Legal US Online Casino Guide For 2022
The range of options available when it comes to legal online casinos for US players has certainly evolved in the last few decades. An industry once dominated by offshore online casinos now has US-based competition as states slowly become more progressive concerning their own gambling markets.
While local sports betting action has expanded rapidly since 2018, state-licensed online casino gambling still lags way behind, but is at least alive and breathing. These domestic online casinos struggle to compete with the long-standing legit online casinos that operate offshore and have been providing reliable real money casino gambling to Americans for years.
Here we will discuss your options for enjoying legitimate online casino gambling, the legal status of US online casinos, and which mobile casinos are worth your time and effort. We provide access to the best online casinos for USA players and our online casino reviews section provides insight into each of the brands we recommend.
Are Online Casinos Legal In The US?
Yes. Online casinos are legal in the USA in 2022, and you can legally use either local, state-regulated gaming sites or offshore online casinos that serve the American market (and have done so for more than 2 decades).
So if you are a player who lives in a state that has not yet launched any form of authorized state-licensed online casino gambling (which is most people), then you can enjoy legitimate online casinos operating legally outside of the US.
Best Online Casino For USA Players In 2022
#1 Rated Legal Online Casino For 2022
Bovada is the number-one US-friendly online casino. With an operator pedigree that goes back to the 1990s, Bovada is famous for its longevity, its fair play certified iGaming titles, and robust sportsbook and racebook options.
The Bovada casino is one of the best in the business, utilizing software from world-famous companies like Realtime Gaming (RTG) and Rival, and there are hundreds of table games and slots on offer. If you want a one-stop casino gaming experience and one account to rule them all, sign up at Bovada today!
Real Time Gaming + Rival
Bovada Accepts Players From Most USA States
Operates legally out of a legimate international gambling jurisdiction (Costa Rica)
Credit cards and cryptocurrencies accepted
Fast and reliable payouts guaranteed
Generous $3,000 casino bonus
Only US, Mexico and Brazil players accepted
Residents of DE, MD, NJ, NV, NY not accepted
Limited deposit options compared to other sites
Best Online Casinos For USA Players In 2022
Why You Should Trust Our Recommendations For Legal Online Casinos
There are lots of gambling sites out there, and there are even more online gambling site reviews and recommendations. You can’t read them all. And even if you could, you can’t trust them all.
Now, we know our word is good enough, but you don’t. So we need to prove that to you. The best way to do so is to show you that we know our stuff. The content must speak for itself, and we think it does.
As for our credentials, we’ve been playing at online casinos and writing online casino reviews for over 20 years, and we gamble with every site we recommend. We are authoritative and detail-oriented, and we make it a point to share the good and the bad about any given site.
Remember, no matter what any online casino reviewer tells you about how “perfect” a particular site is, they’re blowing smoke. Some sites are better than others, but no online casino is perfect. We tell you all about where a given site hits the jackpot and where it comes up craps.
So, if you want honest online casino reviews in 2022, you’ve come to the right place.
Online Casino Games
One of the main perks of online casinos is the library of games offered. Online gaming operators have the same selection of games – and often far more of them on hand – than physical venues.
In addition to real money games, many offshore casinos also offer free games so you can try your hand at titles before betting real money. The following list of casino games is available at most legit online ad mobile casinos:
Other Popular Online Casino Games:
- Specialty Games
- Scratch Cards
Safest USA Online Casino Funding Options For 2022
All the best online casinos offer a number of banking options for US players. These include some combination of the following, though it’s important to note that different gambling sites have different deposit and payout limits and associated fees.
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Solana (SOL)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Stellar (XLM)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Tether (USDT)
- USD Coin (USDC)
- Avalanche (AVAX)
- Binance Coin (BNB)
- Shiba Inu (SHIB)
- Polygon (MATIC)
- ApeCoin (APE)
- Bitcoin SV (BSV)
- Gambling Voucher
- Player Transfer
- P2P Apps (PayPal, Venmo, Cash App)
- eWallets (Apple Pay/Apple Cash, Google Pay/G Pay, etc.)
