Note that the legal situation in regards to online gambling is complicated in the US. The online casinos listed on this site are operators that accept players from the US, but they might not be licensed locally to legally accept players from your particular state. Knowing whether online gambling and any particular casino are legal in your state is your individual responsibility. This site does not promote gambling where it’s not legal and accepts no responsibility for anyone signing up with an operator that is not legal in his/her state.

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Online Gambling in the U.S.

Gambling has long been a favorite past-time of people the world over, but getting to a legal game with fair odds hasn’t always been straightforward, and still isn’t. Betting games have been a critical issue both in history and in recent times, and with the advent of the internet and online gaming, things have become perhaps even more complicated. Gambling in the United States is still heavily restricted, even though gambling activities continue to accrue astronomical amounts in revenues, such as the $92.27 billion earned in 2008, a number which has grown to $158.54 billion in 2017.

Pulling these sorts of numbers, and constituting an almost $9 billion state and local tax revenue industry, as well as employing 1.7 million people, one should think gambling is on the path to becoming legal country-wide, in all its forms. Well, we’re not quite there, and even though it’s not a crime on the federal level, each state has its own set of guidelines when it comes to the various types of betting games. Still, things look to be going well: as many as 43 of the 50 states have some form of online gambling legalized, with just two states (Utah and Hawaii) banning gambling in its entirety, both offline and online.

With the relatively recent downfall of the PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) that effectively banned sports betting, online gambling is definitely looking to be gaining traction. Let’s have a look at the states that allow it.

States That Have Legalized Online Gambling

Delaware

The first state to legalize online gaming in the U.S. was, surprisingly, Delaware, even though it’s the second smallest state. It looks like size doesn’t matter, at least when it comes to progressive legislature; in the summer of 2012, online gambling became legal in this state under the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act, and the market opened up a bit later, in November 2013. This was marked by the appearance of online casinos operated through the state’s horse tracks, and they offered a variety of games such as Roulette, Video Slots, Video Poker and Blackjack.

Coming from a small state, the market is also comparatively little, but the numbers coming from this industry aren’t anything to scoff at, with 2016 marking a $3 million in revenue.

Nevada

Nevada has traditionally been the state most associated with gambling in the USA. The action isn’t restricted to only Las Vegas, arguably the gambling capital of the world; wealth coming from betting games is evenly distributed throughout the state, and it offers more land-based slots and table games than all other 49 states combined.

Brick-and-mortar casinos flourish, whereas slots and other gambling machines can be found everywhere from gas stations to restaurants, and even laundromats. During the PASPA years, Nevada was the only state to offer legal sports betting, and the Silver State is leading the charge in online gambling too, legalizing it in February 2013, when they authorized the issue of online poker licenses. In April of the same year, the first legal online gambling site in the U.S. went live in Nevada.

Interestingly enough, unlike the rest of the states that allow online gambling, who also allow all other types, Nevada has a restriction on Lotteries and Racetracks.

New Jersey

Not missing a beat, New Jersey became the third state to legalize online gambling, straight after Nevada, and only a week later. New Jersey is home to Atlantic City, the second largest and most famous gambling location, so this was a big step forward for them, too. The passing of gambling legislation allowed casinos from A.C. to apply for internet gaming permits as well as host a variety of online casino sites and online poker venue under those licenses.

In 2016, the online gaming industry in New Jersey scored record revenues of almost $200 million, or $196.7 million to be exact. This constituted a 32.1% increase when compared to the numbers of 2015, and it also helped the Atlantic City casino industry mark an increase in total gambling revenue for the first time in over ten years.

These numbers just keep rising and, by the end of 2018, the Garden State could be looking at a potential $1 billion in gambling revenue.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has had a longer and more arduous path towards legalization, with some problems emerging along the way, but in the end everything came around. In october 2017, Gov Tom Wolf signed into law an expansive gambling package to authorize online slots, online table games, online poker, sports betting, VGTs, daily fantasy sports, and more. Thus, Pennsylvania became the fourth, and so far, final state to legalize online gambling. The first new market is looking to be online lottery, which began its launch this May.

States Looking to Legalize Online Gambling

Several states are planning to, or have already tried to pass legislation legalizing online gambling. Among them is California, which seems to be having problems finding consensus on a number of issues. No action is expected during 2018 after the online poker bill appeared inches away from passing but failed to do so in 2016.

Illinois is in a similar position, with lawmakers locked in a drawn-out battle over gambling for years. In 2017, a bill came close to passing, but it never went through the two chambers of state legislature.

