Top US Online Casinos (2021)

Online Casinos in the United States

Online casinos, which use real money, are surprisingly not a new invention in the USA, as many forms of gambling have been available online since the 1990s. The regulation and legalization of online casinos, however, is a relatively new phenomenon. Gamblers in legal states are now legally permitted to place wagers on everything from slots to electronic roulette from the comfort of their home. Some online casinos even offer live games that have dealers remotely dealing physical cards, while players bet and watch the outcomes.

The legality of these online casinos is interesting, however. Federally, these online casinos are still illegal under the often scrutinized Federal Wire Act (1961) and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (2006). Federal Law Enforcement, however, has taken a backseat and allowed individual states to make their own decisions regarding the legality of state-regulated, real money online casinos.

States With Legal Online Casinos

As of 2021, the following states have at least one legal online casino:

Delaware Online Casinos

The Delaware Lottery regulates 3 seperate online casinos for residents to play on. Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington are all currently launched and accepting wagers. These online casinos are affiliated with the 3 physical casinos located in the state. While Delaware is more restrictive than other states, the 3 options available do offer up to a $100 deposit match to residents on their first deposit to get started. Poker is also available on these online casinos, however sports betting must be done in physical locations, conveniently located all over the state.

Michigan Online Casinos

Michigan is the most recent state to legalize and regulate online casinos. As many as 26 are currently allowed to have licenses in the state. The Michigan Gaming Control Board is responsible for regulating online casinos and making sure they are fair and legitimate. As of February 2021, there are 11 different online casinos to choose from. All of them are affiliated with physical casinos at this time.

New Jersey Online Casinos

New Jersey, closely behind Nevada, is probably the 2nd most gambling-friendly state in the USA. While they do not have nearly as many physical casinos, they have plenty of online options for all types of gamblers. Online sports betting began on August 6, 2018, with the launching of Draftkings Sportsbook and many online casinos soon launched afterward. As of February 2021, there are 22 active online casinos for residents or visitors within New Jersey state lines. These casinos are regulated and overseen by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Pennsylvania Online Casinos

Pennsylvania, unlike well known gambling-friendly states such as New Jersey and Nevada, has developed their reputation over the last few years. The state offers many options for those looking to place wagers, including 13+ online casinos. The state of almost 13 million residents legalized online casinos in October 2018, and the gross revenue from gambling activities has surpassed New Jersey with the 2nd highest handle in the United States in 2020, behind Nevada. Because of the steep tax rates, this handle actually generates the most tax revenue in the United States. So you can say at this point, Pennsylvania has made the right decision, and set up a blueprint for new states to enter the industry. Online casinos are regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

West Virginia Online Casinos

West Virginia is also very new to the online casino industry, with legislation passing in July 2020 and Draftkings Casino launching operations shortly after. West Virginia, similar to other states, requires each online casino to be affiliated with one of its 5 physical casinos. There are 15 licenses available for online casinos in the state, however. Expect much more physical and online casinos to start being built and launched in the near future. The West Virginia Lottery Commission regulates the online casinos in this state.

Regulated State-Run Online Casinos vs Offshore Online Casinos

As of 2021, state-regulated and legal online casinos are becoming more and more common throughout the United States. Based on the jurisdiction or state that you’re currently in, you will usually have a substantial amount of physical and online casinos to choose from before you place your wager.

If you are in a legal jurisdiction, it is highly advised that you use the regulated options for obvious reasons. Each state licenses regulated online casinos, and these licenses are not cheap. Not only are they backed by the state, but also are usually run by a large corporation that has strict guidelines to adhere to.

Should you run into any issues with a deposit, withdrawal, bonus redemption, or any type of financial grievances with a regulated online casino, you can rest assured that the regulations in place will protect you from any issues or errors that can and do occur from time to time.

If you plan on using an off-shore online casino, with little to no regulation in their jurisdiction, be very cautious. Most of these online casinos offer very few options for deposits and withdrawals other than cryptocurrency. Some off-shore websites claim to accept Visa or Mastercard transactions, but that should be seen as a major red flag.

Firstly, you have no idea who you’re giving your personal information and debit or credit card information to. Secondly, The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, is a federal law that explicitly prohibits the operation of online casinos in the United States. So you’re giving all types of information to an organization committing a felony by just taking the information, to begin with. What other felonies are they capable of committing?

Should you choose to remain anonymous and deposit with cryptocurrency, you may have a good experience and find a good off-shore online casino. Should you, however, run into any type of financial grievances with the operators, it’s highly unlikely that they will make things right or even communicate with you. It’s the wild, wild west. Enter the off-shore gambling world at your own risk.

