Las Vegas may be the perfect weekend destination if you want to have fun and visit some of the world’s best casinos but it is certainly not the only place for gamblers in the United States. The number of online casinos that accept American players is slowly rising and fans of roulette, blackjack or slots can easily sign up an online account and enjoy their favorite games without having to plan and pay for an expensive travel. But which online casinos are safe and reliable? What games do they offer? And more importantly, which USA casinos offer the best payouts?
This article looks at some of the most important aspects of online gambling and its availability to American players. In the sections below, we discuss the legal environment, the gaming selection and the different bonuses offered by USA casinos right now. Despite the restrictive legislation in the country, those who wish to play casino games for real money online have plenty of opportunities to do so. Choosing the right online casino, however, is key to having a fun and satisfactory experience while gambling on the Internet.
So, before buying your chips and placing your bets, make sure you are properly informed and able to carefully select the best online casino.
Online casinos are regulated only in a few states, with players required to be physically present within their borders in order to gamble. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 changed the legal environment for gambling operators, prohibiting them from accepting payments related to betting. The legislation also made it very difficult for players to make casino deposits or withdraw their winnings from gaming sites as such transactions were blocked by banks and other financial institutions.
While this ban, regarding mostly to gambling-related payments, is still in place, more and more states are introducing laws to legalize online betting and gambling. In May 2018, the United States Supreme Court struck down the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which acted as a statewide ban on sports betting. Deeming it unconstitutional, the Supreme Court allowed states to form their own laws and some already did, which gave way to regulated online gambling, as well. Today, online casinos can legally operate in only a few states but this still does not mean players have limited options.
On the contrary, there is no existing legislation in the United States that forbids individuals from placing bets in online platforms based offshore. Online users can play various casino games for real money on the Internet as long as they are allowed to register an account. Such websites are abundant and more are launching as we speak. Moreover, many of them offer games, banking options and bonuses that are specifically tailored to US-based players.
Finding casinos that accept US-based players is easy, but when it comes to software providers, things get complicated. Due to legal reasons, there are not many large game developers that give American customers access to their content. This is extremely important, however, because it limits the variety and number of games you can play online. Still, a good portion of software studios is present on the American market, supplying casino operators with high-quality slots, card and table games, poker and even live dealer rooms.
One of the most recognizable names in the world of casino software development is RealTime Gaming, a company that was founded two decades ago. Despite being one of the veterans on the market, it continues to create fun, innovative and feature-rich content across all gaming categories. The portfolio of RTG includes more than 300 titles, including video slots, table games, video poker variations, progressive jackpot slots, live casino games, as well as games optimized for mobile play. US-based players can access these games from a large number of online casinos where they are allowed to register and make a deposit.
Another software provider whose games are available to American casino patrons is Betsoft, known in recent years for its fantastic 3D slots. The studio offers around 200 games, many of which are equipped with incredible graphics, music scores, and intricate storylines. The most impressive series in Betsoft’s library is, of course, their collection of cinematic 3D slots, which feature stunning animations, second-screen bonus rounds, exploding slots, and intriguing characters.
Those who register at US-friendly online casinos would also often find games by Rival Gaming. The provider has plenty of games to offer – slots and video poker, card and table games, as well as their incredible iSlots series. These games come with lovely graphics quality, bonus features and most importantly, fascinating storylines that unfold as you progress through the game.
As you can see, US-based players have a large choice of real-money games from an array of software providers. Online casinos try to secure as many and as varied titles as possible in order to attract new customers, so RTG, Betsoft, and Rival are just some of the gaming studios supplying them with content. As a result of the huge competition on the market, the options are almost endless and casino enthusiasts can choose from all categories of games.
The most abundant one in terms of quantity and variety is slots and, indeed, these are also the most popular games both online and in brick-and-mortar casinos. Even players based in the United States can choose from hundreds of classic, three-reel slots and even more video slots, which come with enhanced graphics. As mentioned above, many casinos are also hosting exciting slot games with three-dimensional animations that remind modern video games. The richness of characters, stories, and themes is impressive – there is certainly something for everyone.
Most gambling sites also have substantial collections of card and table games that you would expect to see in the biggest Las Vegas casinos. Unlike land-based gaming facilities, where space is limited, however, online casinos find no difficulties accommodating many more games. The virtual gaming lobbies usually offer dozens of blackjack and poker tables, baccarat, craps, and many more. Along with the standard American roulette, players can enjoy the more favorable wheels of European and French roulette where the house edge is reduced almost in half.
