Discover the Best Online Gambling Sites in the USA and More. Whew – that was a lot of information to cover – but there’s a lot more. We’ve designed our homepage to be a quick crash course in the legality of online gambling in the US, types of online gambling, and the best online gambling sites, but you’ll find all this information covered in-depth elsewhere on our site. You can scroll to the top of this page to see our top-rated U.S.A online gambling sites. Is online gambling legal in the USA? Yes, it is entirely legal to visit, register, deposit, and play at a casino site in the USA at any of the registered & audited offshore gambling sites that we recommend. In 1996, the first online betting site accepted its first wager. Since then, online gaming and sporting events have enjoyed a pleasant union with only some minor hiccups along the way. From wagers as basic as picking the outcome of the Super Bowl, to more complex live bets, the internet is a magical place home to numerous legal betting sites offering great odds. Best US Gambling Sites. With real money gambling sites becoming more widely accepted in the United States, online casinos and sportsbooks have become the preferred methods of gambling online for US residents. USA Gambling sites are now offering more ways to place bets and play casino games than ever before.
With several types of online gambling available in Pennsylvania, picking a site can seem overwhelming. If you’re feeling unsure about where to go, you’ve come to the right place.
Below, you will find reviews for the best online casino and online sportsbook in Pennsylvania. We have carefully studied each site to determine what the strong suits are and, conversely, what things they need to improve.
We also discuss some of the challenges Pennsylvania’s online gambling market is facing.
With things changing almost daily, it can be challenging to keep up with online gambling news in the Keystone State. Hopefully, by reading through our information below, you can determine which sites best fit your online betting needs. Most importantly, you must be comfortable with the site and aren’t worried about anything beyond winning.
Best PA online gambling sites for 2021
Our best casino bonuses and offers
Online casinos offer bonuses to their patrons to promote loyalty for the site. This practice is especially true for new players; every online casino has an offer for those who register for the site.
Several online casinos are active in Pennsylvania. Here’s a rundown of what bonuses are available on the best sites right now:
Unibet online casino in PA is one of the top options in the state, with $10 free just for signing up and a 100% match of your deposit up to $500.
For the free money, use promo code UBCASINO10. For the deposit bonus, use promo code UBCASINO500.
The trusted brand from Europe is hoping to make a big splash in PA with the biggest library of games in the state.
Read ourUnibet PA online casino review
SugarHouse Casino offers new players a 100% deposit match on their first deposit. In other words, the site will match the player’s initial deposit dollar-for-dollar.
This bonus is good for up to $250. Best of all, PlaySugarHouse only requires a 1x playthrough on its bonus, so the money is quite easy to release. SugarHouse is the best PA casino when it comes to bonus offers.
All a new player needs to do is use promo code 250MATCH when he or she makes a deposit. This deposit bonus is likely the best available in Pennsylvania right now.
Read our Sugarhouse PA Casino review
At first glance, Hollywood online casino’s bonus seems rather meager in comparison to the other two casinos. After all, $25 is not much compared to hundreds of dollars. However, this $25 does not require a deposit. It’s absolutely free.
All new players must do is register on the site. There’s no need to enter any promo code or other activity. As a result, the registrant will find $25 waiting for them.
Best of all, there’s only a 1x playthrough requirement. So, wager through the $25 once, and it’s ready for withdrawals.
Read our Hollywood Casino review
PA online casinos partnership tracker
The table below shows the Pennsylvania casinos that have applied for licenses. You can see their expected technology partners, and whether they have an additional online sports betting license.
