Listing the Best Online Casinos for USA Players
Good online casinos are difficult to find. There are hundreds of them to choose from, however, 90 percent of which aren’t worth your time.
It’s even harder for US players, because there are fewer options for where to play. And to make matters worse, you have casinos that exclude players from certain states in attempt to comply with specific state laws. On top of that, Americans have the added difficulty of finding a casino that accepts their preferred banking options, which there are only a few of anyway, a drop in the bucket compared to international casinos and players.
Lots of doom and gloom, huh? The sky has fallen down on us all…
I’m joking. About the sky falling down, at least. It is difficult to find a legitimate casino that accepts US players. However, only a part of that is due to laws and circumstances outside of your control. The rest of it lies in your understanding of the laws, knowing the good online casinos from the bad, and the willingness to do the research to find the former.
So that being said, I’ve done two things to help you.
- You’ll find our picks for the best online casinos for USA players below. Either take your pick and get started now, or read our reviews to see which casino will suit your interests best.
- Read on below. I briefly cover the UIGEA and what you need to know about it, some details on interstate gambling and poker, and last, I provide some tips for finding a solid casino, in case you don’t want to use our recommendations.
Either way, you’re in good hands.
Online Casinos – Legal for US Players?
A common question from Americans is whether or not it’s legal to gamble online in the US. The follow up to this question is that they heard it’s illegal because of the UIGEA that passed in 2006.
What’s important to understand is that the UIGEA doesn’t make it illegal for players to gamble online. In fact, it’s got very little to do with players (directly) at all. The UIGEA actually prohibits banks from processing transactions to/from an online gambling site.
Of course, this impacts players It makes it harder to deposit online. US players will also deal with debit or credit card declines and, possibly, account (termination) issues with their banks.
But this doesn’t mean that gambling online is legal in America. Far from it. It’s actually on a case-by-case basis. Following Black Friday the US government decided to leave it up to each individual state to decide what forms of gambling are legal, if it’s legal at all. So that’s why you see such a polarizing situation where a state like Nevada has already opened their first online poker site, and how it can be a felony to play online in a state like Washington.
So what does this mean for you?
It means that you need to look into your own state and county laws. And check them regularly, if you plan to play online or host a regular home game. Laws for many states change regularly, as more and more of them are seeing the benefits to pushing legal online poker forward. So state laws are changing frequently.
Intrastate Gambling – What is it?
I mentioned in the last section that states like Nevada have already made online poker legal in their state. I thought it would be a good idea to explain how state-by-state or, instrastate gambling, works.
As of now, intrastate gambling more or less refers to online poker, since that’s apparently everyone’s focus. But what it means is that gambling is legal on a statewide basis (only). So when you’re in Nevada, you can play at Ultimate Poker, the only legal poker room currently. But once you step outside of state lines you’re barred from the site for real money games.
From what we can see of intrastate poker/gambling now, it’s not picking up traction that fast. Ultimate Poker just isn’t that busy. There are a couple of reasons for this, though. One, they’re the only legal poker site, and in many ways still aren’t as competitive with other (unregulated / illegal) poker sites. Plus, they have the live casinos. On top of it all, you just don’t have nearly as much traffic on a state-by-state basis.
But this is where intrastate gambling will have a chance to shine in the future. As more and more states develop laws that allow for operators to offer legal online poker, states can work together to pool their traffic. So, for example, California could partner with Nevada. So Nevada players could play against California players, instead of keeping them segregated and the player pools (traffic) small.
Only time will tell what will happen. And whether or not we’ll see intrastate casino games in addition to poker. But, for now, what’s important to understand here is that intrastate poker is legal online poker, and the first step of what we hope is many to a fully regulated market.
Choosing the Best Casino for Americans
Choosing the right casino is difficult enough, but can seem damn near impossible when you factor in that they have to accept Americans, too. But I’m here to tell you that it is, in fact, possible, and to share with you some tips on how to do it.
So here we go – some tips on how to find the best casinos for Americans.
- Safety First – Your mom said it about wearing a helmet, and I’m saying it now for choosing a casino. When it comes to US casinos, there are more bad or unworthy casinos than there are good or worthy ones. So make sure the company is legit. Ask yourself this -- are they licensed, regulated, audited, etc?
- Make sure the casino pays their players. This can be as quick and simple as reading our reviews or casino themed forums. A couple of weeks for a payment – maybe a month – is acceptable. I’d avoid casinos that take 3 months to pay you your winnings.
- Check the banking options. US players have few options as is. Don’t make it harder on yourself by joining a casino with 1 or 2 banking methods, let alone methods that you don’t currently use.
- Games. Last, but certainly not least, make sure the games you want to play are available. While there are few casinos, there are enough games between them to find the right blackjack or slots variation that you prefer to play.
These are by far the most important qualities in an American accepting casino. But you might also want a casino that has mobile games, blackjack specific bonuses or VIP promotions. For these things I encourage you to read our casino reviews – you’ll learn everything you need to know about each room.