Where Can I Play Legal Online Casinos in the US?
Image by Aidan Howe from Pixabay
How America gambles has changed dramatically in the past three years. Previously, it wasn’t possible to play at online casinos legally but an important US Supreme Court ruling in 2018 has changed all of that.
It used to be that the Federal Government ruled on gambling, but now that decision has been passed on. After a long campaign, a US Supreme Court judge ruled that individual states could make the decision instead.
As a result, many states have legalized online gambling.
Why Are States Legalizing Gambling?
These states haven’t suddenly become betting fans; they have another reason for doing so. The pacesetters like New Jersey, Delaware, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia who now have regulated gambling markets are reaping the benefits of the tax revenue they receive from bettors wagering in their states. This big financial boost is vital in the wake of the costly COVID-19 Pandemic too.
Are All The States The Same?
No, it’s a very different scene from the UK, where there are many licensed casinos, all of a very high quality and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission.
In the US, the states are opening up one by one and not all are offering the full experience of sportsbooks and casinos. So it’s important to do your research to find out as much about the online casinos in your area as you can before registering. As well as the legality, features such as bonuses, security, and payment processing are all important factors in your decision to sign up.
The Impact of COVID-19
The ongoing pandemic has helped the emergence of legal online gambling too.
All the top live casinos temporarily closed in 2020-21 even in Las Vegas, although the famous Strip is beginning to open up for business again now. That prolonged shutdown led many players to go online to continue their betting.
The Las Vegas casinos such as The Cosmopolitan and the Wynn are opening at 100% capacity now, but the impact of the past year’s experiences can still be felt and some who migrated to the online experience won’t be going back!
When Sportsbooks Team Up With Casinos
Some of the legal online casinos in states other than Nevada are run by established land-based venues. They team up with well-known companies that already have an online presence. This is common in the case of sporstbooks – companies such as DraftKings and William Hill – recently purchased by Caesars Interactive – are helping run successful sportsbooks with online casino games added on.
These are a few of the stand-out states where online gambling is legal:
New Jersey led the campaign to change the gambling rules in the US. Since that ruling, there have been many online casinos opened including Bet MGM and Borgata. The rules on how a gambling site is run are strict and offer good player protection and ensure safe and secure betting environments.
Pennsylvania is another online casino hotbed. Poker players are flushed at the prospect of registering with sites run by BetMGM, PokerStars, and Borgata.
The most recent state to allow online casinos was Michigan, where many sites, such as TwinSpires Casino, run by Kentucky Derby owner Churchill Downs, have found early success.
The Customer Must be Located in the State
You might be thinking that you can just log on to these online casinos from any state in America. That’s not the case if you want to play legally. Geolocation helps sites identify any out-of-state visitors. There are fines that can be imposed on sites if players from other states are found to have registered.
So unless you are actually standing within the borders of the state you want to play in – forget it!
The Changing Map of Legal Gambling in the US
Legalization is an ongoing process, and it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the latest changes online to see when a new casino opens up or the rules in your area change. Remember, gambling in a state you plan to visit might not be legal now, but the situation may be entirely different in a few months’ time.
Tennessee is an excellent example of how confusing gambling laws in the US can be. There are no casinos in the state, either in bricks or mortar form or online. However, if you want a bet on sport, then that’s fine. This is true in other states – one form of gambling may be fine, whilst others are blacklisted.
In other news, this month has seen WynnBET launch its sportsbook app with lots of markets, deposit and withdrawal functions, and all the same features as the online site. It seems that downloadable casinos and betting apps may soon be the best way to gamble online.
In summary, the thought of all that tax revenue will be too much to resist for many states. Why should other states be getting that much-needed cash when your own state doesn’t?
The future of online casinos in the US is looking bright indeed.