Online casinos have been a great source of entertainment in the United States since the introduction of internet betting in the mid-1990s. Unfortunately, U.S. lawmakers don’t seem to share the same love of the games as the thousands of players do, so for the last 20 years, they have done everything in their power to stop the growth of the industry.
At LegitCasinosOnline.com, we are keeping an eye on all the changes that are happening in the U.S. online casino market. With the online casino market being largely unregulated, choosing where to play becomes an increasingly important decision. You want to make sure that the site you choose has an excellent reputation, especially when it comes to paying their players.
Out team of casino experts review every casino that we come across, looking at a casino from every angle to ensure that when we give you our recommendations, they are objective and the result of a significant amount of research. It is for this reason that we feel very confident recommending the following 5 U.S.-facing casinos for your deposits and play.
We want to let you in on what we look at on a daily basis when it comes to the U.S. market. It’s an ever-changing climate, so we try to stay on top of every development, and bring any news to you on this site. Let’s try to give you as much information that you can use to make informed decisions when it comes to choosing and playing at an online casino from the U.S.
Let’s start with the most important factor: it is definitely not illegal for U.S. players to sit down at the table games or slot machines found at an online casino. All the legislation that has been written is directed at the operators of these sites, so you should feel safe knowing that your door won’t be broken down by an FBI agent anytime soon for playing some blackjack online.
The legal climate for online casinos is definitely more relaxed than for sportsbooks and poker sites. This is likely due to the brazen nature that those operators marketed their products, flying their popularity in the face of the government. In the meantime, online casinos continue to fly under the radar, and there are no signs of any full shutdown coming down the pike.
That isn’t to say that the casino industry hasn’t been hampered by the government’s actions against the other online gambling industries. Many software companies have stopped taking U.S. licensees and players, leaving a more limited landscape. Furthermore, certain states such as Nevada and New Jersey have made online casino play legal for their residents, clouding the picture even more.
What you may come across when you visit our review pages are some operators who choose to refuse play from individual states, but not others. These states are ones who have taken some sort of stance against online gaming that is more severe than the federal banking legislation. We presume that operators who want to be able to continue operation in a hopeful legal climate want to make sure their previous actions do not prohibit them from passing any due diligence.
These are the States that are most often banned from play on many U.S.-friendly online casinos:
Each state is blocked for a different reason; we go into detail on each on a separate page which you can find here:
This page will likely see the most action of any on our site because there are no less than 10 different states that are in discussion about online casino legislation. You should check back often for the most up to date information on the legal state of online casinos.
The U.S. has one of the most mobile penetrated populations in the world. It seems like everywhere you look someone is looking down at their phone or tablet, and as these devices continue to get stronger processors and faster speeds, fewer folks rely on their laptops than ever before. The online casino industry knows how important mobile play is to current and future revenues. Software companies are constantly modifying their offering to make it more mobile-friendly and are building native apps that feature their suite of slots and table games.
The U.S. online casino player, however, is at the mercy of the mobile platform providers when it comes to being able to play from their devices. As of the spring of 2017, these providers had not budged on their position; you cannot download native real money gambling apps from their app stores. This is unfortunate, as we have tried some of the apps available in legal jurisdictions, and we love what we see. Fingers are crossed that it is only a matter of time before these developers are approved.
Don’t fret though; online casino players in the U.S. can still access their favorite games via the browser-based versions of the casino platforms. These instant play games are the same as the ones that you can find on the websites of your online casinos. In some cases, not all the games have been modified for mobile play, but rest assured that all the software suppliers are working hard to rectify those issues.
Again, we want to make it perfectly clear to our readers – if you are in the U.S., you will not put yourself at legal risk by playing at an online casino site for real money. Of course, it is still gambling, so there is a chance you will lose your money, but that is the risk we all take when we play any casino game whether it is live or online.
At LegitCasinosOnline.com, we review every U.S. friendly site we can find to ensure you have all the information necessary to make an informed decision. Here are some of the areas we cover when looking at a site. If you want to do some research on your own, here are a few questions that you want to ask yourself when arriving at an online casino site:
This is the largest hurdle any player will face when wanting to access an online casino from the U.S. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 made it illegal for U.S. banks to process the transactions of real money online casinos. This sent the industry into a panic as operators scrambled to find ways to accept deposits. It was soon discovered that payment solutions from other countries could process U.S. cards in a masked way that worked with almost 65% success, which was a great start for the online casinos. Today you can probably use your U.S. credit card without issue, and if it is rejected for some reason, someone from the casino will get in touch with you to find a solution to getting your deposit arranged.