|Casino||Online partners||Online Casino launch projection|
|Hollywood (Penn National)||N/A||Launched July 2019|
|Parx||GAN||Launched July 2019|
|Rivers Philadelphia||Rush Street Interactive / Kambi||Launched July 2019 (PlaySugarHouse)|
|PokerStars Casino||888 / PokerStars||Launched Nov. 2019|
|Unibet||Kindred||Launched Nov. 2019|
|FanDuel Casino||IGT / GAN||Launched Jan. 2020|
|Presque Isle Downs||BetAmerica||Launched Jan. 2020|
|Rivers Philadelphia||Rush Street Interactive / Kambi||Launched Jan. 2020 (BetRivers)|
|Harrah's||Scientific Games / 888 (Caesars)||Launched April 2020|
|Wind Creek Casino||Pala Interactive||Launched July 2020|
|Live! Casino||GAN||Launched Aug. 2020|
|Barstool Casino||Penn National||2020|
|Hollywood (Penn National)||BetMGM||Launched Dec. 2020|
|Golden Nugget NJ||NYX||Application pending|
Best sportsbook bonuses and offers
Here’s a look at our welcome bonuses offers:
SugarHouse Sportsbook was the first online sportsbook to open its doors in Pennsylvania. So, fittingly, the book has a great dollar-for-dollar welcome bonus.
New players at SugarHouse will receive a 100% match on their first deposit. All they have to do is enter promo code 250MATCH when entering their banking details.
Best of all, this match is good for deposits of up to $250. There’s only a 1x playthrough requirement, so it’s quite simple to release. Few bonuses are as good as this one in Pennsylvania right now.
Read our Sugarhouse Sportsbook review
BetRivers’ online sportsbook does have a bonus that rivals SugarHouse’s deposit match. In fact, it’s the same.
Thanks to its shared corporate ownership, BetRivers and SugarHouse are sister sites. So, the two books are going to function as mirrors in many cases, including bonus offers.
Naturally, that means that BetRivers players can also receive a 100% match on their first deposits. This match extends up to $250.
New players must use the promo code 250MATCH to activate the bonus when they make that first investment. The 1x playthrough requirement is about as minimal as those restrictions get, so it should be no problem to recover a significant portion of free money from BetRivers.
Read our BetRivers Sportsbook review
To casual fans, FanDuel might seem like a strange addition to the sports betting landscape. However, the daily fantasy sports giant has become quite a force in online sports betting in the past few years.
So, Pennsylvanians can get a taste of what all the fuss is. New accounts at FanDuel online sportsbook will receive a risk-free bet of up to $500.
New FanDuel players don’t need a promo code to activate this deal. They simply must join FanDuel here and make their first wager.
There is a 1x playthrough requirement on the bonus, which means players must make another bet of equal size to release the funds.
Essentially, players are receiving two bets for the price of one. Still, that’s a great deal for most, mainly if one of them happens to win.
As an added bonus, there is also a FanDuel Casino integrated within the PA FanDuel sports betting app.
Read our Fanduel PA Sportsbook review
Full list of sportsbooks and partnerships
|Casino||Retail sportsbook launch||Online sportsbook||Online sportsbook launch|
|Rivers Casino Philadelphia||Dec. 15, 2018||PlaySugarHouse||Launched May 2019|
|Rivers Casino Pittsburgh||Dec. 15, 2018||BetRivers||Launched June 2019|
|Parx Casino Sportsbook||Jan. 10, 2019||Parx||Launched June 2019|
|Valley Forge Casino||March 13, 2019||FanDuel||Launched July 2019|
|Hollywood Casino at Penn National||Nov. 17, 2018||Barstool||Launched Sept. 2020|
|Harrah's Philadelphia||Jan. 24, 2019||Caesars||Launched March 2020|
|Presque Isle Downs Casino||July 26, 2019||BetAmerica||Launched Dec. 2019|
|Mount Airy||Sept. 12, 2019||Fox Bet||Launched Sept. 2019|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono||Sept. 24, 2019||Unibet||Launched Nov. 2019|
|The Meadows||Oct. 7, 2019||DraftKings||Launched Nov. 2019|
|Oaks Race & Sportsbook (Now Closed)||March 14, 2019 (permanently closed in July, 2020)||N/A||N/A|
|South Philadelphia Turf Club||Jan. 17, 2019||N/A||N/A|
|The Downs at Lehigh Valley||Jan. 2020 (Unibet Sportbook)||N/A||N/A|
|Wind Creek Casino||Nov. 18, 2020||Betfred||Launched Dec. 2020|
|Live! Casino Philadelphia (2021)||2021 (FanDuel Sportsbook)||N/A||N/A|
|Hollywood Casino Morgantown (2021)||2021 (BetMGM Sportsbook)||BetMGM||Launched Dec. 2020|
Many of these online sports betting offerings will eventually be tied to a PA online casino site. For example, Harrah’s will likely roll everything into its single Caesars Online Casino product. PlaySugarHouse offers a shared account between casino and sports betting as well.
