There are currently not too many ways to play legally in online casino USA, because there are only a few states in which online gambling has been legalized. There are different types of online gambling that are legal in the US. This includes online sports betting, online lotteries, but also casino games and online poker.
Online gambling is just as legal in some states as any other land-based gambling in the US. However, caution is advised, because not every provider that accepts players from the United States of America runs the game on a legal basis. In USA online casinos, as well as in all other online gambling halls worldwide, a license is required so that gambling can be regulated. Not every website that offers online casino games for US citizens is legal.
US states with legal online gambling offers
In some states of the USA, the legal range of gambling is limited to different types of games. In the following table we want to give you an overview of which type of gambling is legal in which US state and which is not permitted. The information is correct as of February 2022.
|US state||Online casino games||Online poker||Online sports betting||Online lottery|
Sports betting is now allowed in all 50 US states, although this statement only refers to betting in stationary betting shops. When it comes to online sports betting, things are a little different again, because Delaware and Illinois don’t allow them in online casino USA, for example. As you can see in the table, every kind of online gambling is now allowed in Pennsylvania, while legal online gaming in many other states is restricted to online sports betting or lotteries. But why is that so?
That is why casino games in the online casino USA are only possible in individual US states
The explanation is relatively simple. Similar to how it was in online casino Germany in recent years, it is now also in online casino USA. Legal gambling in Germany was only permitted for citizens of Schleswig-Holstein, as it was the only federal state that had a gambling license.
A state government drafts and passes a bill allowing certain types of online gambling. The types of games specified in this new law will then be regulated in the same way as games in land-based arcades, casinos or arcades.
Of course, many players from other parts of Germany have also taken part in online gambling in recent years. Even after the entry into force of the new German State Treaty on Gambling , the legislation had and still has gaps that still make it possible to play, for example in EU-licensed casinos. German players could and still can use a legal gray area. This is not so easy in online casinos USA, because service agreements, as they exist within the EU states, do not exist in this form in the United States.
In these states, land-based gambling and online casino USA is illegal
Two US states do not allow gambling at all: Utah and the island state of Hawaii. But why is it like that? The Hawaiians, for example, fear that as soon as they legalize casinos, gambling halls, etc., they will attract unwelcome clients to their beautiful Pacific island, which could disrupt the peaceful and family coexistence. Casinos would destroy the charm of the entire archipelago – so you think. Accordingly, the islanders of the US state are not allowed to play for real money in the online casino USA.
There is no regulatory agency in Utah. There is only one law that prohibits gambling. This legislation is justified by the fact that in the US state of Utah the largest proportion of the population consists of Mormons. They are not allowed to gamble for religious reasons. So why should one give here a state license in order to possibly challenge one or the other resident to sin?! Is it any wonder that from time to time individual citizens from the US state of Utah use the nearby border with Nevada to dare the game of great luck in the land-based casinos permitted there, for example in Las Vegas? You can’t blame them.
This is how you can tell if you can play legally at online casino USA
If you scroll to the bottom of an online casino website that accepts US citizens, you can discover the logos of the gaming supervisory authorities of the individual states in which gambling in the respective casino is permitted, regulated, fair and legal.
For example, New Jersey is governed by the Division of Gaming Enforcement, while Pennsylvania is regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. As soon as you don’t find any mention of your respective state and no logo of the responsible gambling supervisory authority, you can assume that gambling with this provider is not allowed for the players of this state, i.e. it is illegal.
Real money online gambling sites in USA are only legal if they are state regulated by a country specific regulator. For US residents, playing online slot machines, online sports betting, and online lotteries is illegal in any other jurisdiction outside of your own US state.
The range of games in the online casino USA
The online casinos USA usually offer the complete range of games of chance. These include, of course, the coveted online slot machines, but also table games such as poker, roulette, blackjack and the like. The online slot machines come from the same software manufacturers as the land-based casinos and arcades. Therefore, the design, graphics, features and gameplay are like the well-known favorite titles. It is clear that most providers do not do without progressive jackpot slots, sports book and lottery offers.