- American Express
- International Gift Cards
- Bank Wires
- Cashier's Checks
- Money Orders
- Retail Money Transfers
- Bitcoin Cash
- USD Coin
- Binance Coin
- Shiba Inu
- Bitcoin SV
- Gambling Voucher
- Player Transfer
- P2P Apps
- Bank Wires
- Courier Checks
- Money Orders
- Retail Money Transfers
- BTC-To-Cash App
We recommend using Bitcoin or another altcoin for your preferred deposit method. Crypto is by far the safest and most secure option for USA players. The most popular forms of crypto are all supported at the fastest paying online casinos. These options have high deposit and withdrawal limits, no added fees, same-day payouts, and come with the best overall bonuses to pad your online casino account. You can check out our list of recommended Bitcoin casinos here.
Best Mobile Casino Apps For 2022
Every top-tier Internet gambling operator offers mobile betting for all their casino games and betting products. If you’re looking for the best casino games for Android or the best casino games for iPhone, you can find legal mobile casino apps all in one place.
Best of all, you don’t have to download any apps from Google Play or the App Store! Instead, simply fire up your handset or tablet browser (Chrome, Safari, etc.) and visit your gambling site of choice using one of the links on this page.
Every major operator offers a host of responsive, mobile-optimized casino game titles that are ready to go with just a tap or a swipe, no matter where you are. If you can play it on a desktop, you can play it on the go. Remember: If you come across a site that doesn’t support full mobile casino gambling, you know it isn’t legit!
2022 Online Casino Bonuses And Perks
Online casino bonuses are another way that the best US-friendly online casinos compete with one another. While most of the top gambling sites offer similar bonuses, they each tend to have different terms and conditions.
Usually, bonuses will come in the form of a deposit match bonus, meaning that your deposit will be boosted by a certain percent and added to your bankroll, allowing you to wager with more money at the outset.
However, pay attention to bonus rollover requirements. If you’re an infrequent low-volume bettor, you’ll want to bypass any bonuses, while if you wager frequently or are a high roller, deposit bonuses can offer a significant boost to your bankroll.
Some sites require the use of online casino bonus codes, while others simply let you select a bonus from a list of options during the deposit process. All of our reviews go into great detail about all of the perks and gambling promos each site offers to new players who sign up and make real money deposits.
Note: Cryptocurrency deposits typically earn 2-3X more online casino free spins, sports betting free plays, and free poker cash than standard deposits made using more traditional gambling banking options.
Types of Online Casino Bonuses
- Sign Up Bonus - also referred to as Welcome Bonus - these are usually the largest of the promos and are applicable to your first deposit or a series of your first several deposits.
- Reload Bonus - this is a promotion to get you to make subsequent deposits into your account. Sometimes they are game specific, are offered on certain days of the week, or any other type of unique stipulations.
- Referral Bonus - this promotion rewards you for referring your friends and family.
- Rewards Programs - nearly all online casinos will offer to enroll you in a rewards program that does just what its name implies, reward you for playing. The more you play, the more rewards you get. Often there are levels at which you can move up and receive better and better perks as you progress.
2022 Legitimate Casinos
There’s a series of important criteria to consider when you’re looking to join any legit online casino. We’ve been playing online gambling games for over two decades, and in that time, we’ve seen it all. That’s why we’ve been able to narrow down the most crucial features of any trusted casino site to a manageable list.
If you’re a beginner, you don’t want to get overwhelmed with too much information, so we’ve kept this section short and sweet. As long as the site you choose checks all the following boxes, you can look forward to a safe, legal, and profitable online gambling experience:
- Legality – Does the casino (or its parent company) hold legal business credentials, and are they regulated by a legitimate governing authority? This is the first thing we look at, and a casino that can't meet this requirement is immediately off the list. All reputable brands are transparent with this information and proud to share documentation that validates their compliance with industry regulations.
- Security – We have very stringent standards when it comes to the security profile of any online gambling site. We require the presence of advanced data encryption technology (SSL, TLS), sophisticated fraud prevention and antivirus protection, and a trained professional technical team for monitoring these systems around the clock.
- Reputation – We reach out to other industry professionals and players to see what every casino's reputation is like within the online gambling community. While we don't make any decisions based solely on this information, we do take it into consideration and compare it to our own experiences when testing and examining each site ourselves.
- Performance – When gambling online, we require high-end, feature-rich performance that is free of glitches and software interruptions. Because consistency and stability are key indicators, our testing period is significant – often taking months of use – in order to return legitimate results.
- Customer Support – Incompetent or non-responsive customer support is a deal-breaker for us. We test each site’s competence, responsiveness, and ability to deal with common issues both simple and complex. Any site where you consider spending your money has got to provide a high-quality customer support staff, or your money will always be at risk.
