Online Gambling Legal in USA?
US gambling is a complicated topic when it comes to legalization. All forms of gambling fall under each state’s own constitutional laws. US states have been given the ability to define gambling in their own words. This means that some games, like fantasy sports, will be legal in some states but not others. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that different states have different gambling laws, so do make sure you check your local jurisdiction before you make any bets online. Online gambling legislation in the US is still in its infancy and is rapidly changing so we’re here to provide you with the latest up to date information.
Online Casinos in the USA
Most bettors prefer online casinos to other types of online gambling sites because they can access a myriad of popular casino games. Online casinos offer the same games that you’d find in the casinos of Las Vegas and Atlantic City including roulette, blackjack, craps, baccarat, poker, slots and video poker. What’s more, the range of casino bonuses that casino sites offer new players is alluring and something you don’t usually find at land-based casinos. USA online casinos go that extra mile to create an outstanding experience with great usability, a huge game portfolio and a wide range of safe and secure banking methods.
Which US States Have Legalized Online Casinos?
The following states have or are in the final processes of legalizing online casinos and therefore there are several legal casinos already open for business for bettors residing in them:
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
If you aren’t residing in those states then there are still some options available to you. You can play at sweepstakes casinos. A Sweepstake casino is where you can play online casino games for real cash prizes. These innovative sites have modified older sweepstakes laws to provide recreational gamblers a legal option to play casino games for ‘free’ but with a virtual currency called “Gold Coins.” instead of real money cash deposits.
List of the Best Online Casinos in the US
There are countless top-quality US casino sites online today; you could say that the list is endless. To help you identify the best online casino options, we’ve put together a concise list below and in-depth reviews on each recommended listing. This is so that you know exactly what you’ll be getting when you sign up. We’ve included key information on sign-up bonus offers and distinct features that each casino offers.
Each online casino has been analyzed for its specific specialties and we’ve evaluated their overall performance based on important features like game choice, deposit bonuses, payment methods, win margins, safety, fairness and ease of use:
- SugarHouse Casino
- Hollywood Casino
- Parx Casino
- Fox Bet
- Bet365 Casino
- Valley Forge
We understand that every player looks for something unique but we’re confident that every bettor will find a suitable online casino from this list and from our casino reviews from around our website. The team at GamblingSam.com has over a decade of experience working within the online gambling industry so we feel that we’ve accumulated a wealth of knowledge and tons experience which is why we’re confident in our suggestions.
How We Rate Online Casinos
What are the key categories to look for when comparing online casinos? Why do we rate one casino higher than another? There are a few different key areas that we look for when we’re sizing them up to ensure they’re going to provide the best casino experience:
Trust is the top of our list because this is a must-have. If a gambling site isn’t trusted then you won’t read about it on our website. To ensure that we recommend only legitimate sites, we engage in some meticulous research about the owning company, trading history, and reputation. We also read the small print to make sure there are no funky hidden terms that could burn you later on.
When it comes to payments, security and safety are paramount, so we make sure that all gambling sites offer secure transactions with well-established payment providers such as PayPal and Skrill.
Any trusted casino will operate a fast and efficient support center and if it doesn’t we won’t rate a casino high enough to add them to our approved list. In this day and age, there’s no excuse for bad customer service. A casino must offer a wide range of contact methods, providing around the clock support including live chat, a toll-free telephone access number, and a fast answering email address
Online Casino Games in the US
Many well established and new casinos operating in the U.S work with a plethora of casino game software providers with notable ones including Netent, IGT and WMS. Many of the land-based game providers also service games to the online casino industry. This means that players can access hundreds of casino games instantly from within their desktop browser or on their cell phones. Main online casino game categories include:
Walk into any land casino within the US and half of the floor with be home to flashing slot machines. It’s the same deal online. Most casino sites are designed with a slot focus, usually, an overabundance of well-known titles will greet you when you land on the homepage. Online slots vary in RTP % (Return to Player %) as well as variance (win frequency), so some slots will appeal to certain types of players over others. If you’d prefer to play slots and win real money from your cell phone, then you’re in luck. Most gambling sites these days are mobile-friendly and compatible with all Android and iOS devices.
