The Regulated & Legal USA Online Casino Industry – A Guide

The US online casino industry is an ever-changing landscape as many individual states have moved to pass online gambling legislation in recent years. Although the focus has been primarily on pushing through sports betting bills, online casino gaming continues to be a lucrative industry in states with regulated markets and even those without.


US online casino regulators

Online casino regulation in the United States is handled by each individual state. The vast majority of states have their own department or division of gaming within the government while some have independent racing and gaming commissions.

Any gambling company that wishes to offer online casino products and services within state borders must apply to the relevant gambling or gaming department. However, in those states where online casino gambling is regulated, there may be a limitation on the number of licenses issued.

When applicable, all online casino gaming regulation is handled by a state’s gambling regulatory authority.

Gambling Regulators by State
State Online Casino Legal Gambling Regulator Address
Alabama No Gambling Commission Proposed  –
Alaska No Alaska Department of Revenue
Tax Division, Gaming Group
550 W 7th Ave, Suite 500
Anchorage, Ak 99501-3555
Arizona No Arizona Department of Gaming 100 N, 15th Ave, Suite 202,
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Arkansas No Arkansas Racing Commission 1515 Building
1515 W 7th St, Ste 505
Little Rock, AR 72201
California No California Gambling Control Commission 2399 Gateway Oaks Dr. Suite 220
Sacramento, CA 95833-4231
Colorado No Colorado Division of Gaming 1707 Cole Blvd Suite 300,
Lakewood, CO 80401
Connecticut Yes Connecticut Gaming Division 450 Columbus Boulevard, Suite 901,
Hartford, Connecticut, 06103-1840
Delaware Yes Delaware Division of Gaming Enforcement 600 South Bay Road, Suite 2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Florida No Florida Gaming Control Commission
Georgia No Georgia Lottery Corporation 250 Williams Street, Suite 3000
Atlanta, GA 30303
Hawaii No None
Idaho No Idaho State Lottery Commission – Charitable Gaming & Lottery
Casinos regulated by tribal groups
1199 Shoreline Ln STE 100, Boise, ID 83702
Illinois No Illinois Gaming Board 160 North LaSalle
Suite 300
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Indiana No Indiana Gaming Commission East Tower, Suite 1600
101 W. Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Iowa No Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission DMACC Capitol Center
1300 Des Moines Street, Suite 100
Des Moines, IA 50309
Kansas No Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission Eisenhower State Office Building
700 SW Harrison St. Topeka, KS
4th floor rm. 450 Auditorium A/B
Kentucky No Gambling Commission Proposed
Louisiana No Louisiana Gaming Control Board 7901 Independence Blvd.
Building A
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
Maine No Gambling Control Unit 45 Commerce Drive, Suite 3
Augusta, ME 04333-0087
Maryland No Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency 1800 Washington Blvd., Suite 330,
Baltimore, MD 21230
Massachusetts No Massachusetts Gaming Commission 101 Federal St., 12th Floor
Boston, MA 02110
Michigan Yes Michigan Gaming Control Board 3062 West Grand Boulevard, Suite L-700
Detroit, MI 48202-6062
Minnesota No Minnesota Gambling Control Board Suite 300 South,
1711 West County Road B
Roseville, MN 55113
Mississippi No Mississippi Gaming Commission 620 North St STE 200,
Jackson, MS 39202
Missouri No Missouri Gaming Commission 3417 Knipp Dr,
Jefferson City, MO 65109
Montana No Montana Gambling Control Division 615 S 27th St A,
Billings, MT 59101
Nebraska No Nebraska Gaming Commission 5903 Walker Ave,
Lincoln, NE 68507
Nevada No Nevada Gaming Control Board 555 East Washington Ave Suite 2600,
Las Vegas, NV 89101
New Hampshire No New Hampshire Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority c/o New Hampshire Lottery Commission,
14 Integra Drive,
Concord, NH 03301
New Jersey Yes New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement S Tennessee Ave,
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
New Mexico No New Mexico Gaming Control Board 4900 Alameda Blvd NE
Albuquerque NM 87113
New York No New York State Gaming Commission PO Box 7500
Schenectady, New York 12301-7500
North Carolina No Casinos regulated by tribal groups
North Dakota No North Dakota Gaming Division 600 E. Boulevard Ave Dept. 125
Bismarck ND 58505
Ohio No Ohio Casino Control Commission 100 East Broad Street, 20th Floor,
Columbus, OH 43215
Oklahoma No Oklahoma Gaming Compliance Unit 2401 N Lincoln Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Oregon No Oregon Lottery 500 Airport Road SE,
Salem OR 97301
Pennsylvania Yes Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Commonwealth Tower, Strawberry Square,
303 Walnut Street, 5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Rhode Island No Division of Commercial Licensing and Racing & Athletics 1511 Pontiac Ave,
Cranston, RI 02920
South Carolina No None
South Dakota No South Dakota Commission on Gaming 445 E Capitol Avenue,
Pierre, SD 57501
Tennessee No Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation 26 Century Blvd., Suite 200
Nashville, TN 37214
Texas No Gambling Commission Proposed
Utah No None
Vermont No Office of the Attorney General – Charitable gaming only 109 State St
Montpelier, VT 05609
Virginia No Virginia Lottery 600 E Main St,
Richmond, VA 23219
Washington No Washington State Gambling Commission 4565 7th Avenue S.E.
Lacey, WA 98503
Washington D.C. No Office of Lottery and Gaming 2235 Shannon Place SE, Suite 3040, Washington, DC 20020
West Virginia Yes West Virginia Lottery 900 Pennsylvania Avenue
Charleston, WV 25302
Wisconsin No Wisconsin Division of Gaming 3319 W. Belt​line Hwy, Fl 1
Madison, WI 53713
Wyoming No Wyoming Gaming Commission Energy II Building, 951 Werner Court, Suite 335 Casper, WY 82601