Withdrawals from U.S. players are more complicated than deposits. In most cases, the only way to get paid from an online casino is via bank transfer or check, and unless these checks are being sent from a U.S. institution, they can take upwards of a month to be processed by your bank. Also, you should be prepared to receive your payments in increments; most online casinos that accept U.S. play have a maximum cashout per week. The casinos will claim that these rules are in place to protect them from scammers, but really it is a way for the casino to convince you to play a little more and hopefully drop some more coin before trying to cashout again.
The fallout from the legal changes in the U.S. over the last decade is evident in the number of software suppliers competing for the U.S.-facing online casino. Many of the publicly traded European companies pulled out of the market immediately after UIGEA was enacted in 2006, leaving many operators scrambling to find a new home for their players. That dust has settled, and there is a clear line in the sand drawn between software available to U.S. players and those no longer around.
The most common online casino software platforms we see when we are reviewing U.S.-friendly casinos are Real Time Gaming (RTG), Betsoft, Rival, and WGS Technology. Each of these companies has found success in the U.S. market, and while they all have virtually the same games in their catalog, the look and feel of these games are dramatically different from one supplier to the next. One unique piece of technology is the Tournament management platform offered by WGS to its licensees. This robust system allows for an operator to be able to run and manage dozens of concurrent tournaments for their players. The other three all have great features, so you will find even in this limited number of options something that will make your online casino experience very enjoyable.
You should also be looking for some sort of confirmation by a third party auditor that the casino’s Random Number Generator is in fact random. Casinos are very proud to post this information on their sites, so you should quite easily find the log of TST or eCogra on the homepages of casinos whose RNGs have been certified. These days, there are not many software platforms that haven’t had their product approved; they realize how important safety and security is to a player sitting in their living room.
We’ll be honest here: it’s hard to find out what is happening behind the closed doors of an online casino operator. These companies spend a lot of money trying to attract players in a very competitive marketplace, and no matter how much due diligence a software vendor or a review site like ours does, sometimes a scammer just slips through the cracks.
One way that we investigate the trustworthiness of an online casino for our U.S. players is to check the forum sites for complaints from players consistently. The online casino industry is very well self-policed by its players, and when a site is not playing players or something fishy is going on, you can be sure that players are taking to the forums to let others know. Now, some of these are not legit complaints, but it is our job to sift through the claims to find the legit ones, and when we do we make it very clear to our readers which casinos to avoid.
Online casinos spend a significant amount of time and money on their marketing departments. This makes total sense; a great set of promotions can be the difference between being a success or a failure in this business.
U.S. online casino players should always be on the hunt for new and exciting promotions, especially at new casinos. So many casinos these days are offering new players a free chip or some free spins just for creating an account on their site that it seems silly to not give them all a shot. We recommend creating an email address specifically for online casino play; this ensures your personal email address won’t be filled with promotional emails after you register.
There are also some very aggressive Welcome Bonuses being offered by online casinos to U.S. players. You will find that many of these reward players for using certain payment methods; you should take advantage of these even if it means taking a little extra time to make your deposit. The casinos make these offers because they are being charged less by particular processors for those deposit methods, and they are passing on that savings to you. For you, it means getting a little more value per dollar deposited, which can also be the difference between being a winning or losing player.
Finally, look for a casino with a great comp program. All sites allow you to accumulate points while you play, and most of them give you the option of exchanging those points for cash. You should ALWAYS cash in your points as soon as you can; no one needs a free t-shirt with an online casino logo on it.
We are aware of all the risks associated with sending your money to an offshore website to play casino games in an unregulated market. Having said that, the convenience of being able to play some of your favorite casino games from your computer or mobile device can outweigh those risks. We want you to have all the information you need to feel like you aren’t getting scammed.
With our stringent review policy, you are going to see recommendations from Legit Casinos Online that will give you the confidence to be able to sit back, hit the casino lobby and gamble to your heart’s content!