If you want to play online slots, you’ll need a state-licensed site. That’s the only way to be sure you’re playing a game that is safe and fair. If you want to gamble for real money, you must be 21 or older and meet all other state gambling requirements.
In the US, gambling is legal on a state level, so individual states have the power to approve and regulate casino games, sports betting and poker in their own jurisdictions. This allows more Americans to wager legally on the internet than ever before.
However, even as lawmakers in several states open up new opportunities for gaming, federal laws remain major obstacles for players. Fortunately, a recent Supreme Court decision has opened the door for federal changes, but these will take time to pass.
The main issue is the 1961 Wire Act, a law that was written before the Internet existed and does not apply to digital wagering. However, it does prohibit payments from online gambling sites to players across state lines. This has limited the number of states that have approved iCasino and poker platforms, as well as preventing them from forming interstate partnerships to pool player pools.
Fortunately, some lawmakers have been willing to challenge these restrictions and have introduced legislation to change them. While it’s unclear if any such bill will make it through Congress, the industry is optimistic that the status quo will eventually be changed for the better.
New Jersey became the first state to allow its residents to legally play iCasino and poker in 2013. Pennsylvania joined them in 2017 and West Virginia followed in 2021. These early adopters have proven that these forms of gambling are not only popular, but can generate significant tax revenues for their state governments.
These gains have also encouraged many lawmakers to reconsider their stance on other types of online gaming. Some have already moved to decriminalize the activity, while others have begun to see that iGaming platforms do not bring about the social ills some fear. It will take years to open the doors to all types of new gaming platforms, but more states are on the verge of doing so than ever before.
Until then, players in the United States can find a wide variety of real-money online casino games and sportsbooks on their computer or mobile device. With the exception of Nevada (which only allows its citizens to play physical slot machines), most states have legalized online gaming of some form. You can learn more about each jurisdiction by visiting our State-by-State guide to the latest online gambling regulations. Our expert team has also created a list of the best US-based casinos, sportsbooks and poker sites to help you get started.