While some U.S states have autonomous racing and gaming commissions, most states have a dedicated department or division for regulating legal gambling.
Both the U.S land-based and online casino industry are in a constant state of flux. Currently the gambling regulatory landscape for Gambling and iGaming is complex, with many individual states having passed online gambling legislation in recent years, and others pushing to bring legal sportsbetting and casinos to their states in order to generate tax-revenues.
Online casino gaming remains an especially lucrative sector in areas with regulated markets as well as those without, despite the focus lately being mostly on passing sports betting legislation.
Who Regulates U.S Casinos & Sportsbooks?
Each state in the US is responsible for regulating online casinos within its state borders. While some states have autonomous racing and gaming commissions, the great majority of states have their own dedicated department or division of gaming inside the government.
Any land-based or online gambling business that wants to provide online casino services within a state’s borders must submit an application to the appropriate gaming or gambling agency. There might be a cap on the total number of licenses given in jurisdictions that regulate online casino gambling, though.
The state’s gambling regulatory agency is in charge of all online casino gaming regulation when relevant – ensuring games are legal and fair for consumers – and ensuring advertising and responsible gambling rules are adhered to. If rules are broken by regulated casinos / sportsbooks, regulators have the power to levy the companies with fines, and even revoke their gaming licenses in extreme cases.
|State||Online Casinos Legal||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
|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
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.
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 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||–|
|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. Beltline 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
In several US states, gambling in casinos is permitted. This does not imply, however, that all states having land-based casinos also allow for the use of internet casinos.
In fact, despite having robust retail casino sectors, some jurisdictions have implemented legislation that outlaws all types of remote gambling (gambling over the internet).
However, it’s crucial to note that there is currently no federal law that forbids online casino gambling or any other form of gambling. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which was enacted by President George W. Bush in 2006, shows that this wasn’t always the case (UIGEA). Despite not being targeted directly, this regulation made it unlawful for corporations to transmit money to or from internet gambling companies.
When the UIGEA finally took effect in 2010, many online poker companies had already left the US market. Only a few people remained, and they would suffer the most.
Executives from PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker were named in a 52-page indictment that the US Department of Justice unveiled on April 13, 2011. A civil lawsuit against the corporations was also included in the indictment, and it demanded $3 billion in assets from the sites. As one might anticipate, this had a detrimental effect on the possibility of regulated casino gaming.
The Federal Wire Act, however, was only applicable to sports betting, according to a new opinion on the law that was published by the Department of Justice later that year. The Federal Wire Act was originally utilized in combination with the UIGEA to ascertain whether any state laws were breached, but the DoJ’s changed attitude on the Act has allowed for the possibility of state-by-state licensing and regulation of the sector.
Since then, a number of states have made moves 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 has put a lot of focus back on legal sports betting, as lawmakers work to pass legislation for the more lucrative sports betting sector, regulation of online casinos has stagnated in many individual jurisdictions.
Currently writing there are six states that have legalized online casino gaming:
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
Legal Online Casino Legislation has also been proposed in the following states:
- New Hampshire
- New York
The most likely state to have legal online casino gaming in 2022 is New York, where two pieces of legislation have been filed and appear to have enough support to pass.
Meanwhile, Kentucky has amended a sports betting law that was approved by the house in March 2022 to include a companion bill that legalizes internet poker. Now, lawmakers must determine whether or not to proceed with it during the summer.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are also a few “grey” jurisdictions, where state law does not expressly forbid playing at online casinos. International gaming businesses frequently serve the market in these states, but they are not regulated and are not subject to any guidelines or limitations on how they operate their gambling operations.
How to spot a licensed US online casino
Many foreign gambling organizations (commonly referred to as offshore organizations) let US players to sign up at their online casinos. However, as these internet casinos are unregulated, users have no legal rights when using them.
In light of this, it’s a good idea to only play at online casinos that have a state-issued license. Checking the licensing information on a website’s home page or the home screen of a mobile app is the quickest and most straightforward way to determine whether an online casino is authorized in your state.
Alternately, any of the state gaming divisions and departments mentioned above that already control the internet gambling industry will list all authorized online casino companies on their websites.
Legal Online Poker Regulation in the US
Online poker in the US is legal in 7 states, but only currently available in five states:
- Delaware – regulated by Delaware Division of Gaming Enforcement
- Michigan – regulated by Michigan Gaming Control Board
- Nevada – regulated by the Nevada Gaming Control Board
- New Jersey – regulated by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement
- Pennsylvania – regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
Interstate poker liquidity sharing is possible in some states via the Multi State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) which is a multi-jurisdictional poker agreement allowing internet gamblers to compete across state lines.