Regulation of Online Casinos in USA
Each state has a commission or other form of regulatory authority to oversee the entire online gambling that is carried out there. For example, the Indiana Gaming Commission or the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
This is the governing body that issues licenses and controls the operators in their state. In theory, any professional gambling operator can approach them to apply for a license. In any state, the best online casino USA players can access is one that is regulated by the correct, local authorities.
Each state has its own list of requirements that operators must comply with, and the number of licenses issued for USA online casinos also varies by state. Some states that have only recently approved online wagering have just a couple of authorized casinos, while other places that have allowed gambling for longer have more licensed operators on their books.
Playing at Licensed USA Online Casinos
The process for signing up to the top online USA casinos and verifying your identity is very similar in all of the different American states, although there are some differences you may notice. You should start by seeing which site is legal in your state and has a welcome offer and range of games that interest you.
Typically, you will need to enter your basic personal details, such as name and address. Then some casinos, such as those in New Jersey, will ask for your social security number to verify your identify. If you aren’t asked to verify your identity when registering, you may be asked to do so before withdrawing any winnings at a later date.
At some point, you may also be asked to upload ID on to the site, such as your driving license or other form of photo ID and something with your address on it. 21 is the typical minimum age for players in online casinos for USA players in many states, such as New Jersey and Colorado, although players over 18 may be able to access other types of online wagering. California is one of the states that allows access to casinos from the age of 18.
Until you sign up, your access will be restricted to certain parts of the site, although some operators will let you practice on their demo games even before you register with them. Once you are registered, you will be able to access everything that the site has to offer.
Leading USA Online Casinos
Payment Options at US Online Casinos
The best USA online casinos offer you a wide variety of ways of moving your money in and out of the site. Bank cards such as Visa and Mastercard are among the most popular options in the USA, due to the ease of use that they offer. These cards also have the benefit of allowing you to top up your account instantly, but high-rollers might find that the upper limit is a little bit restrictive.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is a relatively new option that is becoming more popular these days. It is usually close to instant in terms of deposit processing times and the limits in place tend to be quite high too. The best online casinos that payout USA players in cryptocurrencies will allow for virtually instant withdrawals too, but some will have a waiting time in place for any withdrawal method.
E-wallets perhaps aren’t quite as popular here as they are in some other countries, but PayPal remains a good choice with fast processing times and decent limits. Bank transfers and checks can be used in many casinos but they often have longer processing times that make them slightly less popular now.
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Bonuses in USA Online Casinos
A variety of bonuses are offered by the USA accepted online casinos. The most common is a welcome bonus that boosts your first deposit by a certain percentage (such as 100% or 200%) when you first sign up and add funds. You then need to play through any winnings that you claim by the number of times that is mentioned on the site, which is often somewhere between 40x and 60x.
No-deposit bonuses are less common but have the advantage of allowing you to start playing for real money before you put down any of your own cash. Again, it will be a requirement for you to play through any funds you win the number of times mentioned in the casino’s terms and conditions page.
Free spins on the most popular slots are becoming increasingly common in online casinos in the USA too. They may be offered in addition to one of the bonuses mentioned earlier, or on their own. Either way, the value of the free spins and the number of times that winnings should be played through before withdrawal need to be clearly stated on the offer.
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Games and Developers Featured at the Best USA Online Casinos
Most of the biggest name casino game developers are present in the casinos that are authorized in the US.
Some developers that are hugely popular in Europe and elsewhere are only available in certain American markets. For example, New Jersey residents can play NetEnt’s famed collection of games, including Starburst and Gonzo’s Quest. Playtech is another big-name slots brand that is present in New Jersey, while the renowned Microgaming catalog was blocked here for years and is unavailable in some states.
The American online casino market is still evolving, meaning that many casinos offer a relatively small selection of developers just now. Over time, we expect operators to move into line with their European counterparts, who typically offer hundreds or even thousands of games from the numerous different developers that are licensed in each market.
A global leader in gambling technology, Playtech expanded its market presence to the USA, supplying the games for bet365 and having been granted regulatory approval by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
NetEnt has expanded its global reach and is well-positioned on the North American market. Holding licensed in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, NetEnt supplies a number of US online casinos with its award-winning games.
Evolution was the first live casino software provider to open a studio in the USA. Launched in 2018, their New Jersey studio offers a number of card and table games with exciting features.