Table games are also an essential part of the game portfolio for any online casino. There are various table games that USA players can enjoy including Baccarat, Roulette Blackjack, Pai Gow, and Video Poker with casinos providing many variations of each game.
Live Dealer Games
Another integral part of a casino game portfolio is live dealer casino games. Live dealer games provide online gamblers with the entertainment and sociability that you’d find at brick-and-mortar casinos but instead of using games with simulations and an inbuilt RNG, a live casino dealer is broadcast to your screen to deal the game in real-time.
Online Poker in the US
Americans enjoy poker and this may due to the large pay-outs associated with this type of gambling. Many poker sites are operating online, though not all of them are US friendly.
New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware are all currently up-and-running with regulated poker sites. The newest state to regulate online poker is Pennsylvania, however recently there’s been renewed interest from several other states including California, New York, and Iowa. These states are seeing what benefits regulated poker could bring them, so it’s highly likely that we’ll see more states looking to regulate online poker in the near future.
The more states that legalize online poker, the better. A multi-state network has already begun, starting with Nevada and Delaware offering shared online poker liquidity and joint player pools which is a win-win outcome for poker players in the US.
The Best US Online Poker Sites
- Borgata Poker
- Pala Poker
Choosing a US online poker site should be treated the same as you would choose any other gambling site. Before joining a poker site, players should consider what they want from their playing experience, as well as checking the usual important criteria. First, you need to make sure the site is legal and safe and has the games you are looking to play. This should include checking game variety and player liquidity (i.e busy poker games with a mixed skill level of players). Also, check that there are plenty of poker promotions and bonuses and enough safe and secure payment methods for you to get started.
Online Sports Betting in the United States
Any sports fan who doubles up as a gambler knows that a sportsbook is a great place to earn extra income, on condition that the bettor knows their stuff. Thankfully, online sports betting in the US just got a little bit easier to engage in. It was 2018 when US Congress passed a new bill that meant that Americans could finally gamble online and online sportsbooks have been popping up left, right and center. Though it has and still is a slow bumpy road, we’ve only seen a handful of US states allow online sports betting sites though we’re expecting more to launch in 2020.
The following U.S. states offer or are in the process of offering legal online sports betting:
Within these states, there has been an influx of new betting sites launching. Some of these have been existing US sportsbooks or fantasy sports companies who’ve decided that want a slice of the pie, and some have been international betting sites that see the US a lucrative market.
Top Online Sportsbooks in the US
If you want to bet online, then the best way to go about it is to check your own state’s stance on the subject, however the states mentioned above are home to some or all of the following sportsbooks:
- Golden Nugget
- Borgata Sports
- Drafts King
- 888 Sport
- Fox Bet
- William Hill
What’s important to mention here is that if a sportsbook has launched in the US, it doesn’t mean that it’s available across the whole country. At the moment, it’s done state by state. This can mean the site has different websites or apps in use for different states though the brand may be the same.
Popular Sports to Bet on in the United States
As you can imagine, most bets in the USA revolve around the major leagues and sporting events, including MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL. However, sports betting enthusiasts can put their money on the following sports:
This is not an exhaustive list however as most US betting sites offer an extensive line-up of mainstream sports to bet on, including all major European and Asian events to lesser-known and obscure sports betting markets to place a wager on.
Types of Sports Bets
If you’re new to betting online, this is where things can be a bit trickier to understand, however, understanding the many different types of sports bets available to you is key to unlocking the most value from your bets.
This is because each type of bet can be suited to different betting scenarios, so it’s crucial you play them correctly. Sports betting is much more than betting on a winner/ loser outcome. Below are the most popular types of bets you’ll encounter at US betting sites. We’ve given a brief introduction to them, but make sure you check out our betting guides for more information:
Parlay betting (also known as an accumulator bet, combo bet or multi bet) is a favored betting type by most sports betting enthusiasts for a couple of reasons. For one, parlay bets allow you to place bets on proposition bets, multiple straight-up bets or point spreads at the same time. For this reason, parlay bets have larger pay-outs compared to other types of sports bets because if your picks come in, you’ll win a better payout than if you were to place the bets individually.
