Legal Casinos in the US

The legalization of internet gambling in the U.S. includes landmark legislative efforts that span decades. However, the most apropos rendition of modern online gambling laws might come from across the pond.

In the lead-up to the passage of the monumental legislation that became known as the ‘Gambling Act 2005,’ British Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell (Labour Party) proclaimed the following:

"Our gambling laws [in the U.K.] date back to the 1960s. Since then attitudes to gambling have changed and the law has failed to keep pace with rapid technological change. [...] The law needs to reflect that."


The ‘Gambling Act 2005’ in the U.K. sought to regulate online gambling sites, and it served as a significant precursor to U.S. lawmakers’ future handling of the Federal Wire Act (1961) and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA).

We’ll examine the significance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 rulings, which assented to states’ rights to legalize sports betting while reaffirming online poker and online casinos.

Electoral processes at the state level in the U.S. often include long breaks between legislative sessions. If state lawmakers in separate chambers (assemblies/houses and senates) can’t agree on a singular bill, legislation usually gets delayed or “tabled” for later debate.

Various roadblocks stymie legislation for internet gambling, including the requirement that particular states sign gaming compacts with Native tribes for revenue sharing. Per the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (1988), legal gambling falls into three classes (Class I, II, and III) based on games of chance or skill.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) also sought to monopolize legal sports betting in Nevada. Thus, the Gambling Act 2005 in the U.K. likely influenced lawmakers in New Jersey to become entrenched in a legal battle with the U.S. Supreme Court, eventually overturning PASPA in 2018.

Legalizing online casinos is entirely different from sports betting legislation, especially since the Supreme Court declared specific federal regulations on sports betting unconstitutional.

What lies ahead for the online gambling market in 2024?


With more than half the U.S. offering legal online sports betting, the market continues to set new records. In comparison, only seven states have legal online casino gaming. With so many states yet to legalize online casinos, market analysts continue to forecast exponential growth through 2024 and beyond.

Online sports betting and iGaming (online casinos, online poker, etc.) generated over $5 billion in revenue for Q1 2024. For the quarter, online gaming amassed a record 29.3% market share within the commercial gaming sector, per the American Gaming Association.

States like Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, and New York have yet to legalize online casino gaming. While these states don't hold gubernatorial elections this November, their legislatures could see various shakeups in 2024 that may influence interactive gaming debates.

Before we cover the jurisdictions with possible future online casinos, we'll review the current states with legal iGaming.

Online sports betting continues to expand across the U.S., while interactive gaming must play catch-up. Online casinos and poker require special licensing and regulations. However, some jurisdictions offer a unique combination of legal online gambling for sports betting, casinos, and poker.

Here’s a look at seven states with successful gambling laws for online casinos.


Connecticut lawmakers legalized online gambling operations for casino games, sports betting, and lotteries in 2021. Per federal regulations, gambling expansions required amendments to gaming compacts with the state’s two Native tribes (the Mashantucket Pequot and the Mohegan Tribe).

Operating land-based casinos since the early 1990s, the Foxwoods Resort Casino and the Mohegan Sun partnered with DraftKings and FanDuel, respectively. Those two online casinos went live in October 2021, with slots, table games, video poker, and live dealer games now available.

By December 2021, Governor Ned Lamont (Democratic Party) announced the state collected $1.7 million from its first month of online gaming and sports betting (via the state lottery).


Delaware became the first state to legalize online casinos when former Governor Jack Markell (D) signed the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act in June 2012. Online gambling platforms went live in October 2013.

The First State signed the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) with Nevada in February 2014 to pool online poker rooms for revenue sharing across state lines.

Under the oversight of the state lottery (via partnerships with 888 Holdings and other software providers), Delaware began offering online casino games through three land-based operators: Bally’s Dover, Delaware Park, and Harrington Raceway & Casino.

BetRivers took over from 888 Holdings in 2023 to offer sports betting and online gaming in Delaware in 2024.


Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed two significant pieces of legislation in December 2019: the Lawful Sports Betting Act and the Lawful Internet Gaming Act. By January 2021, a handful of online gambling companies went live in the Great Lake State with casino games, online poker, and sports betting.

By 2023, Michigan generated nearly $2 billion in revenue from iGaming, beating New Jersey for the top spot by little more than $100,000.

With three land-based casinos in Detroit and 12 Native tribes, Michigan allows up to 15 online casinos (including mobile apps) to operate within the state.


Former New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak (D) introduced legislation to legalize online casinos in 2011. While former Governor Chris Christie (Republican Party) initially vetoed the bill, an amended version passed in February 2013.

New Jersey became the epicenter of analyzing ‘unlawful internet gambling’ via federal law (Wire Act), as various professional leagues sought to reverse course for legal sports bets. By 2018, newly-elected Governor Phil Murphy (D) continued to argue in favor of sports betting in the Garden State, with the Supreme Court overturning PASPA a few months into his first term.

While New Jersey signed onto the MSIGA in 2017, after the monumental decisions by the Supreme Court in 2018, the state became one of the industry’s top markets for online betting and casino gambling.

After Murphy signed a five-year online gaming extension in 2023, more than 30 legal online casino options and mobile apps in New Jersey are now available through 2028.


With a trajectory similar to its eastern neighbor, Pennsylvania lawmakers approved a statewide gambling expansion in 2017 for online gaming, including at airports and truck stops. The Keystone State became the fourth jurisdiction with legal online casinos when former Governor Tom Wolf (D) signed the internet gaming bill on October 30.

Due to a delay in implementing the new gambling laws, the state took nearly two years to launch online casinos in 2019.

As of 2024, Pennsylvania offers about 20 online casino options, including mobile apps. (The state's online gaming market also includes fantasy contests and lottery games.) Once PA signs onto MSIGA, in-state poker players may be able to play alongside out-of-state players.


Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee (D) signed Senate Bill 948 on June 22, 2023, to authorize iGaming for eligible in-state players. With oversight from the state lottery, Bally’s Corporation and its gaming company, Gamesys, gained a monopoly in partnership with software supplier IGT.

Bally’s launched its online casino and iOS mobile app in the Ocean State in March 2024. The app and desktop versions feature nearly 200 slots, table games, and live dealer titles. 


Forbes named West Virginia Governor Jim Justice (R) the wealthiest person in the state in 2019. That same year, Justice neither signed nor vetoed the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act. Lawmakers passed the legislation through both chambers in early 2019, with licensing and oversight granted to the West Virginia Lottery Commission.

As the fifth state to launch online casinos, iGaming went live in the Mountain State in July 2020. By law, the state’s five land-based casinos (including The Greenbriar, owned by Gov. Justice) can each offer up to three online casino options for 15 in-state operators.

In November 2023, West Virginia became the fifth state (including DE, MI, NJ, and NV) to sign onto MSIGA.


Online casinos generally become regulated in states with land-based casinos and legal sports betting. Most legal online casino options must partner with in-state operators for licensing and regulatory oversight.

Here’s a brief look at the gambling laws of various states that may be next to legalize online casino gambling.


Alabama State Representative Chris Blackshear (R) introduced two bills in February 2024 to amend the constitution to significantly expand gambling laws, including a gaming compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. However, the state senate rejected casino gaming and sports betting, potentially relegating a six-member committee to reach a compromise.

Governor Kay Ivey (R), who favors gambling expansion laws, won re-election in 2021 and thus will remain in office through 2025.


California uniquely benefits from a robust tax base that includes some of the world’s top technology companies. Two ballot measures (Proposition 26 and 27) to legalize sports betting on tribal lands and online and mobile sports wagering outside tribal lands failed to pass in 2022.

