US Online Casinos
The current state of online casino play in the United States is extremely confusing and full of misconceptions for a lot of players. Because there are so many laws that have influenced online gambling and so many false claims by politicians and other figures, there's a thick layer of myth that surrounds the entire industry. We want to clear that up for players here so that there's a very clear idea of what the current state of online casino play is like in the United States.
What are the Federal Laws?
There are two relevant federal laws for online casino play. The first is the Wire Act that was passed in the 1960s to combat organized crime operations. This law made it illegal to accept sports bets over telephone lines, and a later court ruling had this include wagers placed over the Internet. However, the Department of Justice came out in 2011 to make it ultra clear that this law only applied to sports betting and no other forms of gambling.
The second law, and the one that's probably the most important at this point, is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. Known as the UIGEA for short, this law made it illegal for foreign companies to offer online gambling services in the United States without a license. The two problems with this is that the US does not have jurisdiction over foreign companies offering services online, and it scared banks into blocking a lot of transactions for legal forms of online gambling because of threats of major fees and penalties if they accidentally let an illegal transaction slip through the cracks.
To be clear on this, the bottom line is that no federal law makes it illegal to play in online casinos in the United States. With that having been said, some states do have laws that make it illegal including Washington State, which ridiculously has online casino play as the same level of felony as punching a child in the face.
Software Company Issues
The UIGEA came out in October of 2006, and it offered a period of compliance before it went into effect. Several software vendors decided to be safe and pull out of the US market, and this included major names like Microgaming and Playtech. The main motivation for most of the companies that left the US is that they are publically traded in other countries, and not adhering to the UIGEA's prohibition on offering games without a license would get them in trouble with those stock exchanges.
However, many others have continued allowing their operators to accept players from the United States. The current list of US-friendly online casino software developers includes Realtime Gaming, NuWorks, Slotland, Rival Gaming, Saucify (previously BetOnSoft), Angle Gaming and Soft Magic Dice.
What are the banking options for US Players?
For players in the United States, the single most-reliable way to make deposits and withdrawals is probably a pre-paid debit card or credit card. Visa seems to be the preferred option, though MasterCard is also a good option. The key to choosing the right card for this and keeping your deposits from being blocked is choosing a card that says it allows international transactions. If you have any doubt about what you're getting, the support team for your online casino will be more than happy to help you out.
It's really important to note that you should keep up with your pre-paid card after you make your deposit. The reason for this is that many online casinos will pay back your withdrawals to the same card you made your deposit with, and you don't want to toss the card after your deposit and be stuck with no way to receive withdrawals.
Money transfer services like Western Union and MoneyGram are also used by some online casinos. This is a reliable option that isn't quite as convenient as pre-paid cards, but most online casinos that use this method will give you very detailed instructions on making deposits and receiving withdrawals that make it really easy on the player to get started.
US Allowed Casinos
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- Desert Nights Rival Casino
100% Up To $/€1000
No max cashout. The following countries are excluded from redeeming the '€2,550 Welcome Bonus: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Indian, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mauritius, Montenegro, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom.
- Uptown Aces
250% Up To $2500
Only bets placed on Slots, Real-Series Video Slots (excluding progressive slots), Keno and Scratch Cards count towards the wagering requirements of the bonus. Player must deposit a minimum of $25 or higher to qualify for this promotions. Players from BULGARIA, UNITED KINGDOM, GREECE, POLAND, ROMANIA, RUSSIA and SWEDEN can not claim any bonus offers at the casino.
- Cherry Jackpot
200% Up To ∞
200% deposit match on first 10 deposits. Games: All (excluding Baccarat, Craps, Roulette, Sic Bo and War). Certain countries are excluded from first deposit Welcome Offer and non-deposit bonus offers (Australia, Armenia, Bulgaria, Belarus, Croatia, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Philippines, Turkey, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania).
- Fair Go Casino
100% Up To AU$200
Redeem it 5 times. Minimum deposit $20. For USA players Deposits can be made in USD, but playable balance will be in AUD. Players from the following countries do not qualify for the free no deposit bonus: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mauritius, Macedonia, Malaysia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.