The name may give it away, but a future bet is when you place a bet on an upcoming event in the distant future, sometimes weeks, sometimes months in advance and usually exceeding one individual game or event. There are several pros and cons when it comes to future betting. It’s not a type of bet for those with little patience, however, one pro of future bets is you can bet small amounts of money and get large payoffs if you’re able to predict the final outcome accurately.
The most common types of future bets usually include who will win the titles of various sporting events and major leagues. Future bets placed on the English Premier League, SuperBowl or major Basketball leagues usually attract large wagers from gamblers across the world. Future bets are paid out in a very uncomplicated manner; whatever the odds are when you made your bet is what you’ll get paid for your wager.
Proposition bets (otherwise known as prop bets) are popular among bettors since they focus on particular aspects of a sports match. A prop bet is normally one of two circumstances: it can be an entertaining bet or a bet where an element of skill is needed. Many bettors are probably unaware that they have made many prop bets over the years. Prop bets generally have little or no impact on the outcome of a game, as they usually determine what’s going to happen during the game.
Examples of prop bets include, among others, the first player to score, the first team to concede, the number of touchdowns and the number of fouls. Prop bets can be highly lucrative and a key part of a long term winning sports betting strategy if followed correctly.
Point spreads are bets wagered on the favorite individual or team to win or not win by a specified set of points. In basic terms, a point spread is the median number calculated by a bookmaker when 2 teams are competing against one another. The goal is to spark interest in the favorite (or the ‘chalk’ in betting lingo) and the underdog.
The reason for sports betting sites to offer this type of bet is to open up more possibilities and make it more appealing as it allows the chance for a losing team to win you money. Think about it: if the only type of betting would be based on the chalk team or the underdog winning, then betting wouldn’t be very exciting would it?
Over/Under odds are also often known as Totals and are one of the most popular types of sports bets. A sports betting O/U is a bet where you have to accurately predict the combined score of both teams. You need to pick whether the total score will be higher or lower than the number set by the bookie’s oddsmakers (the professionals who set the odds). The scores are based on how the oddsmakers envision a game will unfold from a scoring perspective.
O/U betting is especially common in NFL betting and NBA betting. As an example; let’s say you’re betting on your favorite team or your rival’s team. An over/under will allow you to win bets in a competitive game where anything could happen. This type of betting offers greater flexibility as it brings in many other factors into the equation such as substitutions, player injuries, pitch conditions, overtime, etc.
Moneyline bets are one of the most popular wagers in U.S. sports betting. Many people make Moneyline bets without even realizing it. Moneyline bets involve selecting a single game or team to win. It’s as simple as that. There’s no point spread with a Moneyline bet, bettors are simply picking the winning side. Even the simplest forms of betting have a strategy and with money line bets it’s all about seeking the winner. Simply put: if you put your money on winning teams so that your winning margin exceeds the losses, Moneyline betting will be profitable for you.
How to Choose Top Online Gambling Sites
Finding the best gambling sites is no easy task. We recommend that you size up gambling sites by asking yourself 2 simple questions: what do you need from the site? And what does your gut feeling tells you about the site you’re thinking of joining? Take into consideration the following points before you make any decisions:
Reliability & Security: The gambling industry in the US has come a long way in the past couple of years. There are now plenty of legitimate gambling sites to choose, but there are still plenty that you’ll want to avoid entirely. We won’t list those that can’t prove to us that they will provide a safe and secure platform. We also ensure that every site we recommend is reputable and have their finances fully in check.
Website ease of use: How easy is it to use the website or app? Gambling site homepages should be well organized so it’s straightforward to find different casino games and various sporting events to bet on. The overall look and feel should be modern with a clean and unfussy design. What’s more, it’s important that the registration process is easy so that you can create a new player account directly.