Payment options in US online casinos
As in almost all online casinos worldwide, online casino USA accepts credit card and debit card payments. The prepaid card and Paypal are also popular means of payment in US casinos. Transfers are also possible. A bank transfer or a check can be requested for the withdrawal of winnings. eWallets are also becoming increasingly popular.
Most transactions are processed within a few hours, although some payment methods may take longer. Nevertheless, even in this case it is only a few days that you have to wait for the payout. There may be delays with the first deposit or withdrawal because verification has to take place first.
Minimum gambling age in the United States of America
Each state in the USA has its own gambling laws, which is why there are also differences in the minimum gambling age. Gambling is generally restricted to over 18s across the country, but each state generally sets its own gambling age. For example, individual states have enshrined the minimum age of 21 in their legislation.
For players from Germany it may seem unusual that there are even different lower age limits for the different types of gambling in individual US states. Different minimum ages apply there for lotteries, online poker, online games and sports betting.
Since 2017, Nevada has had a bill to lower the minimum gambling age to 18. Supporters believe that players old enough to serve the state are old enough to play for real money at the casino in the desert city of Las Vegas. Such an application had been made a decade earlier, but both came to nothing.
Government officials see many problems in lowering the gaming age and even the casino industry never really supported the proposal and idea at the time. Without support from politicians and without the pressure of the games industry, the law lowering the gaming age to 18 in Nevada will probably never pass.
The regulation of the gambling industry in the USA
Each state in the USA has its own legislation. Not just when it comes to gambling. Some of the individual states even have very strange laws that leave some with a big question mark on their foreheads. Would you like some examples?
- For example, in Alabama , driving a vehicle while blindfolded is against the law.
- Alaska allows a bear to be shot. But by law you can’t wake him up from his sleep for a photo.
- It is illegal to reverse a vehicle in Glendale, Arizona .
- Arkansas allows men to hit or spank their wives “only once a month”(!).
The list of the craziest laws in the USA is endless and easily searchable on the internet for those interested. But we actually want to devote ourselves here to the legislation in terms of gambling in the United States and the respective regulation.
Each US state has its own gambling law that allows and regulates, or even prohibits, the various types of gambling. In states where casino gaming is legal, there is usually a gaming control board in place. This body oversees government regulation in the industry. Although illegal gambling is considered a federal crime in many forms, the federal government leaves it up to individual states to decide whether to allow and therefore regulate gambling, or to ban gambling altogether.
US Gambling and Taxes
Winnings from gambling are considered income in the USA, known as gambling income. Gambling winnings are thus treated like any other form of income, and as such, federal income taxes must also be paid on the winnings. However, there are certain thresholds for each type of game that the profit must exceed in order to be considered subject to federal income tax.
If the following profit amounts are exceeded, a flat rate of 24% federal income tax is due.
|game type||Taxable from a profit amount of|
|Keno||$1500 (minus stake)|
|Poker Tournaments||$5000 (minus buy-in or stake)|
|Betting pools, lottery and sweepstakes||$5000|
|Other types of gambling (e.g. horse betting)||if win is greater than 300 times the stake (minus stake)|
Conclusion on online casino USA
As the report shows, gambling is perfectly legal in some states of the United States of America, even at online casino USA. If you are looking for a suitable virtual casino, you should look at the bottom of the USA Casino website to see whether the game offer is permitted for the respective state. You should be able to find a note about the US state regulator there. If there is no link or logo, it could be an illegal provider.
US online casino winnings may be subject to federal taxes. A small overview can be found in this list in the section above. The tax liability also applies to winnings obtained in land-based gambling.
If you are a citizen of Germany and want to play online in a casino in the USA, for example during a holiday or a business trip, you can use your browser to call up the usual online casino and play there. Never tried? Here we have listed the currently best online casinos for players from Germany for you: