Legal online gambling operators in the USA
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Of the 50 states in the USA, only few have thus far granted licences for operators to legally provide online gambling services to US citizens. While horse racing and lotteries remain tolerated to a large extent everywhere as somewhat a grey area, other forms of gambling such as virtual casino, poker and sports betting remain under strict regulation in most of the United States of America.
While most states continue to ban internet gambling, Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware have permitted, to various degrees, online gambling activities within their states. This article offers a list of legal operators where players can play legally and without risk.
If operators are able to meet the required safety and ethical standards established in these states, it is likely that other states will rapidly follow suit. Betminded has also drawn up a list of state's to watch for upcoming developments in the realm of online gaming and gambling.
- - Ultimate Poker
- - WSOP
- - Real Gaming
- - Aceplay
- - Watch and Wager
- - Further information
- New Jersey
- - 888 Poker
- - The Borgata
- - Betfair Casino
- - PartyPoker
- - Harrah's Casino
- - Caesar's Casino
- - Golden Nugget Casino
- - Tropicana Casino
- - Virgin Casino
- - Ultimate Casino
- - Ultimate Poker
- - Further information
- - Delaware Park
- - Dover Downs
- - Harrington Gaming Online
- - Further information
- States to watch
- - Florida
- - Massachusetts
- - Pennsylvania
Currently, the state of Nevada only allows online poker in the realm of internet gambling. Although casinos are still outlawed on the internet, certain sites do offer poker to players residing in Nevada. The operators licensed to provide these services to residents of the state of Nevada are the following:
The site, also available to players in New Jersey, has been licensed by the state of Nevada to offer online poker games for real money. To join games, players should first download the software available from their site. Then, members may register and be awarded a first deposit bonus of $500 maximum to be spent on the site.
Once players have downloaded the software and completed the registration steps, they may access games and tournaments in Texas Hold'em or Omaha, with Limit or No Limit pots.
The world-famous World of Series of Poker – the world's largest poker tournament – now offers players in Nevada to play on their website. To do so, players should first register and download the software which is compatible with Windows and Mac computers. Registration is accompanied by a welcome offer for first deposits of 100% bonus up to $1,000. The site offers tables for Sit & Go games as well as tournaments in Texas Hold'em, Omaha, and Seven Card Stud.
WSOP rewards regular players with a loyalty scheme through Action Player Points which grant access to different levels of promotions.
The first free-play poker site to be launched in the state of Nevada allows players to access virtual poker rooms and play real money directly from their smartphone. Users wishing to download the app register will have to do so via an iPhone or Android phone so that their location may be verified before they log in and start playing.
The promotions on the site do not grant new players a welcome package, however certain promotional offers can be won simply by playing: for example the highest hand at the end of the designated hour wins cash, and a royal flush won between certain specified hours can unlock a cash bonus of $1000.
Based out of Las Vegas, NV Ace Play Poker offers players a legal solution for playing free online poker. The account is free to open, and does not come with a welcome offer. As of now, its license for organizing paid games is still pending, but the site already offers prizes for winners including many gifts from their parent casino: The Stratosphere. To play, users should register via the internet, download the software and choose a table from Texas Hold'em, Omaha, 5 Card Stud or 7 Card Stud and begin.
Betminded will notify users in future if AcePlay starts to offer real money games.
Watch and Wager
This is the first online gaming site that specializes in horse and greyhound racing betting options. Its free to register and the operator offers members the advantage of watching racing events from all around the world including old racing performances. The site is run in real time which means that registered members get the best odds. Watch and Wager is run under the state of Nevada however it is also registered to the North Dakota Racing Commission.
For more detail on online gambling options available in the state of Nevada, refer to the Nevada Gaming Commission's website. Certain activities such as casinos do remain illegal at this time in the silver state.
Alternately, if you are wondering if an operator has a legal status in the state of Nevada, look on their web page for the logo below which asserts that the operator has been granted a license by the state to legally offer gambling.
At the moment, the DGE (New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement) only allows casinos already registered for physical gambling on their premises to apply for online gambling licences. Operators which do not meet these criteria are outlawed from carrying their activities in the state.
The casinos having secured a licence from the state of New Jersey to operate as online casinos and poker rooms are listed below.
The 888 online casino and poker room is playable only from the state of New Jersey. Although players may create accounts and deposit money from all states in the USA, they may only play when located in the Garden State. Affiliated to Bally's Park Place Casino, of Atlantic City, NJ, the site offers players attractive welcome bonuses such as $10 free in the casino and a bonus of over $888 in the poker room.
The site has also developed an app to be accessible via Android and iOS connected devices.
The Borgata, the landmark casino and spa of Atlantic City, has recently opened its virtual gates and is allowing players from New Jersey to play in both casino and poker sections of the site. Offering new players a bonus of up to $120 in the casino and up to $620 in the poker room, the site is growing its reputation as a trusted name – akin to the physical Borgata Casino.
For more information on the games and promotions offered at the Borgata as well as bonus code for registration, please refer to our review article.
Online gambling giant Betfair teamed up with a big name in the New Jersey casino scene – Trump Plaza – to offer players a gaming experience covering classic table games, online poker, and slots. In addition, Betfair Casino New Jersey offers players a bonus of up to $310 upon registration.
The site is also accessible via mobile thanks to its app, compatible with Android and Apple devices.
PartyPoker, a reknown operator in the internet poker world, has launched a site available to players residing in the state of New Jersey. Not only does the site offer online poker via the celebrated downloadable PokerStars software or in instant play directly from the web browser, it also offers casino games in instant play. New players are entitled to a welcome bonus of up to $100.