 


Online casino laws in the United States

Casino gaming is legal in many states in the US. However, this does not mean that online casino gaming is permitted in all states with bricks and mortar casinos.

In fact, some states have passed legislation to prohibit all forms of remote gambling (gambling via the internet) even though they have thriving retail casino industries.

One important fact though is that there is currently no federal law that prohibits online casino gaming or online gambling of any kind. This wasn’t always the case though as back in 2006 President George W. Bush signed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). While this law didn’t specifically target online casino gaming, it did make it illegal for businesses to transfer funds to and from online gambling companies.

The UIGEA didn’t come into effect until 2010 at which point many online poker companies had already pulled out of the US market. A few remained and would pay the ultimate price.

On April 13th, 2011 the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed a 52-page indictment that named executives of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker. The indictment also included a civil complaint against the companies that sought $3 billion in assets from the sites. As you’d expect, this had a negative impact on the potential for regulated casino gaming.

However, the Department of Justice later that year published a revised opinion on the Federal Wire Act that indicated that it only applied to sports betting. The Federal Wire Act had previously been used in conjunction with the UIGEA to determine if any state laws were broken but the DoJ’s new stance on the Act opened the industry up for possible legalization and regulation on a state-by-state level.

Since then, several states have moved to legalize online casino gaming, but the US Supreme Court’s decision that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) was unconstitutional put all the focus back onto sports betting.

This means that online casino regulation in many individual states has stalled as lawmakers push through legislation for the more lucrative sports betting industry.

At the time of writing there are six states that have legalized online casino gaming:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • New Jersey
  • Michigan
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia

Legislation has also been proposed in the following states:

  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New York

New York seems the most likely candidate for legal online casino gaming in 2022 as two bills have been proposed that seem to have garnered enough support to be pushed through. Meanwhile Kentucky has added a companion bill legalizing online poker to a sports betting bill that has been passed in the house in March of 2022. Lawmakers will now decide during the summer whether or not to move ahead with it.

It’s worth noting that there are also a number of grey states where there is no specific prohibition of online casino gaming in state legislation. In these states, international gambling companies will often serve the market, but these companies are not regulated and have no rules or restrictions regarding how they conduct their gambling business.


How to spot a licensed US online casino

There are many international gambling companies (often referred to as offshore companies) that allow US players to register at their online casinos. However, as these online casinos are not regulated, players who use them do so with no legal protections.

With this in mind, it’s a good idea to only use online casinos that are licensed by a state authority. And the easiest way to find out if an online casino is licensed in your state is to check for it licensing details on the homepage of its website or its home screen on a mobile app.

Alternatively, any of the state gaming departments and divisions listed above that currently regulate an online market will provide information of all licensed online casino operators on their websites.