Range of games: There are tons of top gambling sites online that offers everything at your fingertips, so there’s no reason to settle for one which doesn’t offer an all-round experience. Before joining a new site make sure that there are enough casino games for you to enjoy as well as plenty of new titles for you to explore. Look out for special features too, such as live dealer games and new types of games such as lightning roulette. For sports, check you have plenty of options to bet on your favorite teams, make in-play betting and get enhanced odds.
Bonuses & Promotions: Bonuses and gambling offers are there to attract you to a gambling website and used as a lure to entice you to stick around. If you use a bonus correctly it could help you try out a gambling site for free and in some cases, earn you extra money. Gambling offers such as casino bonuses, free chips or betting bonuses vary from site to site; however, a lot of the new gambling sites offer very competitive deals, usually a sign-up bonus, free bet or free spins on a popular slot. The best gambling bonuses are the ones that have fair and achievable wagering requirements with no unfair terms associated. We only recommend sites that are fair and square as we explain further in other sections of our website.
Loyalty Programs: Ensure you have access to a cracking VIP program and loyalty offers. Most of the time, VIP players will get a tailor-made package with access to perks and a personal account manager, though in some cases there are loyalty programs in place to ensure every customer receives something no matter how much or little they play.
Customer Service: A reliable support center that’s open 24/7 with plenty of contact methods is vital. The most popular gambling sites are the ones that have their customers’ needs as a top priority. This means you can get help instantly via a toll-free number, live chat or a fast responding email address.
Payment Methods: Ensure you can get started with a selection of trusted payment methods so that you have plenty of choices to fund your account. Popular methods include Visa, MasterCard and Amex, though many bettors opt for eWallets including PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill because they’re instantaneous and easy. All gambling sites usually accept Bank Wire transfers, though some customers are put off with using this process as it can take a day or 2 for funds to reach your account. eWallets and Credit/Debit cards are the fastest ways to get started.
Eligibility for Gambling in the United States
All gamblers in the USA are required to have the age of majority, which is the age where a person is legally defined as an adult and varies by state. As such the age of majority is 18 in most states. While most online casinos and sportsbooks set 18 as the minimum age of gambling, states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania demand all casino users and betting enthusiasts to be 21 years or older.
Employees associated with sportsbooks, casinos, or any other gambling site are barred from making bets or even insinuating to their friends the possible outcome of a bet. Referees, players, and other people who can influence the outcome of a game are also prohibited from betting. Many U.S. states encourage its citizens, especially those without self-control, to voluntarily refrain from online gambling. Such players are also not allowed to play for real money unless they repeal their previous decisions.
Why Do Some Gambling Sites Reject Players from Certain States?
Regulated intrastate online casinos, poker rooms, and sportsbooks are subject to state rules and regulations and only operate on a state level. This implies that players are only allowed to play for real money if they reside or are currently within a state’s borders. For example, for a casino player to play for real money in New Jersey, they must be within the NJ jurisdiction.
Offshore Gambling Sites in the US
Offshore gambling sites are at liberty to accept players from any state in the USA. However, legal markets that currently influence gambling in certain states may prohibit offshore sites from setting up shop. Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware require all online gambling sites to have up and running sister land-based sites before allowing customers to bet online. And it is for this reason that all offshore sites, which operate ‘legally’ in the U.S., opt-out of registering players from the mentioned states. Other non-USA states have opted out of servicing players from New York, Maryland, Indiana, and Kentucky.
Gambling on Mobile Devices
Most online poker sites, casinos, and other sports gambling sites are compatible with all cell and mobile devices and have apps for iOS and Android devices. Most of the time, players simply log in via the web browsers to access and play games instantly upon login so that you’re able to bet and play on the go.
Depositing and Withdrawing from US Online Gambling Sites
Casino enthusiasts and sports bettors have a ton of different options when it comes to depositing and cashing out from their player accounts. The payment options for online casinos, sportsbooks and poker sites are almost the same and they include:
- E-Wallets such as PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill
- Major debit and credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, and Amex
- Bank transfers
- PayNearMe for use in 7-Eleven, CVS, and other designated retail outlets
- Cryptocurrency, though many online gambling sites are yet to add this option.