The lone exception is if you are an iPhone user. Changes to the Apple app store guidelines make these shared apps difficult, so you might see a sports betting app before you get a real-money online casino app in the lineup. And there is a chance they will remain separate.
What’s legal and illegal for online sports betting?
Few newly legalized activities come without rules and exceptions to their legality. Pennsylvania’s online sports betting is no different.
The good news is that Pennsylvania residents and visitors can wager on any professional, collegiate or international sporting events. The only requirements are:
- Be at least 21 years or older
- Be physically within Pennsylvania state lines
- Wager on an approved, regulated Pennsylvania site
However, the betting must occur on sporting events.
So, non-sports events, such as the Academy Awards or political elections, are not permitted for betting.
Finally, people who are intrinsically involved with a particular sport cannot wager upon it. So, players, officials, coaches, and other sports personnel cannot place bets on their own sports.
Concerning online casinos, most people can play without any restriction. Adults who are at least 21 years old are more than welcome to take part.
However, there is absolutely no online casino play allowed across state lines. The sites use geolocation software to monitor every player’s physical location. You must enable this function on your mobile device or you won’t be allowed to play.
The other exception is people who have placed themselves on the self-exclusion list. There is a separate self-exclusion list in Pennsylvania specifically for online play. Unfortunately, gambling addiction is a real problem, and online casinos are careful not to exacerbate the issue for people who are in recovery.
PA casino apps
With Pennsylvania moving into the online casino space, there are a few points about using these programs that bear mention.
First and foremost, it’s important to know that each casino app will figure out what device you’re using automatically. So, whether you use a laptop or a mobile device, the app will size the casino to fit your screen.
For the most part, every online casino has a browser version that will always work on desktops and some phones.
With that said, many casinos have a dedicated app specific to mobile use. If you are a mobile user, you may find the app to provide a smoother experience.
The mobile apps may also have greater functionality than the browser version. However, the game selection on the app can be smaller because some games don’t translate to mobile.
Finally, no matter which platform you use, you will have to go through some steps for the app to work.
Apple users should be aware all PA casinos or sportsbooks have a native iOS app.
Android users can play on all of the casinos in Pennsylvania but they will need to download the app from the casino website. The Google Play store does not support the distribution of gambling apps.
What online casino games are available in PA casinos?
Online casinos feature many of the same games that one might find in a land-based casino. Here are some of the types of games you may find at your favorite site.
Because of the laws requiring Pennsylvania-specific servers for any game providers to PA online casinos, the selection may not be what you are used to if you’ve ever played on a New Jersey online casino, for example.
The bread and butter for land-based casinos, slots, are the main focus for most online casinos too. An online slot is technically not a machine, but it functions identically otherwise.
A slot game will usually feature several rotating reels with various symbols drawn on them. The reels stop, and the player wins (or doesn’t) based upon the patterns the reels come to rest.
Many slots also feature bonus games or features that provide extra chances for players to win. Bonuses tend to be mini-games and have a higher chance of success than the slot game at large.
Each online casino in Pennsylvania offers a selection of games. That variety depends mostly on the deals each casino has with the game publishers.
