Online Gambling in the US: Is it Legal?
This is a common question for many US online casino players and a valid concern given the complicated state of online gambling in the USA. The complication occurs because the situation changes in the USA online casinos depending on which state you reside in. There are a handful of states that have legalized online gambling, and these have specific regulatory bodies that monitor online casinos in the state. Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are currently the only individual states that offer gambling licenses for online casinos.
Players in those states are restricted to playing at regulated gambling sites, which is by far preferable to playing at unregulated offshore gambling sites, as it gives you peace of mind and the security that your State’s licencing authority is monitoring the casino operator and its conduct. But for players like me who don’t reside in one of those jurisdictions and still want to enjoy the joys of online gambling, you’ll likely be tempted to turn to offshore online casinos that accept US players.
Offshore Gambling for US Residents
Firstly, although online casinos have only been legalised in a few states, you aren’t completely limited if you live in other states. Offshore casinos are still an option for US players who don’t live in a state where casinos are legally regulated. It’s always wise to check the laws in your jurisdiction before beginning any kind of online gambling, there are some penalties applicable, but they do vary depending on the state (some fines and imprisonment are possible). However, for playing at a casino online, USA players have rarely been arrested or fined; you should just be aware of the risks involved.
Now offshore gambling might conjure up images of scams and getting ripped off. It is definitely something that online casino USA players should keep in mind when considering where to play. As you all know, I’m a huge advocate of honesty and playing safe online, so it might surprise you that I’m not here to tell you to stay away from offshore gambling casinos.
Instead, I think it’s important to know the dangers and educate yourself about the situation in your state and how to find the genuine best US casinos online if you do choose to play. In my early days as a casino enthusiast, I made mistakes, so you don’t have to! Instead, I invite you to follow my guidance and recommendations for genuinely reliable and trustworthy online casinos for US players.
Tax Contributions for US Online Gambling
I see a lot of misinformation when it comes to online gambling and taxes, so I’d really like to clear up some of the important information surrounding paying taxes on your gambling winnings.
Firstly, US players should be aware that all gambling winnings are taxable. And yes, this includes income from overseas online casinos too. Basically, all income is taxable for US citizens.
Players at the state-licensed online casinos, will have winnings over $1200 on the slots and $600 on tables games automatically reported to the IRS and will receive a W2-G form. Under this amount and you’ll need to declare them yourself.
You might wonder where you stand if you’re living in a state where online gambling is not legalised. Well, you’re still liable to declare your taxes to the IRS. Granted, the government are unlikely to find out about any petty wins, unless you are individually audited by the IRS. But if they do, then you are at risk of paying back what you owe along with penalties, interest and for bigger tax evasion cases, imprisonment is on the cards: just ask Al Capone!
One small silver lining is that gambling losses can be deducted from your winnings; if you are an organized person and keep an organized record of your winnings, losses along with proof of such, that is.
US Land-Based Casinos
Home to some of the world’s biggest and most extravagant casinos; whether you prefer to roll the slot reels, try your hand at poker or throw down the dice at the craps table, the USA casino scene is simply the best! With over 900 casinos between the East and West Coasts, there are still many more I need to explore, but I have had some of my most memorable nights, dressed up to the nines at stunning casino establishments in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and a couple of brilliant casinos scattered across Arizona.
Of course, gambling at land-based casinos in the US is legal and extremely popular, not just for US residents but people all over the world who travel to experience the bright lights and glamour. While Las Vegas might be the most well-known place, and for a good reason, with show-stopping casinos like the Bellagio, Venetian and Aria, it’s generally easy for players to find a brick-and-mortar casino in their relative vicinity.
Top Casinos in the US
It would be criminal of me to lay out how to find and play at the best US online casinos, without actually giving you my top picks! So, here are a select few that I consider top quality in certain categories.
Step-by-Step: Get Playing at a US Online Casino
So, you’ve found what seems like the perfect US online site to play, but now you want to get down to the good stuff and start playing! I know that the anticipation of exploring the myriad of games can be so exciting, but there are some steps that we all need to take before we can jump on. By following these steps each time when joining a new casino, you’ll find your experience much more pleasant.