- Banking Suite – We only consider American gambling sites that offer US-friendly deposit methods and withdrawal options. After all, if you can't get your money into and out of your casino, what good is it? These operators must also process transactions in a timely and efficient manner, with payouts being 100% guaranteed.
As long as you stick with a site that falls into the mold of a legitimate casino venue as outlined above, you won’t have to worry about illegal casinos or illegal gambling scams. But since an informed bettor is a successful bettor, it’s important to know all the major red flags to look out for.
The best way to steer clear of illegal casinos on the Internet is to research every site you wish to join, read online casino reviews, and check out user ratings at various gambling forums. But if you want the short and sweet version, these are the biggest signs that you’re dealing with an illegal online casino:
- There is no information about where the casino is located. Offshore online casinos in the USA are legal to use. That said, many local black-market bookies actually host their own websites using any number of official-looking “skins.” If you can’t tell where a site is hosted, it may be hosted inside US borders. If that’s the case – and if the site isn’t regulated by your state government – then it's an illegal gambling site. Legal casino sites are always headquartered in recognized offshore gambling jurisdictions like Costa Rica, Curacao, Panama, etc.
- There is no brand attached to the online casino games offered. Legit casinos always – always – partner with known, established, and trusted online casino software companies. These include Realtime Gaming (RTG), Rival Powered, Betsoft, Microgaming, and several other brands. Since these companies are “selling points” for these sites, legit operators will always advertise them. The same goes for live-dealer games, which are usually hosted by Visionary iGaming (ViG) or Fresh Deck Studios. No-name online casino games mean you’re dealing with a no-account online casino.
- Limited banking options and/or an emphasis on retail money transfers. Real online casinos of good standing support a large selection of banking options. These always include Visa, Mastercard, Bitcoin, several altcoins (i.e. Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Cardano, Solana, etc.), and a few “traditional” options such as bank wires, money orders, and similar. If a site only supports one or two of the above – or if your site “prefers” retail money transfers – they are best avoided.
- Unrealistic bonus offers with high playthrough requirements. All legitimate casino venues offer valuable bonuses with rollover/playthrough requirements you must meet before withdrawing associated funds. However, if these wagering requirements are too high – say 60X or more – the site is a scam. Online casino promos should have playthroughs in the region of 25X-50X at most. If a site’s welcome bonus or reload bonus is for more than that (excepting no-deposit bonuses, which are often quite high), you know the operator is doing business in bad faith and is likely running an illegal online casino enterprise.
The Status of Online Casinos in the US
There are a few ways to play real money casino games online legally in the United States. Very few states have authorized and launched state-licensed online and mobile casinos. Alternatively, there are no federal laws prohibiting you from participating in offshore online casino gaming with sites that are operating legally within their respective jurisdiction.
The few states that have legalized online casino gambling at the state level have imposed geofencing restrictions that require you to be within a specific distance of their retail properties or in some cases, physically present on their property. Only one state – Washington – bars online gambling altogether, though even WA doesn't appear to enforce its own laws.
For more information about individual US federal gambling laws, visit our section that is specifically about online gambling laws in the USA. Our page dedicated to states with legal gambling options will provide you with more details on the legal status of online gambling by state.
State Licensed Online Casinos And Availability In September 2022
In the US, there are 30 different states that offer some mix of commercial and tribal gambling. However, even in states that have casinos, very few actually have online casinos for real money gambling.
To date, New Jersey online casinos – like the Hard Rock Casino – are active, as are those in Connecticut, Delaware, and Pennsylvania (i.e. the Sugarhouse online casino). West Virginia online casinos and Michigan online casinos have recently launched, as well.
Amazingly, if you look for online local casinos in Las Vegas – the mecca of all things gambling – you won’t find any, as Nevada only has legal online sports betting and poker. Want to play at Connecticut’s Foxwoods online casino? You’re out of luck there, too, as online gambling is not yet available in the state (though this market is pending launch in CT).
Though a Google search for “local casinos near me” will point you towards your nearest casino, chances are you’ll have to physically visit the venue to gamble.
Fortunately, for the tens of millions of Americans looking to bet real money over the Internet no matter where they live, there is a safe, legal solution: offshore online casinos!
Legitimate Online Casinos: Offshore VS Domestic
Thanks to US and international trade laws, it is safe and legal to wager at the best online casino gaming sites for US players (excepting WA residents, as noted above). While there are thousands of Internet-based casinos out there, many of these should be avoided, as they haven’t withstood the test of time. For a top USA casino, you’ll find the best options listed on this page.