Next is Massachusetts, who is relatively new to the world of regulated and legal gambling, and the state actually actively tried to keep Native American casinos out for ages. However, in 2011, the Massachusetts Expanded Gaming Act was passed, as well as a bill regulating, but not taxing, DFS. When the deal expires, in 2018, we could see this change, too.

Lastly, New York. This state has had racetracks and Native American casinos for decades, with four new commercial casinos opening up state-wide beginning late 2016. As for legislation, the DFS industry and New York had a prolonged legal battle before settling and passing the bill. However, online gambling laws are still in the work, although currently facing questionable outcomes, as land-based casinos in NY are struggling financially. This is swaying the public perception towards a negative opinion of online gambling, but whether legislation will be passed in the following months still remains to be seen.

Online vs Land-based Gambling

When it comes to the competition between brick-and-mortar casinos vs online venues, one would think they populate the same market and should be fierce competitors, but this is actually not entirely the case. Online gambling and land-based casinos have different demographics interested in them, with online appealing to a newer, younger crowd and brick-and-mortar locations drawing in high-rollers, tourist and aficionados. Some surveys show that Millennials, as a whole, prefer online gambling and are more likely to place bets online than at a physical venue.

Still, what is more likely to happen is that, instead of cannibalizing the physical casino market, online gambling would just increase the overall market, bringing in people who wouldn’t otherwise have played any type of betting games. The differences between the two are still so significant that a healthy market can be expected in both, with some overlap, instead of one industry completely annihilating the other.

All in all, it appears that online gambling in the US is moving in a positive direction, slowly though it may be. The following years, or even months, could see the legalization of various forms of online betting across multiple states, and that could, on the whole, benefit both the industry as well as the states, through tax dollars.

Bonus Tutorial – How Different Offers Work

Read this tutorial to learn everything about casino bonuses, wagering requirements and what the different terms and conditions mean for you as a player. You’ll also get invaluable tips for finding the casino with the right bonuses for you as an individual player, as well as instructions on how to claim bonus codes.

There are two main things you as a player need to understand:

  1. The offer – what do different kinds of offers actually mean
  2. Terms and Conditions – what is required to be eligible for an offer and to be able to withdraw winnings. The most important part of this is the Wagering Requirement, which says how much money you have to bet in total before you can withdraw any winnings.

A “Welcome bonus” for new customers is the main way online casinos compete with each other, often promising anywhere from 20 to 1,500 €/£/$, but sometimes much more. However, wagering requirements, plus a range of other terms and conditions, sometimes make it hard to fully understand a bonus offer. Fortunately, we’re here to decipher all of this.

Deposit Bonuses

Deposit bonuses are the most common type of promotions on offer. It simply means that the casino gives you some kind of extra reward when you deposit money with them. Normally there will be a minimum amount you have to deposit to trigger the reward.

By far the most common type of deposit bonus is the deposit match bonus, where the casino will match a certain amount of your deposit and add that to your account. For example, lots of casinos promise to match 100% of your first deposit. So if you deposit £100, the casino will add another £100 into your account, enabling you to play with £200 in total.

There will always be a minimum and maximum amount they will match, which should be stated clearly in the terms and conditions. The minimum amount to be eligible for a bonus is usually in the $/€/£ 10 vicinity. Also, there will always be wagering requirements to fulfil before you can withdraw any winnings derived from a bonus.

Our research shows that the percentage and maximum bonus amount varies hugely between even the best online casinos. Sometimes bonuses are spread across multiple deposits – for example, they match 100% on your first deposit, 50% on the second, 25% on the third, and so on.

Here are some examples of the deposit bonus you will receive depending on the offer and size of your deposit:

Deposit Match Bonus Examples
Offer Deposit Bonus Play With
200% up to $100 $25 $50 $75
200% up to $100 $50 $100 $150
200% up to $100 $100 $100 $200
200% up to $100 $200 $100 $300
100% up to $100 $50 $50 $100
100% up to $100 $100 $100 $200
100% up to $100 $200 $100 $300
50% up to $100 $50 $25 $75
50% up to $100 $100 $50 $150
50% up to $100 $200 $100 $300
50% up to $100 $300 $100 $400

Reload Bonuses

Reload bonuses are for those who have already made their first deposit(s) and collected their welcome bonus. So while welcome bonuses are claimed just once, reload bonuses are typically a recurring deal.

Essentially, you benefit from a deposit reward each time you add credits to your account. So reload deals let you claim a percentage, normally between 50% to 150% of your deposit.

How and when you qualify for a reload bonus will depend on your player status. Normally, the more frequently you play, the more generous the reload rewards.

However, some casinos reach out to players via email, inviting them to capitalize on these bonuses. This is usually to motivate players who have started playing less. Some online casinos also offer weekly and monthly reload bonuses. With this system, you would get a bonus after you’ve made your first instalment each week or month.

A useful tip is to contact customer support if you don’t think you’re being offered enough reload bonuses.

As with most promotions, you will also have to meet play-through requirements before you can withdraw winnings. Those wagering requirements are often approximately 30 to 40 times the value of the bonus. So it’s always worth reading the terms and conditions before you accept a reload bonus.

No Deposit Bonus

Free online casino bonuses where no deposit  is needed are popular in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and most other countries. They essentially allow you to trial a casino before you risk your own money. Sometimes these are called by other names like “Registration Bonus”, “Signup Bonus” or “Free Money Bonus”, as you will receive a reward for simply creating a new account with the casino.

If you’re looking for test-money then no deposit registration bonuses can prove invaluable. Essentially the free play allows you to test different games and casinos, while also honing your skills for when you’re playing with real money.

When casinos offer free bonuses with no deposit required, there will be tougher terms and conditions than for other kinds of bonuses. The reason is obvious – no business can give away free money with no strings attached, or they would go bust very quickly.

Sticky Bonuses

With a sticky bonus, you cannot withdraw the bonus value. So once you reach the play-through requirements, you can withdraw any funds above the initial bonus value.

For example, if your online account balance is £500, but you received £300 in sticky bonuses, you could only withdraw £200.

This makes sticky bonuses fantastic for enhancing your bankroll, but restrictive since you can’t actually get your hands on the bonus cash amount.

Free Spins

Some online casinos offer free spins as a no deposit bonus. Essentially, this allows you to test casinos and slot games, while also potentially winning real cash. So a five free spins bonus allows you to spin a certain slot machine five times without charge. The winnings will be credited to your account either as real money or “bonus money”, and normally there are wagering requirements before you can cash out.

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Bonus Codes

A bonus code is similar to a voucher code that lets you redeem some kind of special deal – you can use it to get access to exclusive bonus offers that are unavailable to others. It’s a great way for an operator to offer special promotions to reward a limited number of players or to allow players to choose their personal favourite among multiple offers.

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Slots Bonuses

Slot machines are the most popular games at any casino, and offers that pertain to slots are the most common of all. In fact, unless the rules for a bonus says otherwise, you can pretty much assume it applies to slots. Players that also want to use their bonus on other games should double check that it does apply to those too, and what the wagering requirement contribution is.

More on Slots

Live Casino Bonuses

Live dealer games allow you to play in real-time via a video link with genuine croupiers and other players. As technology improves, these live games are becoming increasingly interactive and new players get a wider choice of both games and bonuses.

The main things to understand about live casino bonuses is that the wagering contribution is often much lower for live bonuses than for example the slots variety. For example, roulette can contribute between 8% to 20%, while slots are usually 100%. This means if you were to bet £10 on a roulette table, only 80p to £2 would contribute towards the wagering requirement.

Exclusive Offers

Some online casinos promise exclusive casino bonus offers if you sign up via particular websites. These offers could be anything from free slots with no deposit requirements to cash back and match bonuses, depending on the deal. Promotions vary in amount and conditions, so it’s always worth checking the terms first. If you are a “high roller” that spends a lot of money at the casino, you should also get special offers.

Payment Method Bonuses

New players often focus on finding the latest no deposit bonuses or signup promotions. As a result, they can miss out on other enticing offers. For example, some casinos offer generous rewards for using certain payment methods.

In fact, if you use certain e-wallets, such as Skrill, some casinos will award you an extra 10% to 15%. That may seem like a small amount, but for high-rollers and frequent players, that can soon add up.

In addition, there are other operators that will offer you a £30 bonus to your main casino wallet just for making your first deposit via PayPal. Other prepaid cards, including the Paysafecard, can also help you bag additional capital.

From our own experience and through conducting extensive casino reviews, we’ve also realized some welcome bonuses and promotions exclude particular payment methods. For example, some of the latest casino bonuses and deposit codes may not be eligible for payments via Neteller. So you must check bonus terms and conditions prior to depositing funds.

