There are several areas within the United States where no legal gambling options are available. In circumstances like these, online casinos can be a convenient alternative. Our online casino index is built to help our visitors navigate through the number of different online gaming destinations available to US residents. Though most of the online casinos that we review are legal to play on in the United States it is up to you to check the rules and regulations in your jurisdiction before playing.
Many of these casinos will now even accept crypto-currencies such as bitcoin for an added level of convenience and security. In some jurisdictions, various forms and types of online gambling are available and may even regulated by governments. This is becoming more and more common in certain states such as New Jersey for example. In other places, however, the only online sites for casino play are usually either lightly regulated or not regulated at all. In either case, we only review and recommend casinos that we feel comfortable listing on our website.
Top Recommended Casinos for U.S. Players
The section below includes links to all of our online casino reviews. Click on the name of any casino site to be taken to the complete WCI review page or browse our top three favorite casinos via the chart below. Each of our top three recommendations are World Casino Index tested and approved. Also be sure to get the most out of your first deposit by taking advantage of any applicable bonus codes. Enjoy and good luck. If there is anything else we can help you with feel free to get in touch.
USA Online Casinos
Non-USA Online Casinos
USA Bitcoin Casinos
Online Casino Guide
Are Online Casinos Legal in the United States?
Banking with Credit and Debit Cards
Neteller for Online Casino Deposits and Withdrawals
Depositing and Withdrawing Bitcoin
Provably Fair Casinos
Live Dealer Casino Games
Online Bitcoin Casinos
In the past 10 years, the online casino industry has developed and transitioned in many different ways. Where it was once very easy to simply deposit money, play, and withdraw, today the circumstances are very different and slightly more complicated. If you are fortunate enough to be in an area where online play is both easily accessible and heavily regulated, you will be privy to convenient, safe, and secure online play.
Most online casinos are built on the platform of standard cash transactions. Whether you fund your account by check, wire, or debit/credit card, your funds are measured in real money. With the advent of Bitcoin, however, players have found a new way to play their favorite casino games online in a quick, easy, and convenient way. Not only are Bitcoin transactions simple, quick and secure, they are also virtually anonymous.
Online Gambling History
Online gaming all started on IRC. This was the first underworld of the Internet. Online poker and blackjack could be found on IRC in the early 90’s.
First U.S. Online Casino
The first web-based online casino was based on what would one day become Microgaming software. It used security from Cryptologic. Microgaming has since become one of the most popular online casino software platforms. Unfortunately for U.S. players, Microgaming stopped accepting bets from Americans in 2009.
First U.S. Online Sportsbook
The first sports bet ever accepted over the Internet was by Intertops in January 1996. A player laid 25-1 on a big soccer favorite. The $50 wager won $2. Intertops still exists today and takes sports, casino, and online poker action from invited U.S. players, as well as those located throughout the world.
First U.S. Online Poker Room
Planet Poker was the first online poker site. It launched on January 1, 1998. The first game in online poker history was 3/6 Limit Texas Hold’em. No Limit Hold’em was unheard of in that era.
Delta Poker was the second online poker site. Paradise Poker was the third. Both launched in 1999. Paradise Poker was the first to introduce sit and gos and multi table tournaments.
Planet Poker was plagued with software and server issues. The site would go down for days at a time. Its random number generator was also cracked by tech experts. This left players unhappy with the site. By 2000, Paradise Poker overtook Planet Poker for the number one spot.
In 2003, Chris Moneymaker won a World Series of Poker satellite at PokerStars. His initial investment was $40 and he parlayed it into a $10,000 Main Event seat. He ended up winning and turned that $40 into $2.5 million. This is widely cited as the start of the poker boom.
Party Poker seized the poker frenzy after Moneymaker’s big win. The company started advertising during televised poker. This vaulted it into the number one spot for cash games. These positions held until October 2006 when the UIGEA passed.
PokerStars took over the number one spot for U.S. online poker in 2006. Bovada is currently the largest U.S.-facing poker site.
There are two notable federal laws that pertain to online gambling. The Interstate Wire Act was passed in 1951. It makes accepting wagers on sporting events across state lines a federal crime.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) passed Congress in September 2006. It was signed into law by President Bush in October 2006. It made the transfer of funds for the purpose of illegal internet gambling a federal crime. It was attached to the Safe Port Act, a form of must-pass legislation, by former Senate Majority Leader Bill First. There was no debate on the topic before it became law.
This move forced publicly traded online gaming sites to leave the market to protect shareholders. Most sites that were privately held remained in the U.S. market. Some were owned by unsavory individuals. This made it extremely important for Americans to research any site before making a deposit.
Two shady sites that accepted U.S. players had cheating scandals at the hands of insiders. Ultimate Bet’s insider cheating took years to uncover. Russ Hamilton was the ringleader of the cheating. Absolute Poker insider Scott Tom was a main character in that site’s insider cheating scandal. Both cheaters used superuser software that allowed them to see the hole cards of opponents.
Black Friday refers to the day that PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker were indicted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York. The date was April 15, 2011. The sites, payment processors and executives were charged with wire fraud, operating an illegal gambling business and violating the UIGEA.
PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker left the U.S. market within 24 hours of Black Friday. Absolute Poker stayed in the U.S. market even though it claimed otherwise. It turned out that Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker were not properly capitalized. Both sites failed and players were not paid. PokerStars bailed out Full Tilt players through a $731 million settlement with the Department of Justice. Absolute Poker players were stiffed out of at least $40 million.
There are three states that have regulated online gaming. Each took a different approach.
Players must be located within the state lines to play. Geolocation is used to determine the location of the player.
Nevada allows online and mobile sports betting and poker. Cantor Gaming was the first sports betting mobile platform. Station Casinos, William Hill, South Point, and Boyd Gaming have since entered the market.
Ultimate Poker was the first regulated online poker site in the country. It launched on April 30, 2013. WSOP.com joined it on September 17, 2013. Real Gaming launched in February 2014.
Ultimate Gaming was unable to find success. It ceased Nevada operations on November 17, 2014. WSOP.com and Real Gaming continue to operate in the market.
Delaware became the second state to launch regulated online gaming on October 31, 2013. It took a different approach. The Delaware Lottery is the hub for its online poker and casino games. The software is operated by 888. The skins are the state’s three racinos; Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway.
New Jersey launched on November 21, 2013. It offers online poker and casinos through Atlantic City resorts. There are three poker platforms; Borgata/Party, WSOP, and 888. At the November 2013 launch, Ultimate Poker and Betfair also operated. Both ceased poker operations. Betfair still offers casino games in New Jersey.
There are several sites that spread casino games without poker. These include Tropicana, Virgin, Golden Nugget, and Betfair. Any casino game approved in Atlantic City is available at New Jersey casino sites.