However, it should be noted that even for gamblers who live in areas where nearby casinos are actually available, it might make sense to use these online options, as they typically offer much more bang for your buck than local venues.
In fact, the only way that physical gambling venues are better than online options is when it comes to the social experience of enjoying a night out. If you’re just in it for the gaming, though, online is your best bet. Compared to local venues, the best online offshore casinos in the US offer:
- More game types and gambling options
- Hundreds of casino slot games and table games
- No waiting in line to play
- Valuable deposit bonuses and rewards points
- Bitcoin support + other cryptocurrencies
- Same-Day Payouts Online
- Certified for fair play iGaming compliance
- 24/7 customer support
- Bettors 18+ accepted
- No geo-fencing – play from anywhere!
- Mobile-optimized, web-based casino gambling apps
Legal USA Online Casino FAQs
If you join an online casino, illegal access isn’t something you need to be concerned with as long as the site you choose is headquartered outside of USA borders.
That said, it would also help if that site were officially recognized by the international gambling community as a respected operator and had an online reputation for fair odds, valuable bonuses, and timely payouts.
Luckily, if those are the features you’re looking for in an online betting site (and they better be!), you’ve come to the right place.
Exception: The state of Washington still has laws on the books that nominally outlaw online gambling at the individual level. These laws are not historically enforced. That said, if you live in WA, you should follow all local gaming regulations and participate only at your own risk.
Almost certainly, actually.
Of course, there are two ways to interpret this question: You’re either asking if your specific state has legalized domestic online gambling (iGaming) within its borders, or you’re asking whether offshore online casino gambling is legal where you live.
If you’re looking for answers about the domestic scene, there are fewer than 10 US states as of 2022 that have added legal iGaming to their gambling markets.
If you’re looking for answers about the international scene, offshore casino sites are legal in all US states with the exception of Washington.
Note: Washington online gambling laws are apparently unenforced, as we’ve never heard of anyone in the state being cited or find for online gambling with international betting sites. Still, please follow all local gambling rules and regulations, and proceed only at your own risk.
Now, that’s obviously not going to be true for all online casinos.
But if you gamble with the operators we recommend, you can take for granted that you’re playing with 100% legitimate online casino sites.
We’ve trusted our own money with these brands for years, and we’ve never had a reason to change our minds.
Of course, if we ever do, you’ll be the first to hear about it.
At least, not the ones listed here.
The sad reality is that many online casinos are rigged, and there are countless online casino scams and fraudsters out there.
We’ve lost some money over the years with less-than-reputable vendors, and while these sites always eventually get called out and go the way of the dodo, they can do a lot of damage – to players and the community – while they’re active.
To avoid such online betting scams, it’s important to stick with tried-and-true venues that have been in steady operation for a long time.
That’s also why we routinely put new online casinos through their paces for a year or more before ever recommending them as legitimate operations.
Online casinos are just as safe as in-person brick-and-mortar casinos.
Or rather, they are if you sign up and play only with those sites we recommend here.
As with any other online industry, there are legitimate vendors and illegitimate vendors competing for your business.
To avoid the latter, it’s best to do your research, read the online casino reviews, and defer to real gamblers who’ve been using these sites for ages.
After all, that’s why you’re here, and that’s why we’re here.
If we couldn’t actually win real money gambling online, we wouldn’t be members at these sites. And frankly, we wouldn’t tell anyone else to be, either.
We are avid gamblers and believe that a strong, safe, responsible gaming community is what gambling’s all about. And for that, all the odds have to be legit and all players have to be on equal footing with the same chances to win.
With the casinos featured here, you never have to worry about whether or not real wins are possible – They happen all the time!
In fact, the best online casino games have average win rates that are even higher than the same games in retail Las Vegas casinos.
Maybe even thousands.
But “How many online casinos are there?” is a much different question than “How many reputable online casinos are there?”
And it’s that latter question that’s worth discussion. Because honestly, there aren’t that many.
As competitive as the gambling market is, when it comes to legit offshore betting sites, there aren’t even a dozen worth mentioning.
Most online casinos are untested at best and outright scams at worst, which is why you’ll always see the same selection of sites sitting at the top of the market. Every now and then, a newcomer breaks through the ranks into the top tier, but that’s the exception to the rule.
For all intents and purposes, there are about 10-15 truly good gambling websites online at any given time.