Payment Method Bonus Examples
Payment Method Bonus Offers Example

Bitcoin Bonuses

For cryptocurrency enthusiasts, it’s also worth noting there are a growing number of Bitcoin casinos offering deposit bonuses. These online and mobile casinos offer Bitcoin as their sole currency or along with other more standard currencies, such as the British Pound, Euro, and US Dollar.

In addition, some online casinos offer exclusive bonuses for payments made via Bitcoin. For example, new players could pocket up to a 400% bitcoin bonus on their first three deposits. So as the prevalence of Bitcoin and other digital currencies continues to increase, we’re seeing a growing number of casinos that offer Bitcoin bonuses.

Bonuses for Existing Customers

Casino bonuses aren’t just aimed at new players. In fact, today’s bonus lists for existing customers are continuously improving as casinos grapple to retain customers. In fact, loyalty bonuses can include:

  • Cashback
  • Prize draws
  • Live game gifts
  • Slot tournaments
  • Monthly bonuses
  • Additional deposit rewards
  • Enhanced expected bonus values
  • Seasonal Halloween and Xmas bonuses
  • Daily blackjack and roulette promotions

In addition, there are specific VIP and loyalty schemes on offer for frequent players. Players can earn points which they can swap for free cash or additional bonus funds. These VIP clubs can also offer other rewards to bolster your payroll, as well as:

  • Personal account managers
  • Generous loyalty point conversation rates
  • Access to exclusive free online casino games with no deposit requirements

Note rewards and on-going bonuses will vary between casinos and change over time.

Deposit Match Bonus with Cashback
Example of a Cashback Casino Bonus Offer

Wagering Requirements

Wagering requirements, also known as play-through, rollover, or turnover requirements, are the primary restriction placed on casino bonuses. Essentially, these rules stipulate how much and on what games you have to play a bonus before you can withdraw any funds.

For example, if you receive a £10 bonus with a five times wagering requirement, you would need to play £50 before you could withdraw those funds. However, five is towards the lower end of the scale. In fact, it is not uncommon for casinos to enforce wagering requirements of 55.

The purpose of wagering requirements is to prevent immediate cash-outs. In the past, casino bonuses were abused by those who would only place bets on low-risk games. For example, in some blackjack games, the perfect strategy can reduce the house edge to just 0.5%. So now requirements ensure just a small percentage of capital wagered on low-risk games will contribute towards play-through requirements. Whereas in games with lower RTP (return to player) rates, such as slots, 100% will usually count towards wagering requirements.

Figuring out wagering requirements
Understanding Wagering Requirements

Below are some examples of how much different games contribute towards wagering requirements. Note that these differ between casinos.

Wagering Contribution Examples
Game Contribution
Slots 100%
Progressive Jackpot Slots 0%
Scratch Cards 100%
Sportsbook 100% with odds of 1.80 or higher
Live Casino 10-20%
Video Poker 0-10%
Non-live Table Games 0-10%

There are several crucial points to keep in mind when it comes to wagering requirements:

  • If you cannot find game-specific deals, it is usually the lower the house edge, the lower the wagering contribution.
  • No deposit bonuses often have the highest wagering requirements and the shortest time period.
  • Playing slots may not contribute towards requirements for card game bonuses.
  • Wagering requirements vary between games and online casinos.
  • Some casino bonuses come with no wagering requirements.

So to prevent disappointment further down the line, it may be worth looking for casino bonuses with no or low play-through requirements.

However, such deals can be hard to find. In fact, even the best casinos and bonuses don’t offer as low wagering requirements as one would like. Therefore, the most useful tip is to read the terms and conditions carefully before you sign up for a bonus.

Here are some examples of how much must be wagered in total depending on the play-through multiple and game contribution, for a €100 bonus:

Wagering Requirement Examples
Wagering Requirement Game Contribution Must Wager
25x 100% €2,500
25x 50% €5,000
25x 10% €25,000
35x 100% €3,500
35x 50% €7,000
35x 10% €35,000
55x 100% €5,500
55x 50% €11,000
55x 10% €55,000

Restrictions on Bonus Offers

There is a long list of other restrictions new players need to be aware of:

