2024 U.S. Legal Online Betting Guide

In the US, each state is empowered to draft its own gambling laws. From brick-and-mortar casinos and poker rooms to retail and online sportsbooks and beyond, every local government has different rules and regulations regarding these markets. What’s legal in one region may be illegal in another, and this lack of consistency often leaves American gamblers in the dark. To add to the inconsistency, legal online gambling is not addressed one way or the other in most individual state gambling laws. There are literally hundreds of laws to navigate from sea to shining sea.

To that end, we’ve made it our mission to take you by the hand and explain, in layman’s terms, the legal gambling situation for each market in each state. And though the laws all differ, there is one constant: It is almost universally legal for US players to gamble online with safe, regulated, offshore betting sites. Our guide will provide insight into the legal status and quality of the online gambling market both domestically and offshore, and how you can safely and legally navigate it, resulting in the most secure, enjoyable and lucrative online gambling experience possible.

US Gambling Laws - What You Need To Know

As of 2024, there are many states that now offer legal and regulated online gambling. If you are a player who doesn't live in one of these states, the good news is there are no current laws or prohibitions in the federal code that would make online gambling illegal in the US. Even US Attorney Catherine Hanaway openly admitted this in a 2007 congressional hearing.

Learn more below in our FAQ section.

Domestically, there are only three states where gambling is legal online: DE, NJ, and PA. And because gamblers actually need to be inside these states to play, that leaves most US residents out in the cold. However, offshore operators offer legal online gambling to the majority of Americans, and signing up is quick and easy.

There are only two domestic US gambling laws that apply to Internet-based play: the Interstate Wire Act and the UIGEA.

Wire Act (1961)

The Interstate Wire Act of 1961 is a law barring interstate sports betting. It does not impact individual bettors, and it does not make sports betting illegal. The Wire Act simply says that no domestic sportsbook may accept wagers from across state lines. This is why a bettor in FL cannot participate in NJ online gambling.

Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (2006)

Despite its scary name, the UIGEA does not target individual gamblers or casinos. It merely prevents US banks from knowingly processing payments to or from unregulated casinos. The UIGEA is why the best online gambling sites operate offshore and allow Bitcoin for both deposits and payouts.

Gambling Laws By State

Legal Gavel WIth USA BackgroundEach state has its own gambling laws. Most states allow some form of legal gambling, but a few do not, and there is no national uniformity in their laws. The legal gambling age in each state is different (18-21), and some states have sports betting while others are limited to casino gaming, horse betting, or bingo and lotteries.

You can learn more about each state’s casino and sportsbook laws by browsing our state gambling law index.

Legal US Online Casinos

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For most Americans, the only way to legally play casino games online is to use an offshore gambling site. These are real online casino operations that employ cutting-edge RNG (random number generation) technology and offer real-money play to the vast majority of US residents. The ones listed here are all operating legally within the industry and they are – for all intents and purposes – the only game in town.

Our legal online casinos guide provides a deeper look at the online casino market in the United States.

Bovada Casino Screenshot

Bovada Casino
#1 Rated Online Casino For American Players

  • Operates legally in a recognized international gambling jurisdiction (Costa Rica)

  • Bitcoin + Crypto accepted with same day payouts

  • $3000 welcome bonus with favorable wagering requirements

  • Over 200 casino games from multiple software providers

  • Offers casino, poker, sports betting and racebook

  • Residents of CO, DE, MD, MI, NJ, NV, NY not accepted

  • Limited deposit options compared to other sites

Best Legal Online Casinos For USA Players 2024

Most Popular Casino Games

The best legal casinos are constantly updating their RNG game offerings to give their customers plenty of choice. New online casino games are launched regularly, but the most popular games of 2022 so far are the virtual slot titles “Gods of Luxor” and “Pandas Go Wild,” both of which can be found in the Bovada network of sites.

Online Casino Games

All the top sites include the following selection of online casino games for real money:





Video poker

Live dealer

Legal US Online Sports Betting

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While legal online sports betting is taking off in America since PASPA’s 2018 overturn, most states still don’t offer domestic sports wagering. To enjoy legal sports betting, USA residents can bet on every contest the world over at the best offshore sportsbooks. And they’ll get better lines, too!

For a more in-depth look at sportsbook gambling, our legal online sports betting guide will take you through all the ins and outs of legally betting on sports in the US.