- Casino Brango
100% Up To $/AU$/€400
100% up to $400 on your first 5 deposits. Your maximum withdrawal is set to 30x the amount of the qualifying deposit (Remember, bonus amount is Non-Withdrawable). In the interests of fair gaming, all bonus promotions are limited on the maximum bet allowed to be place during the playthrough. $/€ 10 is the maximum bet amount on any promotion unless SPECIFICALLY stated otherwise. Betting above $/€10 during a bonus playthrough will result in promotion winnings being voided.
- 24VIP Casino
100% Up To $1000 + 240 Free Spins
PLUS 240 Free Spins. For 10 consecutive days you will find 24 FREE SPINS at the cashier starting at 00:01 EST. The daily FREE SPINS are available only for 24 hours.Minimum deposit: $25. Some bonuses may have maximum cash out that will vary depending on the percentage of the bonus.Wagering requirements for all bonuses must be completed in the Slot Machines only, unless SPECIFICALLY stated otherwise. Wagering on a restricted game will void the bonus and any winnings from the bonus will be removed.
- Miami Club Casino
100% Up To $100
New Customer Offer. T&C’s Apply. 18+. 100% match, cashable, on the first eight purchases of credits, up to $100 per bonus. The use of bonus funds for wagering on Roulette, Craps or Baccarat is forbidden. bonuses are not available to players registering accounts from the following countries: The Netherlands, Greece, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, Sweden.
- Red Stag Casino
275% Up To $550 + 100 Free Spins
100 Free Spins on Dolphin Reef. Minimum deposit: $25. Players from United Kingdom are required to wager their purchase and play bonus 40 times. Red Stag Casino bonuses are not available to players in the following countries: Brazil, Canada, Greece, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Israel, Russia and Ukraine.
- Bovada Casino
100% Up To $1000
The bonus code NEWWELCOME can be redeemed up to three (3) times per player. Craps does not count toward meeting rollover requirements for withdrawal. Game contribution: Pai Gow, TriCard Poker, Let 'Em Ride, Caribbean Poker(all) 20%, Video Poker (All types), Blackjack (unless stated otherwise), Classic Blackjack, Baccarat 10%. Single Deck, Classic Single Deck & Double Deck Blackjack, Roulette 5%.
- Lucky Creek
100% Up To £/$/€500
PLUS! Limited Offer!25 Free Spins on Age of Spartans using code: MARSHAL . Table and Video Poker Game Restrictions: New players are restricted from using match offers on their first 3 deposits at any of the casino’svideo poker and table games. The casino reserves the right to void any withdrawal made if a new player is found in contravention of this rule. New players are welcome to use their first three deposit match bonuses on Slots, Keno or Scratch Card games.
- Casino Max
300% Up To $3000
Redeemable for first 3 deposits. Allowed games: Slots, Keno & Scratch Card. Certain countries are excluded from first deposit Welcome Offer and non-deposit bonus offers (Australia, Armenia, Bulgaria, Belarus, Croatia, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Philippines, Turkey, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania). Players can claim 300% bonus two times but only after claiming the exclusive offer.
- Vegas Crest Casino
200% Up To $1000
PLUS 30 Free Spins on Pinocchio. Bonus can be used on all games but percentage play-through varies by game. 100% for Slots, Bingo, Keno, Scratch Cards, Chain Reactors, Predictor; 25% for Red Dog, Three Card Rummy, Top card Trumps (Casino War), Texas Holdem, Pai Gow , Caribbean, Ride'em & Five Card Poker; 10% for Blackjack, Video Poker, Baccarat, American Roulette and all other games.
- Gossip Slots
250% Up To $2000
250% up to $2,000, or 165 Free Spins on each of your first 4 deposits. Minimum deposit: $25. Bonuses are not available to players residing in the following countries: Israel, India, Lebanon, Romania, Poland, Russian Federation. Please be advised - the use of bonus credits to place wagers on Baccarat, Craps, and European Roulette is not allowed.