With a population of nearly 40 million (four times that of Michigan and New Jersey) and gaming compacts with almost 80 tribes, California is the largest untapped market yet to legalize online sports betting and iGaming.

As of this writing, the California Tribal Government Mobile and Retail Sports Betting Initiative remains off the ballot for 2024.


Legal sports betting went live in Colorado in May 2020. The state maintains a thriving market for regulated sports betting and about 40 land-based casinos.

Colorado Department of Revenue Executive Director Mark Ferrandino (D) announced in mid-July 2023 at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver that “talks are underway” for iGaming.


Florida has two federally recognized native tribes: the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians and the Seminole Tribe. To pass iGaming legislation, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) would need to expand compacts with the state’s two native tribes.

With DeSantis winning re-election in 2022, a thriving sports betting market could serve as an impetus for online casinos in Florida within the next few years, with a market similar to Connecticut's iGaming industry.


Georgia is one of a few states that ban casino gambling and sports wagering. However, in February 2024, a proposal to amend the state’s constitution to legalize casinos and retail and mobile sports betting passed through the Senate and committee but failed in the House.

The legislative session ended on March 29 this year after the Senate proposed a new gambling deadline of July 2, 2025. Depending on the November elections, voters must wait for the next legislative session for a date on a gambling referendum.


While Hawaii bans commercial gambling outright, state legislators introduced bills in early 2024 to legalize online sports wagering and poker. (Those efforts built upon the failures of previous online gambling laws.)

House Bill 2765 (sports wagering) passed the House in February, while Senate Bill 3376 (online poker and sports betting) passed in January. Neither bill passed through separate chambers before the end of Hawaii’s legislative session in May.


Regulated sports wagering went live in Illinois in March 2020. From 2021 until now, the state legislature has debated online casino legalization, with both chambers disagreeing on the same bill.

Two separate bills (the ‘Interactive Gaming Act’) await committee debate in the House and Senate. The legislative session in Illinois ends on May 24, 2024.


Retail and mobile sports wagering went live in Indiana in 2019. Since 2020, the Indiana Gaming Commission has investigated Spectacle Entertainment for its involvement with illegal campaign contributions to state politicians.

Former State Representative Sean Eberhart (R) pleaded guilty to a felony charge in November 2023 regarding his support of casino legislation that favored Spectacle. The scandal deflated any potential for iGaming legislation in 2024.


State lawmakers in Iowa introduced a bill in 2023 for ‘advance deposit wagering’ on gambling games. However, the bill only garnered a 1-0 vote in a Ways and Means subcommittee and failed to gain traction in 2024.


Online casino legislation in Maine bounced between the House and Senate in early 2024. The new gambling laws would have granted the state’s four native tribes (known collectively as the Wabanaki Nations) exclusive access to online casino licensing.

Main’s 131st Legislature began in 2023 and ended its second session on April 17, 2024, without passing online casino legislation. State lawmakers may pick up the iGaming debate in 2025.


Maryland State Senator Ron Watson (D) introduced online casino legislation in January 2024 via SB 603 to allow two online operators for each of the state’s six casinos. Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary (D) introduced internet gaming legislation via HB 1319 in February.

While SB 603 didn’t get far, HB 1319 reached the opposite chamber. However, the short hearing for HB 1319 took place on the same day as the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse. The 90-day legislative session adjourned less than two weeks later without further action on online casino bills.


Minnesota is one of three states with active sports wagering legislation. First introduced in February 2023, the bill was referred to various subcommittees and re-introduced in 2024. However, it failed to pass before the Senate adjourned on May 20.

Minnesota does not have a commercial casino, as the state’s 11 federally recognized tribes retain a near-monopoly. Thus, Governor Tim Waltz (D), who won re-election in 2022, would likely need to form gaming compacts to allow retail and online casinos outside tribal lands.


Missouri lacks regulated sports wagering, although there have been recent efforts to pass legislation, including from several in-state professional sports teams in 2024. While a ballot initiative failed last year, voters may approve a proposal this year via a Missouri Sports Betting Amendment.