All of them
Every online gambling venue we recommend is totally legitimate, legal, and safe to use.
These sites are all recognized as the top tier of the online betting industry, and their parent companies are all recognized, established brands with years (if not decades) of online gambling experience.
There are lots of differences between each site featured in this legal casino guide, but legitimacy isn’t one of them.
This is a tough question to answer, because – in truth – every site we recommend is as trustworthy as every other.
If a site isn’t 100% on the up and up, we’re not down (and, we presume, neither are you).
So instead of answering that technically all these venues are tied for the “most trusted,” we’ll go with the site that actually boasts the most USA members.
And that, as you can see, is Bovada.
Bovada LV basically sets the standard for the industry, and you can’t go wrong with the operator. For first-time bettors especially, Bovada’s a great place to start.
It may not have the best bonuses or the most games, but it has a little bit of everything, and the site has famously never missed a single payout for any of its millions of active members.
18+ or 21+
There are two distinct legal ages when it comes to casino gambling in the US, and it depends on your jurisdiction. In some states, the legal age to go to a casino is 18 and up, while in others it’s 21 and up.
Often, the distinction has to do with whether or not the venue in question serves alcohol.
All that said, the best online casinos for US players set their membership age minimums to just 18+.
Please never sign up at an offshore gambling site under the age of 18, as this will lead to your account being banned and your funds being forfeited.
All of them
All the best online casinos pay out on time and in full, which is our measure of “best.”
To get our winnings quickly, efficiently, and without any red tape is what we expect from any world-class online betting site.
But if you’re asking about which casino pays out the biggest prizes, that depends less on the venue and more on the game you’re playing.
All the top sites we recommend offer progressive jackpot games that routinely boast six-figure and seven-figure payouts.
Different legit casino sites have different payout limits.
These are both game specific (i.e. penny slots pay out less than progressive slots, single-deck 21 pays out less than 8-deck 21, etc.) and payment type specific.
For payment types, though, most all online casinos have the same general range of limits.
As an example, in terms of the amount of money you can withdraw in a single transaction, the payout methods rank this way (from most money to least money):
- Bank wires
- Courier checks
- Money orders
- Retail money transfers
All of them
Because all legal online casinos support Bitcoin payouts and various other cryptocurrency payouts, they’re each the “quickest.”
At these sites, most crypto withdrawal requests are handled automatically: The moment you submit your request, the process to pay you via crypto transfer is initiated.
Thus, it only takes as long to receive your money as the typical transaction time (aka blockchain transfer time) of the crypto coin with which you’re being paid.
Of course, different cryptos have different transfer speeds, so for the quickest casino payouts – or borderline instant online casino payouts – Litecoin and various third-generation coins like Cardano, Solana, or Avalanche are your best bet.
If you are visiting one of our recommended Internet casinos for US players, then yes, the bonus offers and promotions are legitimate and are accompanied by reasonable wagering requirements and terms.
On the flip side, questionable online casinos use attractive bonus offers to lure in unsuspecting players, but they have no intention of honoring these bonuses when it’s time to pay out.
As a rule, legitimate, safe gambling sites will offer comparatively small casino bonuses ($500-$3000) with rollovers of 20-50X.
Sites to avoid will generally offer higher bonuses ($5000 and up) with rollover requirements in the 60-80X region, making payouts all but unobtainable.
There are exceptions, but the higher the bonus, the more important it is that you read the associated terms and conditions.
Several years ago, before the mobile revolution, most online casinos required Flash downloads or other executable files to be installed on your computer in order to play the games on offer.
However, this is no longer the case, and you can enjoy every casino game type at any top site through your desktop or mobile web browser of choice (i.e. Chrome, Edge, Safari, Firefox, Opera, etc.).
Not all online casinos offer tournament poker or live poker.
While every Internet gambling site features multiple flavors of online video poker, real multiplayer poker tables are only available at a few of the biggest sites in the industry.
At online casinos, there are usually two types of table games to choose from: digital table games or live table games.
The former type – also called video table games or online electronic casino games – are exactly what they sound like: You are playing a game on an RNG (random number generation) platform that offers you the same odds to win as brick-and-mortar casinos.
Live dealer games, however, are more immersive. To use these, simply go to the live section of your site, pick a host and a game type, and pull up a chair!
Once at the table, you’ll get a video feed of the actual dealer, and you’ll be playing against others at that table, all in real time!