Indeed, online casinos offer their patrons the opportunity to search for more profitable games with higher expected returns. In contrast, you never know what exactly the house edge is when you step into a brick-and-mortar casino. This applies to more than just the roulette tables – in most of the US-friendly online casinos, you can find multiple video poker variations and check their return percentages. Often, the theoretical return-to-player in video poker is even higher than in blackjack – a fact no one would tell you in a land-based casino but is easy to notice online.
Another exciting type of casino games you would find in all gaming sites tailored to American players is the slots with progressive jackpots. Virtually all software developers create slots where the jackpot is not fixed but it rises constantly with every bet placed in the game, hence the name of these slots. Often, the top prize is in the six or even seven-figure range, depending on how popular the game is. Plenty of specialty games such as scratch cards, Keno, bingo and lottery-like games are also available online.
When it comes to live dealer games, customers in the United States have a lot of titles to choose from. There is plenty of live roulette, blackjack, baccarat and poker games on offer where you can play alongside other gamblers and the games are hosted by professional casino dealers. However, not all US-friendly casino sites have incorporated live lobbies, so players should first review the game offerings at a particular online platform before signing up.
Many online casino players believe that the best way to make a profit from gambling is to take advantage of the different promotions and bonuses they can claim. And this is true – at least for the most part. There are many special offers and each comes with its own conditions and requirements one should meet in order to make the most of the extra money. Most casinos would attract new members with no-deposit bonuses or welcome packages with cash bonuses credited upon funding your casino balance. Others offer free spins, various regular promotions, as well as reload bonuses and loyalty programs.
Sign-up offers are the most common types of casino bonuses and they are used by casinos to draw in new members. This is a smart PR strategy that usually works incredibly well – players are attracted by the appeal of free money, although in reality, it is not free at all. Typically, the welcome bonus is a bonus that matches the amount of the deposited funds and is capped to a certain sum.
For example, many casinos would offer 100% match bonus on the first deposit, although some offers include bonuses that are worth 200% or even 300% of the deposit. Sometimes, newly registered players receive a package of several bonuses, each given upon making a deposit. Such deposit bonuses vary in size and could be anything from $50 to over $500. Usually, there is a minimum deposit required – $10 or $20, as well as rollover or wagering requirements that need to be met.
Some casinos also offer new members no-deposit bonuses that usually come in the form of free spins on a certain slot game. This is a useful way for players to register an account with an online casino, claim the bonus and try one of its games for free. Do not expect to receive many free spins – they would often be 10, 20 or up to 50 spins. While no deposit is required to claim them, there are certain conditions and wagering that should be completed.
Loyalty Schemes and Regular Promotions
Loyalty and VIP programs are very common incentives in online casinos where the operator tends to reward the most active players with different benefits. They may be similar to what is offered to VIP members in brick-and-mortar casinos – higher betting limits, exclusive offers and access to VIP events; or they may give regular players little rewards such as free spins, cashback offers, and reload bonuses.
Most often, the casinos’ loyalty schemes include crediting players with loyalty points, sometimes called comp points or reward points. They are usually given when bets are placed – it could be 1 loyalty point per $10 bet, for instance. Casino patrons collect comp points and once a certain amount has been accumulated, they can progress to the next tier of the program. Typically, these loyalty schemes have at least three tiers and the higher you get, the better the perks. Those with a higher status at the casino sometimes get access even to personal account managers.
In addition, most online casinos that accept US-based players have plenty of regular promotions. They may run daily, weekly, or monthly and may include free spins giveaway, cash-backs, reload bonuses, and more. In some instances, gambling sites run tournaments in which users participate by playing a certain game (usually a slot). Those who wager the most would typically receive a reward in the form of cash or bonus funds.
Bonus Terms and Conditions
As mentioned above, all promotions and bonuses have their individual conditions and requirements attached to them. They will vary significantly, depending on the particular casino and promotional offer. However, there are several things American players should be aware of before claiming a bonus. First and foremost, they need to make sure they are eligible for this bonus as some casinos have country restrictions in place.
In addition, some bonuses may be credited only if a particular payment method is used for depositing. For example, there are specific Bitcoin bonuses at some casino sites. Usually, deposit bonuses are available following a real-money deposit of a certain amount – $10 or $20 in most cases. There is also a maximum limit to the amount of bonus you can take – it depends on the casino and it may be anything from $100 to $3,000.