Incumbent Missouri Governor Mike Parson (R) can’t run for re-election in 2024 since he replaced previous Governor Eric Greitens (who resigned in 2018). Legal sports wagering in Missouri and a new governorship could pave the way for the online gambling market in 2025 and beyond.


In 2023, a House Ways and Means Committee unanimously opposed legislation to legalize online casino-style games (except slots) in New Hampshire. Like in other jurisdictions, opposition groups cited fears about cannibalizing land-based casinos and problem gambling. Online casinos became a taboo subject for Granite State legislators in 2024.

New Hampshire voters elect a governor every two years without gubernatorial term limits. Governor Chris Sununu (R) retains the governorship until early 2025 after winning re-election in 2018, 2020 (with the most votes in state history) and 2022.

Sununu won't seek a fifth consecutive term in 2024. Thus, the state will have a new governor in 2025 for the first time in nearly a decade.


New York first legalized sports wagering in 2013, but federal laws prohibited in-state sportsbooks from opening until 2019, one year after the overturning of PASPA. State Senator Joe Addabbo introduced iGaming legislation in early 2022 and again in 2023.

Addabbo brought a previous bill back in 2024 alongside a companion bill from Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow. (The interactive gaming law in the state assembly also included an online lottery.)

Both bills stalled in early 2024, while the current legislative session ends on June 6.


Legal sports wagering went live in North Carolina in March 2024. State legislators may wait to see how much revenue the new gambling laws generate before considering any expansions.

There are only three casinos in North Carolina and one federally recognized Native tribe (the Eastern Band of Cherokee). A new governor elected in November would likely have to form a gaming compact with the tribe to permit online casinos.


Ohio has 11 casinos, including racinos and standalone locations. While state lawmakers legalized daily fantasy sports in 2018, legal sports wagering didn’t launch until January 2023.

Casino and digital gaming interest groups lobbied Ohio lawmakers to consider regulations for iGaming in early 2024. The passage of the state’s two-year budget in 2023 requested a study committee to report on the future of gambling in the Buckeye State. Those findings are due to the General Assembly by June 30.


With a population of 30 million (as of 2022), Texas is home to only three land-based casinos, each located on tribal lands. There’s no current legislation for Texas lawmakers to legalize sports wagering.

Texas is one of over a dozen states with no term limits on governors. Governor Greg Abbott (R), who’s been in office since 2015 and won re-election in 2018 and 2022, will not be up for re-election again until 2026.

While Abbott eased his stance on gambling in the last two years, sports wagering legislation in the House and Senate failed to gain traction in 2023. Since Texas legislators only meet once every other year, they could take up gambling expansion laws again in 2025.


The Virginia General Assembly passed legislation in 2019 to let voters decide whether they wanted casinos in five cities. Voters approved four casinos in November 2020 while denying a casino in Richmond in 2021 and 2023. Legal sports wagering launched between 2020 and 2021.

Governor Glenn Youngkin (R), who won a first term in 2021, signed bills in 2024 to permanently remove Richmond from consideration as a host city for a Virginia casino. No online casino laws are pending in the House or Senate.


There are four tribal casinos in Wyoming, operated by two federally recognized tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Representative Robert Davis (R) introduced House Bill 120, an interactive gaming law, on February 7, 2024. Eight days later, the bill failed to pass an introductory phase by 17 votes.

After adjourning on March 8, 2024, the next legislative session begins in Wyoming on the second Tuesday of January 2025.

Each regulated online casino goes through an application approval and licensing process. To permit any online gaming activity within the gambling industry (including online lotteries and wagering on sporting events), operators must abide by the guidelines established by in-state gaming enforcement agencies.

Here’s a brief look at the timeline of legal interactive gaming in the U.S.