Both the casino and the poker sections of the site may be accessed via downloadable apps for Android phones and tablets as well as iPhones and iPads.
Available from desktop as well as from iOS mobile devices, Harrah's Casino as a subsidiary of Bally's Park Place is licensed to operate in the state of New Jersey. To broaden its audience, it has launched a special promotion reserved for new players offering 20 free spins in the casino as well as up to $200 bonus.
The games on offer at Harrah's are all casino themed. Bally Park Place's licensed online poker site is 888 (listed above).
The notorious Caesar's Casino has recently made an online version available for gamblers to play all their favourite casino games from their computer. First time users on the site can enjoy a welcome bonus of up to $310 after signing up for an account.
In addition to classic casino favourites, the site also features many skill and arcade style games.
Golden Nugget Casino
The official online casino of Golden Nugget Atlantic City is licensed to provide casino games. Currently, it offers over 70 games to choose from with more being frequently added to a selection that includes slot machines, blackjack, video poker and table games. Members wishing to create an account at Golden Nugget's web-portal can obtain a bonus of $310.
Additionally, players wishing to stay connected and play their favourite games on the go can access these through the newly released Android app.
The digital portal for the Tropicana Casino and Resort of Atlantic City has been officially approved for real money gaming in the state of New Jersey. Tropicana Casino therefore offers a large selection of virtual slots as well as high quality classic table games like roulette, blackjack, or baccarat. Members joining the site are granted a $10 bonus to use on the games in the casino.
As of now, there is no news of a Tropicana Casino mobile app.
Virgin Casino, also affiliated with Tropicana Casino (see above), has also received the seal of approval from the New Jersey DGE. With a $10 prize for new members as well as a broad selection of slots and casino games to choose from, Virgin Casino's offer is interesting for players.
Not to mention the daily selection of games to be played for free on the site which is helpful for users wishing to test the various games offered and grow used to the interface on the site.
An affiliate of Trump Taj Mahal Casino, Ultimate Casino meets the criteria set out by the New Jersey DGE for internet gambling. As such, it can legally offer players in this state a selection of games including slots, table games and video poker. It also has great deals for new players, with $25 free play money for beginners, and returning customers with a rewards scheme for loyal players.
An app also exists to access the casino via Android phones and tablets as well as for iPad. An iPhone app is currently being developed.
Ultimate Poker, a subsidiary of Trump Taj Mahal (like Ultimate Casino, see above) is licensed by the state of New Jersey to offer players online poker. To access the Ultimate Poker room from their desktop computer, players will first have to download the software. As a welcome bonus, new members are entitled to a $25 free bonus and a first deposit bonus of up to $500.
Players in the room can play games or join tournaments for Texas Hold'em or Omaha, with Limit or No Limit pots.
For more information on the gambling legislation in the state of New Jersey, you may refer to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement website.
If you have any doubts about the legality of an operator, simply look for the logo below, which is the seal of approval delivered by the state to licensed operators. Without this stamp, the operator is considered as illegal.
The “First State” is also leading the way in online gambling, with a legislation allowing players to access poker and casino via the internet. Despite allowing some forms of gambling, many operators remain illegal in the eyes of the state.
Keep reading for a list of licensed operators in the state of Delaware.
The Casino at Delaware Park, Delaware Valley's premier racing and gaming venue, allows users to access virtual poker tables and casino games from its web portal. Newly registered members can enjoy a welcome offer of 100% bonus on all first deposits within a $200 limit and 50 free spins.
To access games, players will have to download the software from the site and install it on the laptop or desktop computer. For now, the program is compatible only on Windows operating systems.
The Dover Downs Hotel and Casino is also a recipient of the Delaware licence to operate online gambling for real money. The site offers virtual casino gambling as well as poker rooms. Freshly signed-up members can obtain a welcome package including a 100% deposit bonus up to $200 as well as 50 free spins.
To register and start playing, users need to download the software from the Dover Downs website. Once the installation has been completed, users can access the full range of games available on the program.
Harrington Gaming Online
Affiliated with the Harrington Raceway & Casino of Harrington, DE, the website has a large selection of games playable for real money. The games offered include online poker and virtual casino games. Users signing up for the first time are entitled to a welcome offer including 100% bonus on deposits up to $100 and 50 free spins in the slot machine section.
Before signing in and starting to play, players first need to download and install the gaming software to their computer.
To obtain more detail on current state laws on gambling in the state of Delaware, you may refer to the Delaware Board of Charitable Gaming's site.
If you are unsure about the status of an operator and wish to log in and play from your location in Delaware, look on the page for the Delaware state lottery logo, as displayed below.
States to watch
In addition to this list of licensed gambling website available in certain states of the USA, Betminded offers a list of states that are likely to bring in new gambling legislation to allow online gambling.
Ultimately, the federal government should issue a bill stating more clearly what activities are legal or illegal in the realm of internet gambling. Its failure to do so leaves states in an uneasy position, but an increasing number of them are moving forth.
The sunshine state's regulation of internet gambling is rather foggy at the moment. One thing is sure, online poker is a big hit in Florida and, although previous attempts to push through digital gambling sites regulated by the state have failed, it seems likely that renewed attempts in the future will yield more results.
Massachusetts has already seen several attempts to regulate poker and gambling online. Although the state has not passed any bill yet, the fact that it has already been brought up in the legislative bodies of the state suggest that Massachusetts odds to regulate the market and make gambling available on the internet to residents of the state are higher than other US states.
The Keystone state is also inching closer to state regulation of online gambling, be it for lottery, casino, or poker games. In particular, the proximity of New Jersey and Delaware and the pressure of existing operators there to develop partnerships in the state of Penssylvania may well be a deciding factor in the process.