Online gambling in the USA

Against the backdrop of legal uncertainty and restrictions placed on US financial institutions processing of American resident’s online gambling transactions by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), most large European based betting organizations are currently not accepting US player accounts. UIGEA was passed by the Bush administration in late 2006 and since then most large brand gambling organizations have discontinued their US facing operations until such time as UIGEA is repealed and replaced with a licensing and regulatory regime. For a more detailed discussion of UIGEA and its implications for players, visit our legal issues page.

Many online casinos still do accept US player accounts, highlighting the failure of UIGEA to bring about an effective prohibition to online gambling in the United States. However, in the live casino niche, US facing operators are not so easy to find. And while there are few out there, its fair to say that they fall well short of the quality of offering available to players from the rest of the world in many respects, including reputation, size and compliance with probity requirements of a rigorous regulatory authority.

[Update February 2013]

Following the Department of Justice’s publicly stated changed interpretation of the Wire Wager Act to say that it makes online sports betting illegal, but not online casino games, a number of US states have legalized intra-state online casino games. Delaware (2012), Nevada (2013) and New Jersey (2013) all now have legislation allowing locally licensed operators to offer online casinos games (online poker only for Nevada) to residents of that state.

The Delaware and New Jersey laws allow licensed casinos in that state to offer online versions of the types of games they currently offer on their casino floors. Live roulette, blackjack and/or baccarat video streamed from the floors of the Borgata, Tropicana, Trump Taj Mahal or any other Atlantic City casino may soon be available for play online by New Jersey residents. Similarly, residents of Delaware may soon be able to play tables on the floors at Delaware Park, Dover Downs or Harrington Raceway & Casino without leaving home.

[Update 2016: Licensed Live Dealers]

Online casinos licensed in Delaware and New Jersey started taking bets in November 2013. But, it would not be until 2016 that locally regulated and licensed live dealer options would become available to players in limited states of the US, thanks to a partnership between Ezugi and Golden Nugget Casino.

[Update November 2017: Pennsylvania]

Pennsylvania became the 4th US state to pass legislation allowing for licensing of local online casino operators. Evolution Gaming have since announced that they have been awarded an interactive gaming provider license from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Evolution plan to have a live dealer studio within state lines up and running some time in 2020.

[Update August 2018: New Jersey]

Players resident in New Jersey can now play live games powered by Ezugi (at Betfair Casino), or tables from Evolution Gaming‘s recently launched Atlantic City dealer studio (at 888 Casino and Unibet).

These are New Jersey licensed and regulated tables.

In-casino tables live streamed from the floors of a number of Atlantic City casinos, including the Hard Rock Casino, Ocean Resort Casino and Resorts Casino Hotel are expected to go online before the end of 2018.

[Update July 2020: West Virginia]

Following legislation passed in 2019 (West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act), July 2020 saw the launch of West Virginia’s first locally licensed online casino site.

There are now a handful of sites offering online sports betting and casino games to residents of West Virginia, including Draft Kings and BetMGM. As yet, live dealers are not offered by any of them.

[Update January 2021: Michigan]

On the eve of Christmas 2019, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed into law Michigan’s new online casino and sportsbetting laws. Locally licensed online casino and sports betting sites were expected to be up and running during 2020. This schedule was pushed back slightly, with licenses granted during December 2020. At the beginning of 2021, the Michigan Gaming Control Board announced that online gambling operations would launch mid January 2021.

Best live casinos for American players

With respect to US facing live casino, and for players living outside New Jersey, ‘best’ becomes more a question of which casinos accept US player accounts, rather than any consideration of how all the various regional criteria stack up.

Live casinos for US players
Casinos
Players from your location accepted
Player access
Deposits accepted and/or can maintain account in local currency
Banking
Toll free numbers from your country
Toll free support
local language site/support capabilities
Local language
games regionally focused
Games
 

BetOnline
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No restrictions Credit Card restrictions may apply
Can maintain account in US dollars
Toll free phone numbers for all US players YES baccarat
blackjack
European roulette