  • June 2012: Delaware state lawmakers approved the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act for legal iGaming.
  • 2013: Nevada legalized online poker on February 21. New Jersey passed legislation to permit iGaming (casino gambling and poker) on February 26. Online gambling launched in Delaware on October 31. Online casinos launched in New Jersey on November 21.
  • 2017: Pennsylvania state legislators passed a law in October to legalize interactive gaming.
  • 2018: The U.S. Supreme Court overturned PASPA in favor of New Jersey and states’ rights to license and regulate sports wagering. A few states, including DE, NJ, and PA, passed legislation immediately to permit sports bets at retail locations before legalizing online sports betting.
  • 2019-2024: Mobile sports wagering expands to 30 states, including Washington, D.C. Several states also launched iGaming: West Virginia (July 2020), Michigan (January 2021), Connecticut (October 2021), and Rhode Island (March 2024).


Federal laws dictate that states must form gaming compacts with Native tribes for licensing and revenue-sharing purposes. However, the federal government doesn’t get to determine what’s legal for interactive gaming at the state level.

While the Wire Act and the UIGEA sought to penalize illegal gambling via interstate payment systems, individual states retain their rights regarding online gambling within their borders.

A federal law to legalize interactive gaming may work for some jurisdictions. Still, it could also result in numerous legal battles—which the Supreme Court already overturned in 2018 in favor of states' rights.


Most states require players to be at least 21 to gamble online. Certain jurisdictions may have a lower age limit of 18 for an online lottery or pari-mutuel horse racing. However, players must often be 21 to register an account at an online casino.

Online gambling laws pertain to different types of casino games, with slots and blackjack being the most popular options. The U.S. gambling industry offers entertaining games from the world’s top software providers, such as IGT, Light & Wonder, and NetEnt.


Players in legal jurisdictions get access to hundreds, if not thousands, of online slots. Some online casinos feature slots with progressive jackpots into six and seven figures.

You can view the top slots from a category like ‘Hot’ or ‘Trending Now.’ Popular titles include:

  • 88 Fortunes
  • Big Money Frenzy Jackpot Royale
  • Bison Fury
  • Blood Suckers
  • Cash Eruption
  • Cash Machine
  • Cleopatra
  • Divine Fortune
  • Fortune Coin
  • Wheel of Fortune-themed titles


While online slots typically offer return-to-player (RTP) averages around 95% to 96%, traditional blackjack offers a house edge of less than one percent with an optimal strategy. There are dozens of online blackjack games, including variants like Blackjack Xchange and Infinite Blackjack (live dealer).

Instead of placing a bet at slots and hoping to get lucky with each spin, blackjack players can use some knowledge and strategy to reduce the casino advantage. We recommend playing variants that offer the option to surrender; the dealer stands on 17, and the house pays 3 to 2 for a natural blackjack.

Popular blackjack games include:

  • Blackjack Poker & Pairs
  • Blackjack with Surrender
  • Multi-Hand Blackjack
  • Power Blackjack
  • Single Hand Blackjack


Poker games at online casinos include ‘carnival games’ with community cards in a player-versus-dealer format. While BetMGM and Borgata offer a Poker vertical for cash games and multi-table tournaments, most online casino platforms only provide carnival games.

Top options include:

  • Caribbean Stud
  • Four Card Poker
  • Fortune Pai Gow Poker
  • Three Card Poker
  • Ultimate Texas Hold’em


If you’ve ever visited Atlantic City or Las Vegas, you’ve most likely seen roulette, among other popular table games. While retail casinos may only offer American Roulette with two green pockets (0, 00), online roulette variants include European and French, with only one green pocket and lower house edges.

Online players can choose from the following roulette games:

  • Auto Roulette
  • American Roulette
  • European Roulette
  • First Person Roulette
  • French Roulette
  • Lightning Roulette
  • Live Casino Floor Roulette
  • VIP European Roulette


Compared to online slots and table games offering minimum bets as low as $0.01 to $0.10, craps generally requires at least $0.50 to $1 to bet online. There’s a complicated betting system for craps in contrast to the simplicity of slots or even wagering at blackjack and roulette.