One of the most important requirements players need to consider before even registering an account at an online casino is the wagering requirement of the sign-up bonus and of all subsequent bonuses, as well. It is a common provision in the terms of almost all casino bonuses and it requires any bonus amount to be rolled over a certain number of times before any winnings associated with it could be withdrawn. In other words, players need to place bets equal to several times their bonus.
When we say several, we mean at least 20 times. Most bonuses have a wagering of at least 20 times their amount or 20 times the combined amount of the bonus and the deposit. For instance, you deposit $50 and receive a 100% match bonus for an extra $50. If the rollover is 20 times (often represented as 20x) the deposit and the bonus, you will need to wager a minimum of $2,000 (20x $100) before you can request a withdrawal.
It is important to note that most casinos want you to complete the wagering while playing slot games. For this reason, not all gaming categories contribute fully towards the rollover – typically slots contribute 100%, while other games have different weightings. Sometimes, certain games such as a single-deck blackjack, for example, will not contribute to the wagering at all. That is why players should review the rollover requirements before claiming any bonus.
Whenever players are choosing an online casino to play at, they need to make sure the platform offers reliable, fast and secure payments, as well as convenient banking options. This is one of the essential aspects of any gaming site for one very simple reason – when you play real-money games, you wish your deposits to go through immediately and your cashouts to be fast.
When it comes to casinos welcoming American players, however, not all payment methods would be available. The use of some digital wallets may be restricted, as may the use of credit and debit cards for online gambling. Due to the USA legal environment, discussed in the first section of this article, some financial institutions and banks would block all transactions to and from gambling operators. This is why US-based players should explore all their options before signing up an account at any one particular casino.
Usually, casinos would accept popular credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, and Amex (American Express), as well as various prepaid cards like Paysafecard. Note that all these companies are UIGEA complaint, so you may find it hard to make a deposit or withdrawal through them. Some players may wish to deposits or withdraw via bank transfer or a check, but these would be blocked. A good alternative is the use of instant banking transfers – these services process transfers directly from your banking account to the casino, often without an additional fee to pay.
Other popular options include e-wallets such as PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller, although their use for gambling may also be restricted. This will depend on the casino website you register an account with. Some casinos would list their area of operation as e-commerce instead of Internet gambling in order to circumvent such legal restrictions. Whenever a deposit a or withdrawal transfer is processed in this case, it would not fall under the special provisions for transactions related to gambling activities.
One of the best payment options offered by US-friendly casinos right now is Bitcoin. Interestingly, most gaming sites oriented toward the European markets, for instance, do not support Bitcoin payments. The popular cryptocurrency has become a preferred casino deposit and withdrawal method for American players, however, for several reasons. A major factor for its popularity among US-based players is its anonymity, at least a relative one – casino patrons should know that they cannot be absolutely anonymous on the Internet. Of course, this method of payment is also extremely safe, fast and easy to use.
Last, but not least, American players should also take the processing time of each banking method into consideration. Most providers of electronic transfers process payments instantly but casinos tend to be a bit slower, especially when it comes to withdrawals. Deposits via most banking methods should appear in your casino balance within minutes, but cashing out may take a few days. In some cases, your withdrawal could take up to a week or even more to reach you. You should check the pending times determined by the casino – a period of 24 to 72 hours, during which time you can cancel the withdrawal request. Note that most reputable casinos also verify the identity of every player before they can carry out any payout.
Mobile compatibility is one of the rapidly growing areas of development in the gambling industry, with some developers and casino operators already introducing impressive “mobile-first” solutions. Mobile casino sites and apps are no longer simply made as copies of the original desktop sites – some of the best platforms today were actually designed with mobiles in mind. Other casinos offer native apps for download, although not many applications are currently available to American users.
There are dozens of top-quality existing casino apps that can be downloaded from the Apple App Store, but you should know that many of them will not accept registrations from the United States. Most US-friendly sites, however, can be instantly accessed from mobiles by simply opening them in the browser of a phone or tablet. Typically, they are fully optimized for touchscreens and come with a simplified design and easy navigation. They retain complete functionality so users can easily sign in, make a deposit and load their favorite games from their hand-held device.
Top USA Casinos
Cherry Jackpot launched in 2017, so it is fairly new and still fighting for a place in the highly competitive online gambling market. However, it already managed to secure high-quality content by signing with one of the biggest and most reliable software providers, namely RealTime Gaming. The casino has quite a simplistic layout and offers players reliable and fast payments via Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Bitcoin.