So, the following is a list of the most popular slot developers and their games that are playable at the best PA online casinos:
NetEnt: At this time, all games on SugarHouse Casino are produced by NetEnt Games. NetEnt became an industry leader in the world of online slots by providing players with realistic games that replicated those in a Vegas casino. The list of games below includes the top games you will find at Pennsylvania online casinos.
- Blood Suckers II
- Dead or Alive
- Divine Fortune
- Drive: Multiplier Mayhem
- Gonzo’s Quest
Konami: Konami is a household name in the online casino industry. As of the time of writing, this slot developer is only available at select casinos and with only a handful of Konami slot games. Here is a list of games available at select PA casinos:
- African Diamond
- Ancient Dragon
- China Shores
- Full Moon Diamond
- Solstice Celebration
IGT: IGT is a massive global brand with more than 1,000 styles of slot machines in brick-and-mortar casinos and hundreds available online. But there is a limited number of IGT slots in Pennsylvania. This list includes the top games you’ll be able to find online.
- The Big Easy
- Crown of Egypt
- King of Atlantis
- Pixies of the Forest
Other game developers entering the Pennsylvania market include Incredible Technologies, Everi Gaming, GAN, H5G, and Slot Symphony.
Video poker games are often lumped together with slots. The main difference is that players retain a certain measure of control over the way the game proceeds.
Video poker creates a virtual simulation of a typical five-card draw poker hand. The player receives five cards, can choose to hold as many as they like and then redraws.
The goal is to make a five-card hand that qualifies as a winner. Exactly which rank of hand is required to win varies from game to game.
Players who prefer a more tactile experience tend to stick to table games. These are games that use a virtual simulation of activities that involve playing cards, dice, balls, or prize wheels.
The most common table game is blackjack. This card game is a competition between the player and the dealer to see whose combination of cards can get closest to 21 in value.
The catch is that the player must act before the dealer and rely on incomplete information to do so. As a result, the casino retains a slight mathematical edge.
However, players can mitigate this edge by using basic strategy. Basic strategy is a widely published set of behaviors designed to play blackjack optimally.
The second-most common table game is roulette.
This French version of the game is found in almost any casino with table games. In fact, PlaySugarHouse elected to launch three variants of roulette in its PA online casino before publishing any versions of blackjack.
Basically, roulette involves a randomly released ball falling into a spinning wheel with numbered slots. Players wager based upon which numbers they believe the ball will fall into.
When playing roulette, you will choose between European and American roulette. European roulette features only a single zero on the wheel and boasts better odds for the players. American roulette, on the other hand, features a 0 and a 00, worsening the odds for players.
There are a variety of choices and combinations of numbers that players can choose to bet. Roulette is a staple for casinos due to its pace of play and chance at incredible winnings. A correct bet on a single number will pay 35:1.
Craps seems to be a bit less likely to appear in PA online casinos. The game itself, which plays with dice rolls, a large tub-like pit, and myriad ways to wager, is likely a challenge for programmers to realize in a virtual setting.
Nonetheless, craps is a dice-based game, which involves players attempting to roll certain numbers on a pair of dice. Players wager based upon the likelihood of various combinations appearing on the dice.
The probability of those combinations often determines the prescribed payout for various wagers on the board. The casinos generate their profit margin by ensuring that the payout odds are worse than the event odds.
For example, a particular number may only have one chance in three of occurring, but a successful wager will only payout 2:1.
Other table games
Several table games are available from time to time at online casinos. These games are less common and, frankly, have a bigger house edge to them.
Nevertheless, they can be a fun option for someone looking for a change of pace. Some other table games include:
- Casino Hold ’em
- Caribbean Stud
- EZ Baccarat
- Let It Ride
- Pai Gow Poker
- Three-card poker
- Ultimate Texas Hold ’em
Live dealer games at PA casinos
People often speak about the “next big thing.” For online gambling in the US, live dealer games are that thing.