Check it’s Legit
First up, the most important thing is to see how to stand with your state’s gambling restrictions. In states where it’s legalised, you can look for locally regulated casinos. For those where it isn’t, you’ll need to look further afield, but staying safe relies on you checking whether the casino site has a gambling license from an offshore authority, such as Malta Gaming Authority or Curacao.
Browse the Bonuses
When joining as a brand customer at new usa online casinos, you’ll have the chance to take advantage of any welcome bonus the casino offers. These promotions are usually the best that a casino will offer, although it’s always important to check the conditions of any bonus. I’m sure you don’t want to miss out on cashing out by missing the validity period.
Account On It
You should have already had a good look at the games available on the site, but you probably noticed that you can’t get any further than that. Some US casino sites might let you try the demos before registering, but they are the exception, not the rule. So, if you are ready to play, you’ll need to input your details, create the account and sometimes confirm it using your contact details.
Show the Money
Unless you’ve bagged an ultra-coveted no-deposit bonus, it’s likely that you’ll need to deposit some money in your casino account to enjoy the slots and table games. Most casinos have a range of payment methods available; just ensure to choose one that’s compatible with your chosen bonus, and check the processing times and fees too.
Bonus Breakdown: Best US Online Casino Promotions
Almost every USA online casino will have some kind of bonus to attract new players or keep existing players topping up their accounts. I’ll let you in on a little secret, though; the majority of these promotions lean heavily in favour of the casino. It probably doesn’t surprise you, as after all, that’s how casinos function. But, despite this, there are still ways you can enhance your chances of benefitting from casino bonuses.
You’ll probably know all about the different kinds of bonuses available at US casinos, such as sign-up bonuses, match bonuses, no-deposit bonuses and my personal favourite, free spins! Although they all have different benefits, the degree of these will depend on the games and style of play that you prefer. As a slot enthusiast, who prefers living life on the edge with high-volatility games, I search for promotions loaded with free spins and make sure I am eligible to use them on the slots that I like.
To find the best US online casino promotions for you, you’ll need to keep in mind which games you enjoy, the amount you would usually top up and your budget. By checking the following features of the bonus will ensure you have the best chances of playing the casino system and withdrawing your bonus winnings on the other side.
- Minimum and maximum deposit
- Game contributions
- Game exclusions
- Validity period
- Wagering requirements
- Maximum winnings
- Payment method restrictions
Ultimate Ranking: Top 5 Casino Sites in the USA
If you’re looking for online casino real money USA enjoyment, then these casinos might just be for you. Playing with real money means you have access to some great bonuses too, so check out which one appeals to you.
Benefits and Downfalls: Playing at US Online Casinos
Although I have managed to forge a career from my passion for online gambling, I think it’s important to admit that there are some downfalls to the activity. As a result, for every honest review I give, I must point out the disadvantages that come with the territory. Players in the US have some different things to look out for, including checking how online gambling is monitored in your state. When choosing to play casino games online, these are things that you must keep in mind and weigh up.
- Convenient to play from anywhere, anytime
- Reputable US casinos are safe and secure to play at
- Huge selection of casino games to enjoy
- Plenty of fantastic bonuses to take advantage of
- Many payment options to choose from
- Lots of online casinos available for US players
- Not legal in all states, so you must check regulations and find a safe casino
- Some casinos have strict withdrawal limits and procedures
- Not all payment methods are available for US players
Entertainment Galore: Casino Games at US Casinos
We all know that the enjoyment of online gambling depends mostly on the game that we choose to play. Everyone has different preferences; I scout out the highest volatility slots to get my energy pumping, whereas others prefer the slower more calculated pace of the poker tables. Whatever your preference, you’re bound to find it in bucketloads at the best online US casinos. Here are some of the most popular games you’ll find across the board.
I just cannot get enough of the slots, especially when the options are so varied and the features continue to get more and more creative. Many US casinos will have hundreds of slot options, ranging from traditional fruit machines, to wacky Megaways slots. Some of my favourite features to look out for are expanding wilds and unique bonus games, but you can also find other exciting features like cascading reels, bonus-buy ins and win-both ways. Using filters in the US casino games catalogue and searching for the big name providers is usually the best way to find your perfect slot.