The instant-play lobby should be familiar to everyone who has ever played in an RTG-powered casino, but the complete gaming collection is available only through download. Players can enjoy a wide range of slots, card and table games, video poker, as well as all of RTG’s popular progressive jackpot games. Users’ privacy and online security are guaranteed through the use of 256-bit SSL encryption, which protects all communication via the site from unauthorized access.
Just like most US-friendly online casinos, Cherry Jackpot does not publish the average return. It does, however, offer quite tempting promotional offers for new members. Slot fanatics who register new accounts will receive 200% Welcome Bonus on their first ten deposits, while those who prefer table games will get 100% match bonus on their first deposit. The casino credits up to $1,000 every time any of the bonuses are redeemed and there is a 40x wagering requirement. There are many other offers, however, including a 300% Bitcoin Booster Bonus, 300% Instant Gift Card Bonus, and 200% Mastercard Deposit Bonus.
Players based in Canada and the United States can enjoy hundreds of slots, video poker and table games at Slots.lv, one of the best online casinos to cater to North American audiences. It also features various progressive slots, specialty games, and bingo. Although it does not explicitly ban players from any country, it does not allow registrations from several states, including Maryland, New York, and New Jersey. The content on the platform is provided by RTG, Betsoft, and Rival.
When it comes to the promotions on offer, new players have the opportunity to get the biggest bonuses on the market right now. Players who fund their casino account for the first time receive 200% match bonus up to $1,000, while the next eight deposits are matched 100% up to $500. The total amount of the Welcome Package is the staggering $5,000, but you need to be careful because the deposit plus the bonus amount are subject to 35x rollover requirement. If you prefer using Bitcoin, Slots.lv will reward your first nine deposits into the casino with bonuses of up to $7,500.
Sloto’ Cash Casino
Another good and reliable casino that welcomes players from the United States is Sloto’ Cash, a fun gambling platform that has been around since 1997. It is operated by DeckMedia and all games in the lobby are provided by RTG, which means players can either choose selected titles in instant-play mode or download the full casino software package. It includes classic three-reel and modern video slots, table games and video poker variations, progressives, and more.
Just like Slots.lv, Sloto’ Cash allows players from the US, but there are several exceptions – those states where Internet gambling is regulated. Once again, players can choose from multiple banking options, including Amex, Visa, Mastercard, Skrill, Neteller, EcoCard, Direct Money, bank transfer, Litecoin, Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. Deposits are instant, while withdrawals are processed within 72 hours, depending on the method you prefer.
Sloto’ Cash offers a wide range of bonuses and regular promotions, as well as a comp program for regular players. New members who fund their balances with $20 or more can also enjoy one of several bonuses, the best one of which is probably the Slots Welcome Bonus. Players receive match bonuses on their first five deposits, along with 300 free spins on the Lucha Libre 2 slot game.
Launched in 2007, Planet 7 started out as an online casino focusing on providing fun and reliable gambling experience to US-based players. Today, it welcomes members from all parts of the world and has an attractive, modern appearance, paired perfectly with easy navigation and convenient cashier. The casino supports Bitcoin payments, but it also accepts Visa, Mastercard and Amex, as well as bank transfers, prepaid cards, and e-wallets such as Skrill and Neteller.
The games offered at Planet 7 Casino are provided by RTG and can be accessed instantly in a browser. All gaming categories are presented – classic and video slots, card and table games, video poker, specialty games, and amazing RTG slots with progressive jackpots. The casino hosts even newly released slots such as I, Zombie, Stardust, Scuba Fishing, and Banana Jones. The bonuses and special offers are even more exciting – along with the 200% Welcome Bonus, players can also take advantage of $25 free casino chips, a 450% Slots Bonus, as well as many VIP bonuses.
Staying true to the glamorous Las Vegas style, BoVegas is a lovely online casino with a neon look and fantastic games by RTG. Despite the retro atmosphere, however, the platform is very easy to use, well-performing and has an interesting, classy appeal. At the lobby, US-based players can access hundreds of video slots, blackjack, baccarat and roulette games, poker variations, progressives, as well as several video poker options.
In order to make an instant deposit into the casino, you need to open the Banking page, where you will see all available payment methods. These include Amex, Visa, Mastercard, Bitcoin, and bank wire. The list of restricted countries is quite short and does not include the United States, as long as you are of legal age (typically 18+ or 21+), you can register an account and play for real money. The casino also has an intriguing four-tier VIP Club, as well as a fantastic mobile app for Android which can be downloaded for free from the website. BoVegas offers up to $5,500 in welcome bonuses – on their first deposit, players receive 250% match on their deposit, as well as 300% Slots Bonus on their next deposit.