  • Minimum initial deposits – Casinos and bonuses will demand differing initial deposits. Normally, the greater the deposit, the larger the bonus or reward.
  • Maximum limits – A maximum limit of £100 prevents you from getting more than £100, even if you were to deposit £1000. Therefore, those depositing larger amounts should shop around for higher maximums. Bear in mind five times is around the norm, but any lower and you might want to keep looking.
  • Time restrictions – The time you get to use your bonus varies between promotions. Some casinos will require you to use your free spins in just three days while others will give you a full month to meet play-through requirements.
  • One bonus per player – Registration bonuses can only be claimed once. In fact, you will need to verify your identification before you receive funds and casinos will not pay if they learn you have tried to find loopholes and open numerous accounts.
  • Free spin conditions – Many players don’t realize when they register how many times you have to play through winnings from free spins before you can keep what you win. Even some of the best online casino bonuses in the UK, for example, can require you play through winnings 25 times.
  • Location restrictions – The volume and generosity of casino bonuses varies depending on where you are from. Those from Western countries, such as the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and EU nations, normally have a choice of bonuses. However, those from countries famous for bonus abusing, such as Russia, will struggle. In addition, countries such as Peru, Malaysia, and the Czech Republic are introducing legislation to reduce access to online casinos. As a result, getting hold of casino bonuses may prove challenging.

Cashable vs Non-Cashable Bonuses

Although often overlooked, it’s important players understand there are two distinct types of casino bonuses:

  1. Cashable bonuses – You can withdraw a free no deposit cash bonus once you have met the play-through requirements.
  2. Non-cashable bonuses – You cannot withdraw these bonuses even after you have met play-through requirements.

You may be thinking what is the point in a casino bonus that can’t be withdrawn. But they can actually be used to significantly bolster your bankroll, allowing you to play for higher stakes and potentially larger winnings. For this reason, they are normally found in table games, such as blackjack and roulette.

Online vs Land-Based Bonus

Journey to Las Vegas and for your registration bonus, you may get a couple of free drinks and some type of loyalty programme. But because online casinos have far fewer labour costs and other overheads, they can offer much more appealing bonuses than land-based casinos. Furthermore, the increasing competition means online casinos have to be more competitive with their welcome bonuses and promotions.

As a result, bagging a £400 deposit bonus on an online UK casino isn’t particularly rare. But receiving that sort of money as a promotion in land-based casinos is much more unlikely.

How to Find the Right Bonus For You

Different bonuses work for different people. For example, new players seeking to test new games and casinos with less risk may want to consider free no deposit bonuses. There is even the chance of bagging real cash with some of these offers.

For players looking simply for the largest amounts, you may want to consider welcome deposit bonuses. Whether you collect bonuses in your first deposit or over a number of instalments, this is typically where you will find the greatest bonuses.

How to pick the right bonus for you
How Do You Pick The Right Bonus Offer For You?

For frequent players, you may want to search for casinos offering loyalty bonuses. For example, one huge no deposit poker joining bonus may appear great, but if that’s all you get you may be better off elsewhere. In fact, some providers may offer free betting casino money every month to frequent players.

But before you sign up for free casino money or any other sort of casino bonuses, you need to look for three main factors:

  1. Wagering requirements – If you’re just concerned with a specific game, say slots, check the weighting of that game will contribute towards any play-through requirements. In addition, look for casinos offering exclusive deals for the games you’re interested in.
  2. The time frame of the promotion – Will you have just a few days to meet any rules or will you get a whole month?
  3. Other terms and conditions – You may get 30 days before you first bonus expires, but only 7 days for any reload bonuses. Also, are there maximum win and withdrawal amounts for non-deposit bonuses?

Tips

Hunting for the best casino bonuses can feel like a minefield. So it can help to add a few tips and tricks to your strategy. The most important of which are:

  • Test drive – Use bonuses to test a game of interest.
  • Size matters – Select casinos with the largest bonuses.
  • Expiry times – If your casino bonus comes with a time limit, be sure to use it all.
  • Think ahead – Exploit bonuses by using them to learn how to play the games you’ll later want to play with real money.
  • Reputation – Consider the size, age, and reputation of an online casino. Is even a huge bonus worth it if the casino gets poor ratings and offers minimal customer service?
  • Risk – Don’t be fooled into thinking casino bonuses are a guaranteed way to make money. Keeping any winnings can be particularly challenging due to strict wagering requirements.

FAQ

It depends on the state in question.  In some states, like New Jersey, casino operators can get an official license to operate an online casino and accept real money wagers. We list all details and state-by-state information here on casinobonuses.com.

Are there bonus offers for US players?

Yes, we list many US bonus offers here on casinobonuses.com. Use the top lists to compare different offers, casino ratings and other details.

Further Reading