- Grand Eagle
100% Up To £/$/€300
Table and Video Poker Game Restrictions: New players are restricted from using match offers on their first 3 deposits at any of the casino’svideo poker and table games. The casino reserves the right to void any withdrawal made if a new player is found in contravention of this rule. New players are welcome to use their first three deposit match bonuses on Slots, Keno or Scratch Card games.
- Jumba Bet Casino
200% Up To $600
Players from the following countries may only play slot games with any purchase match bonus claimed. Any other game played with a purchase match bonus, will result in any winnings being forfeited and the deposit being refunded back to the player. These countries are: UK, Greece, China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Columbia.
- Mandarin Palace
100% Up To £/$/€500
Table and Video Poker Game Restrictions: New players are restricted from using match offers on their first 3 deposits at any of the casino’s video poker and table games. The casino reserves the right to void any withdrawal made if a new player is found in contravention of this rule. New players are welcome to use their first three deposit match bonuses on Slots, Keno or Scratch Card games.
- GTbets Casino
100% Up To $500
Minimum deposit: $35. Skrill and Neteller initial deposits do not qualify for the 100% bonus. Due to continuous severe abuse of promotions, management reserves the right to refuse/remove bonuses and associated winnings for all players residing in Colombia, Denmark, Taiwan, Albania, People's Republic of China, Greece, Finland, Poland, Russia, Moldavia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Latvia, Slovenia, Belarus, Georgia, Czech Republic, Norway, Colombia, and Sweden. This only applies to players that are deemed by management as non-recreational.
- Uptown Pokies
250% Up To AU$/$2500
Minimum deposit: $20. No Max Cashout. Players who have a USD account on Uptown Aces are unable to create an AUD account on Uptown Pokies. Players from BULGARIA, UNITED KINGDOM, GREECE, POLAND, ROMANIA, RUSSIA and SWEDEN can not claim any bonus offers at the casino.
- Roaring 21 Casino
100% Up To $1000 + 21 Free Spins
New customers only. T&C apply. 18+. PLUS 21 Free Spins. No max cashout. Certain countries are excluded from first deposit Welcome Offer and non-deposit bonus offers (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan , Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Estonia, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia , Lithuania, Mauritius, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Philippines, Poland, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan).
- Wild Casino
100% Up To $1000
100% Bonus - 3x Slots offer. Players are able to claim the welcome slots bonus three times. Each promo code is only valid once. When claiming the welcome bonus enter the relevant code WILD1, WILD2 and WILD3. The code is only valid till the last day of the month. Minimum deposit: $50. This bonus is only valid on Slot Games.
- Raging Bull
350% Up To ∞
Deposits of $30-$69 = 250% bonus and 25 Free Spins; Deposits of $70-$149 = 300% bonus and 30 Free Spins; Deposits of $150+ = 350% bonus and 50 Free Spins. Only players from the following countries are allowed to redeem and/or make withdrawals on WELCOME BONUSES, FREE MONEY NO DEPOSIT BONUSES or MATCH BONUSES: Belgium, Canada, United States and outlying areas, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Singapore and Hong Kong.
US Blacklisted Casinos
Current State of US Online Gambling
At this stage in the game, online gambling is basically decided on the state level. While no states can allow online sports bets because of the federal Wire Act detailed above, a number of states have decided to regulate the industry. New Jersey and Delaware have regulated most forms of online gambling, and Nevada has regulated online poker only. Because these jurisdictions have government-mandated licensing process in place, software companies are allowed to offer games there since they aren't in violation of the UIGEA.
Most people from most states will have no problem connecting to an online casino, putting up deposits and receiving withdrawals. The main issue any player will run into now is one of the available banking methods because of how the aftermath of the UIGEA has worked out in terms of some banks continuing to block transactions, but the landscape has gotten much more favorable in recent years, especially after the 2011 clarification of the Wire Act not applying to online casino play by the Department of Justice.