Evolution Gaming provides a Live Craps game in addition to the following options:

  • Live Craps
  • Exclusive Craps Games
  • First Person Craps
  • Virtual Craps


If automated craps dealers aren’t your thing, and you’d like to try something different from blackjack and roulette—baccarat is an excellent option. Baccarat players can choose from three main bets: player, banker, and tie.

The objective of baccarat is to get an 8 or 9 from a two-card hand (with various scenarios requiring a third card). Twos through nines retain their values, face cards (Jack, Queen, King) represent zero, and Aces get valued at one. Any card total above ten removes the first digit or subtracts ten (i.e., 6+7 = 13 - 1 = 3 // 7+7 = 14 - 10 = 4).

Banker bets offer a house edge of around 1.06% or an RTP of 98.94%, often requiring a 5% commission.

Here are some of the most popular baccarat games:

  • Baccarat Dragon Bonus (live dealer)
  • Baccarat Control Squeeze (live dealer)
  • High Limit Squeeze Baccarat
  • First Person Golden Wealth Baccarat
  • First Person Lightning Baccarat
  • Live Dealer Baccarat
  • Lunar New Year Baccarat
  • No Commission Baccarat
  • Speed Baccarat (live dealer)
  • Virtual Baccarat


We’ve covered some popular live dealer games, including baccarat, blackjack, craps, and roulette. Most online casinos list their live dealer titles in a dedicated category. Click on a live dealer game to view the table limits, usually from $0.10 to $10,000.

Here are a few more popular live dealer options (including game shows):

  • Blackjack en Español
  • Casino Hold’em
  • Crazy Coin Flip
  • Crazy Time
  • Dream Catcher
  • Lightning Dice
  • Mega Ball
  • Speed Super Sic Bo
  • Top Card Football Studio
  • Unlimited Blackjack


Online casinos adhere to Responsible Gaming (RG) protocols to educate players about problem gambling. First-time players can learn how to play casino games and understand the randomness of outcomes.

To avoid problem gambling, players can use specific tools to set limits on deposits, sessions, and losses. Via their account dashboards, players can also take a break ('cool off' period) for 72 hours or up to a year. Longer breaks are available by placing oneself on an in-state self-exclusion list for one to five years or with a permanent ban.

Contact 1-800-GAMBLER if you think you or someone you know has a gambling problem.


We’ve covered interactive gaming in various jurisdictions, including states with the potential for online casinos in the future. Eligible players can learn about the following legal online casino states and contact their state representatives, wherever possible, to participate in the legalization process.

StateBillOnline Gambling Launch Date
ConnecticutHB06451October 2021
DelawareHB 333November 2013
MichiganLawful Internet Gaming Act 152 of 2019January 2021
New JerseyAssembly Bill 2578November 2013
PennsylvaniaAct 42 of 2017 (HB 271)July 2019
Rhode IslandSenate Bill 948March 2024
West VirginiaHouse Bill 2934July 2020


If you’ve got any remaining questions about gambling online, we’ve answered some common FAQs below.


Gambling online includes casino games (slots, table games, video poker, etc.), poker, fantasy sports, sports betting, and interactive lotteries.


Illegal gambling may include online platforms regulated offshore or any site not authorized by an in-state gaming enforcement agency.


To gamble legally online, you must register for an account at casino sites, platforms, or mobile apps regulated in the U.S.


Nearly three dozen states allow online sports wagering, but only seven permit online casinos (CT, DE, MI, NJ, RI, PA, and WV). Nevada regulates online poker but not online casinos.


Gambling at online casinos remains safe if you play at sites and mobile apps regulated in the U.S.


States legalize interactive gaming through legislation that passes both legislative chambers and gets signed by a governor. Some states may require constitutional amendments that pass via ballot initiatives or voter referendums.