The online poker tables continue to draw in the crowds on many US online casinos. With tons of variations to choose from, such as classic Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Seven-card Stud, Razz and many more, it’s each to see why. As well as different rules, poker games will have different betting structures and formats to add some pizazz and keep things interesting. Many poker players also enjoy joining the live-dealer versions of the game and taking part in special tournaments for bigger prize opportunities.
Another popular card game that’s been popular for centuries and doesn’t look close to slowing down in popularity yet. Just like poker, you’ll find plenty of Blackjack variations at US casinos; one of my personal favourites is Blackjack Switch, where I’ll have to manouvre my cards between two hands to beat the dealer. One great thing about Blackjack is that the house edge is usually pretty low, so depending on the game format and your style of play, you’ll have a good chance of some good wins.
Although they are the most popular, American and European Roulette are not the only options you’ll find at the top US casinos online. One of the benefits of playing roulette online, is that there really is no limit to the space, so multi-wheel roulette is hugely popular, as it ups the excitement and the stakes. There are so many betting options with different odds for players, that my tip is to acquaint yourself with the paytable and stakes before you begin playing any variation.
Great Discoveries : Finding the Best Online Casinos in the USA
Although I have managed to attend some of the most spectacular land-based casinos during my time in the states, I never shy far away from my true love of online slots. So, during my many stateside escapades, I have tried and tested a ton of them and have whittled them down to a select few genuine quality casinos. I have a meticulous process when putting the casinos through their paces, and there are a some particular features that are simply uncompromisable. By ensuring that a casino has these features up to standard, I can safely recommend them to my readers.
The first thing I want to ensure when checking a new casino is how it stands up to the crowds! I do plenty of digging around to find out the enjoyment level of the players, reliability of the payouts and the general satisfaction. As always customers are more likely to relay negatives than positives, so the process also involves gathering information from many different sources to construct an overall picture of how the casino performs. Of cours, I expect the top US casinos to have a generally good reputation, but also deliver the goods when it comes to transaction times and big money wins.
There are many things that add to the overall quality of a casino, which at first glance might not be obvious to everyone. When you’ve been scrutinising online casino sites as long as I, you start to look past the initial glitz and glamour and look at the details. Previously, you could spot a good casino just by the visual quality of the platform, but now I have to carefully inspect the security protocols, the terms & conditions, how the platform functions on different devices, along with how it presents the games and the accessibility for players.
There are varying levels of customer service that you can expect to find at online casinos, some may only offer live chat, whereas other will also have a dedicated phone line and email address too. I personally don’t mind how I can contact casino support, but I expect to have a swift and adequate response from them on whichever channel I choose. To ensure this I prepare a range of queries and fire them off to put the support team through their paces. The best quality US casinos will show a solid commitment to their players by providing a knowledgable and helpful support structure.
While I wouldn’t consider this the main feature to base the quality of a casino on, it does still demonstrate a lot about the kind of service a player will get. Some can be distracted by the big promises offered with some casino bonuses, but there’s much more that needs to be confirmed behind the scenes to ensure you’re really getting a good deal. I go through the conditions and requirements of a casino’s bonuses to really see whether players have a fair chance. I also expect to see casino’s offering subsequent bonuses and loyalty rewards for players that choose to stay and play.
Bank On It: Payment Methods at US Online Casinos
US casino players will generally have a wide range of payment options available at online casinos, depending on what your preferred method is. As the USD is a powerful currency, you’ll find the vast majority can be used with the dollar. The amount and variety of payment options available at a casino is one of my tell-tale signs of a reliable gambling site. I have tried every payment method going; Litecoin casinos are up there with some of the best I have tried. But, there are so many methods available now, it can be difficult to decide which one to stick with. However, if you take into the convenience, any applicable fees and transaction times, you’ll find one that suits you perfectly. Here are some of the most common methods that you are likely to spot at US casinos online.
Looking for quality reliable online casinos in the USA doesn’t need to be a chore; as you’ve seen in our comprehensive review. There might be some important details that you should watch out for before beginning to gamble online, such as your state regulations and the conditions of the casino you choose. But, overall, online gambling in the states is more popular than ever and the number of secure and trustworthy online casinos is growing all the time.
So, if you’re ready to join the table and hopefully rake in the winnings, then I hope you’ll find my gambling insights helpful. And most important of all, I hope that they will keep you safe and direct you towards reliable and trustworthy sites in the industry.