This style of online casino game has been nothing short of a revolution. It has propelled casinos in New Jersey to great heights. Live dealer games will come to a Pennsylvania online casinos as soon as the operators can get it off the ground.
Essentially, live dealer games are games dealt in real-time and broadcast live across the site. Real dealers run the games in an interactive studio located in or near the actual land-based casino itself. In fact, there are a few games conducted on the casino floor itself.
Players can place their bets, interact with the dealers, or even interact with one another. Some versions of live dealer games have even expanded to allow players to have multiple views of the game in action.
So far, the following games are available in a live dealer setting in New Jersey. Hopefully, they will appear in Pennsylvania soon:
- Casino Hold ’em
- Three-card poker
- Ultimate Texas Hold ’em
Stay on top of things with your favorite online site. Live dealer games are not something to miss.
More about PA’s legal online gambling industry
Online poker, online casino table games, and slots became legal in Pennsylvania as a part of a comprehensive gambling expansionpackagepassed by state legislators in October 2017.
The PGCB is providing regulatory oversight for the local online gambling industry. Casinos could get all three types of interactive gaming licenses at once for a $10 million licensing fee. The cost was $4 million each individually for slots, table games, and peer-to-peer games like poker.
There is no limit on the number of skins, or alternatively branded online gambling operations, that can operate under each licensee. However, regulations designed by the board stipulate branding for the skins must clearly identify the licensee. Plus, players can only create one account per licensee, not per skin.
Potential PA online casinos
According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), there are 10 stand-alone and racetrack casinos and two smaller resort casinos operating inside the state. Plus, a 13th casino, Live! Philadelphia, is coming to the South Philadelphia Sports Complex area, home of Philadelphia’s professional sports teams.
All of these PA casino operations could have applied for online gambling operator licenses in the state beginning April 16, 2018. The properties had until July 16 to turn in applications for a $10 million comprehensive interactive gaming license. With this license, casinos can offer online poker, online slots, and online table games.
There were nine casinos which applied:
- Harrah’s Philadelphia
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
- Mount Airy Casino Resort
- Parx Casino
- Rivers Casino Pittsburgh
- Wind Creek (formerly Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem)
- Rivers Philadelphia (formerly SugarHouse Casino)
- Valley Forge Resort Casino
- Live! Philadelphia Casino (under development)
Best Legal Online Betting Sites
After applying, Rivers Casino Pittsburg eventually rescinded its application, electing to punt on online gambling. Stadium Casino, now called Live! Philadelphia, did something similar, opting to forgo an online poker license.
Meanwhile, both Presque Isle Downs and Mohegan Sun Pocono applied for a la carte licenses. Presque Isle opted to skip poker. Mohegan surprisingly signed up for all three at a cost of $2 million more than its competitors. However, like Rivers and Live!, it too abandoned its online poker plans.
That left 12 unclaimed interactive licenses. PGCB opened up a process for qualified gambling entities (QGE) from outside of Pennsylvania to claim them.
Only two groups applied. MGM Resorts has preliminary approval for all three categories of license. Golden Nugget Atlantic City can offer table games and slots, but no online poker.
These two major US gaming players will be among the last to launch online casino and sports betting products in PA. They will also be the only sites without a PA land-based casino partner.
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Potential PA online poker sites
The first online poker site to go live in the state was PokerStars PA when it fully launched on Nov. 6, 2019. The global poker brand is offered in conjunction with its land-based counterpart Mount Airy Casino Resort.
Today, 10 of 12 Pennsylvania casinos have poker rooms. Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin and Valley Forge Casino Resort are the only casinos in the state that do not have poker rooms.
More than 220 live poker tables are operating across the state with the 10 rooms pulling in an average of $4 million in revenue every month.
Plans for Live! in the South Philadelphia Sports Complex area include opening a poker room when the facility opens its doors in early 2021.
In addition to Mount Airy, six more PA casinos plan to offer an online poker counterpart. Those that will launch an online poker room in Pennsylvania (MGM is applying as an out-of-state entity) include:
- Harrah’s Philadelphia
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
- Parx Casino
- Wind Creek Casino
- Rivers Casino Philadelphia
- Valley Forge Resort Casino
- MGM Resorts (QGE – no land-based partner)
PA online gambling site safety
PGCB will regulate all online gaming sites in the state. This is the same branch of the state government that regulates all land-based PA casinos.
Other important points regarding PA online gambling security
The regulations designed by PGCB will include several security measures specifically designed to:
- Ensure player balances are held in a separate account from operating funds
- Force sites to implement a rigorous player verification process
- Prevents minors from gaining access
- Deal with problem gamblers
- Force sites to implement geolocation software making sure all players are within the state
- All deposits and withdrawals are processed securely
Wondering if online gambling is legal in your state? Looking for the best online gambling sites in the USA? TechNightOwl is here to help. We keep track of the ever-evolving legal status of online gambling across the nation, so you don’t have to!
Our expert team also researches and explores all the current legal online casinos, compiling their findings here in easy-to-follow gambling site reviews. You can trust in us to provide everything you need to know about online gambling in the United States.
Your Resource for Safe, Legal Online Gambling and Sports Betting Sites
At TechNightOwl, gambling is our passion. From simple online slots to poker, we’re experts in games of all types – and let’s not forget sportsbooks. There’s nothing quite like not just watching your favorite sports team, but also winning real money in the process!
Our team goes above and beyond to vet every gambling site we cover here. We make sure that each one is safe, legal, and not setting an unfair house advantage. Even better, we try the sites we review to ensure we can share the information you really want to know, from legal considerations to site functions. By doing your online casino and betting site research on TechNightOwl, you’re not taking a gamble!
Is Online Gambling for Real Money Legal in the USA?
Yes and no—online gambling for real money is legal in the USA on a federal level, but at a state level, that’s not always the case. Each state has its own regulations regarding which games and forms of gambling are legal, if any. State laws also don’t prevent you from using international sites, so long as they are not on US soil.
The good news is that while online gambling was entirely illegal in America up until 2012, in just eight short years, that’s changed dramatically. Twenty-two states now have some form of legal online gambling.
As of June 2020, five states are fully legal, so to speak, and allow online casinos, poker, and sports betting:
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
Nevada allows both poker and sports betting, but not casinos.
Sixteen additional states allow sports betting only:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
Exceptions to the Rules – Fantasy Sports and Online Lotteries
Fantasy sports are handled a bit differently than gambling and sports betting because they are excluded from some legislation. Unfortunately, that makes their legality even more confusing.
Most daily fantasy sports (DFS) providers, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, legally operate in 43 states. DFS is illegal in Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, Washington, and Hawaii, which may soon change. Some providers also ban additional states. For example, Yahoo! Daily Fantasy Sports also does not operate in Delaware, Florida, Missouri, and Montana.
Most US states offer some form of lottery, which is gambling of a sort. However, only a few give you the opportunity to play online, including Illinois, Georgia, Minnesota, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire.
Alternative premium resources sources for US Gambling:
Non US resources:
How to Tell if a Gambling Site is Legal in the US
On top of the ever-changing state-to-state legality of gambling in the United States, certain gambling sites also have restrictions. Most sites will have geo-based tracking and will let you know if they detect your location as an area they can’t service, but that doesn’t always happen.
There are two ways you can find out if a gambling site you’re considering is legal in the US, or more accurately your state, the first is to look them up right here on TechNightOwl. We cover all the best online gambling sites in the USA.
Legal Sports Report
If, by chance, the site isn’t here, you can also scroll down to the bottom of the site and look for a regulatory body logo. If you don’t see one at all, it’s likely either not a legitimate site or one that’s not legal in the United States.
Is Gambling Online Safe?