Bovada screenshot

Bovada Sportsbook
America's Favorite Online Sportsbook

  • Most popular sportsbook in the industry

  • $1,000 Welcome Bonus

  • Betting odds on every sport

  • Political, Entertainment, eSports, and virtual odds available

  • Live betting + mobile betting app

  • Bitcoin, altcoins, vouchers, MatchPay support same-day payouts

  • Enjoy sports betting, poker, casino and racebook

  • Residents of CO, DE, MD, MI, NJ, NV, NY not accepted

  • Limited deposit options compared to other sites

Best Legal Online Sportsbooks For USA Bettors 2024

SiteReviewBonus OfferUSAVisit
Bovada Sportsbook And CasinoRead Review50% Max $1,000Play now
BetUS BrandRead Review100% Max $2,500Play now
mybookie logoRead Review50% Max $1,000Play now
Betonline LogoRead Review50% Max $1,000Play now
Sportsbetting LogoRead Review50% Max $1,000Play now
Bookmaker LogoRead Review20% Max $500Play now
Xbet Sportsbook logoRead Review50% Max $500Play now

Current Betting Trends In 2022

The biggest trend of 2022 is that more people than ever are participating in mobile sports betting. But that’s a given.

In the last two years specifically, eSports betting, virtual sports betting, and wagering on video game sports simulations have seen drastic upticks in popularity due to the Covid outbreak that suspended real-world sports globally.

Right now, online sportsbooks are taking bets on the following major college and professional sports, as well as many other sports, events, and leagues from around the world. This list contains a few of the most popular sports to bet on in the US.

More Sports Betting Options By Category

Many bettors think that legal online sportsbooks only offer the basics like NFL betting, NBA odds, NCAA action, various international fare, and so on. However, all the best online betting sites operating offshore also host the following popular markets:

Virtual sports are RNG simulations that pit generic teams against one another. Bettors get all the standard lines to wager on, games last only 2-3 minutes, and entire “seasons” play out in a day’s time. These contests are 100% computer-controlled with no human input.

Legal US Online Poker

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US legal online poker is extremely popular, though it’s largely unavailable from domestic operators. For most American players, Texas Holdem poker online is only available offshore, as are other popular poker games like Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo. You can play real money poker online using any of the sites listed here.

For more information, check out our legal online poker guide for USA players.

Bovada Poker Screenhot

Bovada Poker
America's #1 Rated Online Poker Room

  • Bitcoin + crypto supported with same day payouts

  • Cash tables and multi-table play

  • Mobile friendly poker app

  • Full casino included

  • Generous welcome bonus up to $500 to new players

  • Residents of CO, DE, MD, MI, NJ, NV, NY not accepted

  • Only US and Mexico players accepted

Best Legal Online Poker Sites For USA Players 2024

SiteReviewBonus OfferUSAVisit
Bovada Sportsbook And CasinoRead Review100% Max $500Play now
Betonline LogoRead Review100% Max $1,000Play now
Sportsbetting LogoRead Review100% Max $1,000Play now

Mobile Betting Apps

While none of the legal online betting sites operating offshore have traditional iPhone or Android betting apps, they each provide their members with browser-based mobile interfaces that mimic the look and feel of the best native App Store or Google Play offerings.

These web applications are the best online gambling apps anywhere, and you can get the following experiences at most top-tier gambling sites, all of which are web based for maximum device compatibility and require no downloads or updates of any kind:







Latest Gambling News

Legal Online Gambling FAQs

There are only three major US federal gambling laws that affect US players who wish to participate in online casinos, poker rooms, sportsbooks, and racebooks. Fortunately, the act of gambling with offshore sites doesn’t violate any of the following, nor do these laws target individual gamblers in any way:

  • Federal Wire Act of 1961 – This law, discussed above, prevents domestic sportsbooks from accepting wagers across state lines. Because the best offshore sports betting sites all operate outside of US jurisdiction and are fully licensed and regulated in their home countries, US residents are able to use these services safely and legally.
  • Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 – The UIGEA is also discussed above, and it is a banking regulation that applies to domestic financial institutions, preventing them from knowingly processing payments to or from non-US-regulated online casinos and sportsbooks. The UIGEA does not target individual players, but it can cause a credit or debit deposit to be declined on rare occasions.
  • The Interstate Horse Racing Act of 1978 – This law allows horse racing betting to take place via OTBs and simulcast services across state lines. The Wire Act, at one time, prevented this, but the pari-mutuel nature of horse betting allowed legislators to put it in a different category with its own regulations. Not all states allow access to domestic online horse betting, however. The IHRA does not criminalize US residents from betting with offshore racebooks in any way.