The online gambling situation in the United States is not as clear cut as many other countries around the world.
With the United States being such a large country, it is not easy to set the same rules and regulations throughout as it is in smaller countries, such as the United Kingdom. In terms of online gambling legislation, each state in the US is responsible for their own gambling laws and must pass bills in order to make online casino gambling legal.
Read on as we bring you the US states where online casino gambling is legal and introduce an alternative for those who live in a state where online casino gaming for real money is illegal.
Where is Online Casino Gambling Legal in the US?
At the time of writing, there are only six states where online casino gambling is legal in the United States.
The states where it is legal to bet on casino games online are Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. It may come as a surprise to see Nevada in that list considering Las Vegas is the mecca of casino gambling and the economy thrives because of the people visiting Las Vegas and the casinos. However, only online poker games are legal in Nevada, online casino games, such as slots and table games remain illegal in the state. Each of the other five states all offer legal online casino games plus online poker.
So, anyone residing in Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia can enjoy playing real money slots, table games, and live dealer casino games at home and using a mobile device. Some people are willing to cross the border from a neighbouring state to legally play online casino games for real money.
Using geolocation technology, it is possible to block access to online casinos in states where it is illegal to play. However, it is not possible to block every online casino and there are online casinos which are based outside of the US which can be accessed by those living in states where online casino gaming is illegal.
Many of these online casinos may be legal and regulated in other countries and are perfectly safe but they should not be used by people in the United States. Should a problem arise when using an offshore online casino in the US, it is unlikely there will be any help forthcoming. The online casino has no responsibility to anyone playing their games outside their registered territory so there is always a big risk involved when using offshore online casinos. Thankfully, there is an alternative which is legal across most of the United States and offers the chance to win real cash prizes.
Online Sweepstake Casinos
With only six states offering regulated online casino gaming for real money, it leaves millions of people without access to online casino games. That is where sweepstake casinos come into play and they have stepped into the online casino market in the United States in a bid to solve the problem.
Sweepstake casinos use virtual currency to play games and because the games are not being played using real money, online sweepstake casinos are legal across the US. There are two types of virtual currency available at sweepstake casinos, gold coins and sweeps coins. When registering at a sweepstakes casino, you will receive a welcome bonus containing the coins and can use them to play games.
Gold coins have no real world value but sweeps coins can be exchanged for real cash, meaning it is possible to win real money when playing games at sweepstake casinos. You do not have to make a deposit when claiming many of the bonuses for new players at sweepstake casinos and they are a fantastic alternative to real money online casinos for those who live in states where online casino gambling is illegal.
Online sweepstake casinos have the same game categories as real money online casinos, including slots and table games. Many of the slot games have been designed by the owners of the sweepstake casinos, meaning you will not find them anywhere else. Sweepstake casinos also have a strong social element and that makes them a good place to meet likeminded people and chat to friends.
With only Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia offering legal online casino gambling, it was only a matter of time before someone stepped in to offer a casino gaming product to those living outside the six legal states. Sweepstake casinos have emerged as a tremendous alternative for those living in the many states in the US where online casino gambling is illegal.
The fact sweepstake casinos are becoming so popular may force the hand of those in charge and we could see more states legalizing real money online casino sites soon.