Legal online gambling sites are safe. They are regulated by the same entities as brick-and-mortar casinos and betting establishments and must meet all the same safety protocols and ethics codes. Those regulations ensure that all the games are fair, your money is secure, and that you actually are paid when you win.
However, as an illegal gambling site has no reason to follow those regulations—otherwise, they’d be legal—it is vital to ensure that you’re playing on a safe, legal site. That’s why we started TechNightOwl. Scam and unregulated gambling sites give the entire industry a bad name, and worse, they hurt people. We do everything we can to make sure that online gamblers like you have all the information they need to avoid those sites.
On the note of safety, when gambling online, you aren’t physically looking at the money you spend—or lose—it can be easy to spend more than intended. Many players get caught up in the moment, and betting is fast online.
Always gamble responsibly, and keep in mind that you are still gambling with real money. Know when to cut your losses or walk with your winnings and be aware of gambling addiction symptoms. Gambling can be fun and even very lucrative. At TechNightOwl, we’d like it to stay that way for you.
Types of Legal Gambling in the US
Remember that not all the options listed here are legal in all 50 states unless you opt for a website outside the US.
You can play a range of casino games in the US, including card games like Baccarat and Blackjack, as well as slots and table games like Roulette.
US gambling sites also offer live casino games such as Live Roulette and Live Blackjack. With these games, you play in a real-life casino via a video stream. You can place bets remotely using your phone or computer.
The best online gambling sites use modern, high-tech software to deliver your favorite games and ensure you have the best experience gambling online. While you can try most online games for free to make sure they meet your needs, free games generally don’t allow you to win real money.
If you’re wondering why states break legal gambling into three classifications—casino, poker, and sports betting—when poker is offered at casinos, it’s because the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 excluded “skill games.” This point also applies to Fantasy Sports, that’s how they scored an exception and became legal in 43 states.
Many poker fans assert that poker is indeed a game of skill—including the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), which has fought hard to legalize real money online poker sites. However, the US Department of Justice flip flops a bit over whether they consider it a game of skill or chance, as it involves both. That’s why poker is not legal in as many states as Fantasy Sports but isn’t lumped in with casino games either. It gets its own gambling “category” legally.
That said, in states where online poker is legal, you’ll find a wide range of online casinos and even sites dedicated solely to playing poker to suit your needs.
Until recently, legal sports betting in the US was only available in a few states, most notably Nevada. Today, in addition to the states listed above, numerous others are working towards fully regulated sports betting.
This is attributable to the Murphy v. NCAA Supreme Court ruling in 2018, which laid a foundation for legal sports betting in the United States. Sports betting includes both online and mobile betting.
Online betting may include a wide range of events, including bets on NFL, NBA, college football, NHL, and MLB games. You may even get the opportunity to bet on non-sports events such as the Academy Awards — popularly known as “specialty betting.”
Fantasy sports allow you to create your own dream team from real players. Your team’s performance is then measured based on those players’ stats in real life. Your team competes against other Fantasy Sports player’s teams, and just like regular sports betting, you can place bets on who will win, among other things.
The Best Online Gambling Sites in the USA (2020)
To get the best gambling experience, you need to find the best gambling sites. You want a site that is user-friendly and offers fast payouts. Note that as US-based gambling sites are few in number at present, and you can only bet within state lines with those sites, some of the options below are not in the US, but they do all allow American players.
Here’s a look at some of our top picks: Chumba Casino, LuckyLand and DraftKings.
Advantages of Online Gambling
While the most obvious advantage of online gambling is accessibility – not every town in the United States has a casino nearby – it also offers a range of other benefits.
Ability to Play Games Instantly
Whether you have 5 minutes at a bus stop or you’re at home relaxing, you can play online casino games anywhere, anytime, instantly. There’s no travel, dealing with other patrons, or waiting to cash in your chips.
Attractive Bonus Schemes
Land-based casinos rarely offer bonuses or rewards, and often jackpots are only available on select games. Bonus programs are one of the biggest advantages of online casinos. They are a great way to improve your chances of a big payout.