Live USA Online Casinos
Live dealer games are starting to make more of an impact here, too. The global leader is, arguably, Evolution, and they have recently started making inroads into the US market. You can find their live games on some New Jersey casinos and it seems likely that they will soon appear in other states too.
The agreements in place with US online casinos so far have seen Evolution’s games hosted in American sites. With many online casinos also being part of a land-based entertainment chain this makes perfect sense and means that players get access to the latest games with a local flavor. Some casinos still offer their own live casino games streamed from their premises, but the trend appears to be moving towards the use of major live dealer operators.
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The Availability of Legal Gambling Products in USA
The different ways of wagering are available according to the exact legislation in place in each state. This means that you can access some of the top American casinos in Pennsylvania but your options are more limited in Virginia. Meanwhile, in Iowa and Rhode Island, only sports betting is allowed on the internet.
The following table lets you see exactly what is currently available in each state where online betting is legal and regulated.
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More Information When Needed
Since the introduction of online casinos in the USA is still quite recent, it seems likely that some players will look for extra help when getting started. The good news is that all responsible casinos will offer a FAQ section, with live chat also often available around the clock.
In terms of responsible gambling, casinos should also publish information on this important subject for their players. The National Problem Gambling Helpline Network (1-800-522-4700) is one of the most useful resources in the country if you are seeking help with any issues related to betting online.
The Gamblers Anonymous website is another resource that can be accessed by American players when they need some help. In addition, each state provides help, such as the following:
- Arizona Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc.
- California Council on Problem Gambling
- Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling
- Council on Compulsive Gambling of NJ
- Delaware Council on Gambling Problems
- Indiana Problem Gambling Help Line at (800) 994-8448
- Nevada Council on Problem Gambling
- PA Gambling Addiction 24-hour hotline at 1-800-GAMBLER
- Problem Gamblers Help Network of West Virginia at 1-800-426-2537
- Tennessee Problem Gambling Helpline: 901-678-3736
In terms of dispute resolution, the first step should be to speak to the casino in question. If the issue still isn’t solved then you can contact the local regulatory authority with the details. Each casino’s license is dependent upon them sticking to the laws in place, so the authorities will look into any case in which they seem to be treating players poorly or not sticking to their agreements.
Are all casinos that accept US players safe to use?
The safe options are the online casinos for USA players that have a license for the state you live, as they are regulated by the relevant authorities and have all of the necessary controls in place to keep you safe.
How do I choose the right casino for my needs?
Take a look through the list of approved USA casinos in your state, to see what bonuses they offer and the games that they include. They are all good options, so it just comes down to your personal taste and what feels right to you.
What if my state currently doesn’t allow real-money online casinos?
There are a number of American states that still don’t allow real-money casinos. In this case, you might like to see what other type of betting options are legal there, such as sports betting or social casino games.
Are online casino as safe as land casinos?
Yes, they all have to follow a strict code in order to retain their licenses. Similar games are offered in both types of casino in the USA, and the chances of winning should also be pretty much the same. Indeed, many of the main operators have both land-based and online casinos in their portfolio.
How do I know that these casinos are fair?
USA-regulated casinos all use a random number generator to ensure a fair, random result every time. They only use professional software providers who give them safe, fair games where your chances of winning are clearly stated in the return to player (RTP).
Can I sign up to more than one casino in the US?
There is nothing to stop you from signing up to as many online casinos for American players as you want to. If your state only has a few approved casinos, then you might want to sign up to all of them to ensure that you are able to play with a good degree of variety.
Does any casino online for USA players have a loyalty program?
Yes, many of them have programs that let you accumulate points as you play, to later them into cash rewards. Some casinos also link into existing land casino loyalty schemes, so it is worth looking into if you are already a member of one of these programs.
Which online casinos for US players are best?
It is really just down to personal preference. Provided that you only choose from the sites that are fully licensed to operate in your state then you can’t go wrong. Check out our latest online casino reviews for USA players to see which casino might suit you best just now.
What casino bonuses are best for American players?
Any type of bonus is welcome, but some players prefer to get free spins and others like a deposit bonus. A no-deposit bonus is also a good choice if you want to give a site a try before committing any of your money to it.
How do I sign up to a legal casino in the US?
The sign-up process is easy, with usually just two or three steps needed for you to enter your personal details and set up an account. Your social security number may be needed for verification purposes, and then you are ready to start playing for real cash.