How We Pick the Best Online Casinos

We do our best to track the industry-leading online casino offers, as they change every day. Online casinos are competing for your business now more than ever, so it’s important that you take advantage of some of the different types of offers available. Common offers that exist in the world of online casinos are no-deposit bonuses, deposit matches, comp points, VIP rewards programs, and cashback insurance if you lose. While some state-regulated online casinos offer better promotions than others, it’s critical to find the best options to tilt the house edge in your favor as much as possible.

At BettingGuide.com, we will only recommend online casinos that are licensed and regulated by their respective states. We will never recommend shady offshore casinos with shady operating systems and shady deposit and withdrawal methods. While offshore online casinos may seem to have “better” deposit bonuses and rewards or even outright free plays, take caution. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is. Especially when the whole business model of an offshore online casino is to take your money, to begin with.  

The mobile experience can be different on all online casinos. If you plan on placing wagers through a mobile device, we can guide you in the right direction if the casino’s mobile interface is important to you. We can examine the different speeds, gaming software, and overall experience for players on both Android and iOS devices. 

Online casinos should also offer flexible payment options for both deposits and withdrawals. The whole point of playing in an online casino is usually to withdraw your winnings. This should be easy, hassle-free, and most importantly FAST. Some online casinos will delay your withdrawal processing from anywhere between 2-7 days in hopes that you cancel it and lose your winnings and original deposit. Had you been in a physical casino, you would have been able to walk away with your winnings instantly at any hours of the day or night and any day of the week. Online casinos should be held to the same standard.

The best online casinos should offer electronic table games, live dealer table games, progressive jackpots, an extensive slot selection, and most importantly, player-friendly odds. The key to finding the best online casinos is to give the house the least edge possible and raise your chance of placing winning wagers on a consistent basis.

How to Register

Registering for an online casino is fairly quick and painless. Previously, a lot of online casinos required some sort of in-person registration process at one of their physical casino affiliates.

As of 2021, however, most registration can be done completely online. Verification documentation, such as social security numbers or utility bills are commonly asked for to prevent fraud, so have them handy if they’re required in your state.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an online casino?

An online casino is a casino that operates entirely online allowing you to play popular casino games, slots, live casino games and more.

How do online casinos work?

Online casinos are not too different from their physical, in-person counterparts. First, you must register and verify your identity. You also must adhere to their geo-tracking requirements, to make sure you are within the state lines of the legal jurisdiction.

Once you are registered and verified, you are welcome to begin placing wagers on various games. Slot machines are most common, while electronic blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and several other table games are also usually available.

Several casinos also offer a real money sign up bonuses for new players and all types of complimentary gifts for returning players. Be sure to do some research here on BettingGuide.com to see which offers might be available, and take advantage of them. By using free plays and sticking to a strategy, you can almost tilt the house edge into your favor.

Are online casinos legal in the USA?

Real money online casinos are legal and regulated in the following states:

  • Delaware
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia

However, on a federal level, they are still illegal. Keep an eye on BettingGuide.com for more information as time goes on. Many states have pending legislation that will legalize and regulate online casinos in their jurisdictions.

Is it safe to play on online casinos in the US?

Yes. If you are playing on a state-regulated legal online casino, you should not worry about your personal information or data being stolen. There have been no recorded data breaches as of February 2021, security is taken just as serious as physical casinos.

If you are playing on an offshore unregulated casino, then the answer is no. It is not safe financially to expect a fair wagering system, fair probability on the games, or fair deposits/withdrawals. It is also very unsafe and unwise to give your personal information and debit/credit card numbers to these rogue websites.

Which online casinos are legitimate?

All state regulated and legal casinos are legitimate as they have strict licensing agreements to operate in their jurisdictions. Beware of rogue offshore websites as they are most likely illegitimate in one way or another.

How to play online casino games?

Playing online casino games varies on the casino and the jurisdiction you’re in. Stay tuned to BettingGuide.com as we will soon have beginner and advanced strategies for multiple online casino games.

What is the best regulated online US casino?

888Casino.com (New Jersey)

New Jersey is packed with great online casino options for every type of gambler, but 888Casino.com sticks out as the best. 888Casino is owned by 888Holdings and is publically traded on the London Stock Exchange.

888Casino offers a $20 no-deposit real money bonus for new players, so that you can get a feel for the games and the award winning interface which is available on mobile and PC. On top of the no-deposit bonus, you also get one of the industry’s leading promotions, a 120% deposit match on your 1st deposit. They also offer constant new promotions, so make sure to sign up to receive marketing emails, because the free money is endless with this online casino.

Can I play online casino games for free?

Yes, if you’re not interested in playing in a real money online casino, there are options available to you. Many state-regulated online casinos offer free to play casino games for you to test your strategy before gambling with real money.