Most online gambling sites offer match deposit bonuses, bonus spins, and other bonus offers. If you’re just getting started with online gambling, you can expect a range of bonuses and rewards in the form of welcome packages for new customers.
Return to Player (RTP) is usually higher in US online casinos compared to their land-based counterparts. That’s because the operating costs of online casinos are much lower than brick-and-mortar casinos.
Those lower operating costs allow online casinos to offer a better RTP – and that means better odds.
Online gambling platforms give you access to a vast selection of casino games and sports events with just a few clicks on your PC or smartphone. If one site doesn’t have what you want, there are plenty of options out there. With a brick-and-mortar casino, you’re limited to what your local casinos decide to offer.
Perhaps the best thing about gambling online is that you can find the right site for your needs. Gamblers have different betting and playing preferences, and one site can’t meet all those needs.
Odds and Ends – Online Gambling FAQCan I access casino games on my phone?
Yes. Many US gambling sites have a mobile-friendly platform that allows you to load casino games through your phone’s browser. While some offer a limited selection of games, many are comparable to the site’s desktop version.Do I have to download software to play?
You don’t need to download software to enjoy online gambling or sports betting. Virtually every US gambling site offers a web-based instant play platform to load games through your web browser. Some options do also offer software downloads, but they aren’t universally mandatory.What payment options do I have?
Most US online casinos accept deposits and withdrawals through credit cards and various e-wallets, such as PayPal. Payment methods vary by casino.Where can I play casino games for free?
You can play your favorite online casino games for free anywhere in the US. However, most of these games are just for fun or practice and don’t involve any cash winnings.Why can’t I play games from certain developers?
Games from some developers like NetEnt, IGT, and Microgaming, aren’t available at many US online casinos. These developers only operate in licensed regions, and few casinos are licensed to offer these games in the United States.Will I earn loyalty points?
Some online casinos do offer loyalty programs like land-based casinos. In fact, some online options are run by brick-and-mortar casinos, and the points you earn online will apply if you visit in person too! Caesars is an example of a casino that offers online loyalty point accumulation.Where do I get help if I have an issue with a casino?
If you have an issue with a casino, try to contact their customer support team. If you can’t find a solution, consider voicing your concerns at one of the reputable online forums. These forums usually work with casino management and can help address your problem.What happens if I lose my Internet connection or get disconnected?
Some gambling sites will automatically reconnect you right where you left off. In those that don’t, there’s usually a standard procedure detailed in the help section regarding what to do, and you’ll get a refund. However, do not attempt to avoid losses by intentionally disconnecting if things are going badly. You may be credited a few times, but customer support will catch on, and eventually, you’ll be banned.Are online gambling earnings taxed?
Yes. For in-person and online gambling, your net earnings are considered taxable income on your federal return. That applies whether you gambled at an international or US site. You may be asked for your personal information when you sign-up to meet US tax reporting requirements.
Most sites will send you a W2-G if your earnings exceed a certain threshold, but technically, you are supposed to report any earnings, whether it’s $10 or $10,000. If you don’t receive a form, you can report it under “other income.”
As far as state income taxes, that varies by the state. Currently, in states with an income tax, only New Hampshire and Tennessee do not tax gambling earnings. Many states also don’t allow you to deduct your losses from your winnings unless you file a schedule C and are a professional gambler.
If you have significant winnings online, we recommend working with a tax expert familiar with gambling income specifically to minimize your tax obligation.
Discover the Best Online Gambling Sites in the USA and More
Whew – that was a lot of information to cover – but there’s a lot more. We’ve designed our homepage to be a quick crash course in the legality of online gambling in the US, types of online gambling, and the best online gambling sites, but you’ll find all this information covered in-depth elsewhere on our site. Stick around and explore a bit. We promise you’ll find everything you need to know about online casinos and betting sites in the US. If you can’t find the information you need, feel free to contact us. We’re always happy to help.