Rules and Strategy

Is Online Gambling Legal – All the US and Canada Casino Facts

Legal Online Gambling


When it comes to gaming inside the establishments of online casinos in the US and Canada there is always the big question of ‘is online gambling legal?’ Here in this guide, we present the facts for those in the United States from Nevada to Delaware discussing gambling legislation and how you can bet online, including in Canada.




Introduction to online gambling

There is plenty of confusion for the players in the United States, given you have state law and federal law. Adding to this, you have plenty of hearsay, rumors, misinformation and what Trump would call ‘fake news’. Online gambling is, despite all of this, easy to get your head around.

Through our guide, you will understand how betting is made possible, through both sports betting and general casino games for the main key states. So, if you are based in California, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas and you love poker, as an example, we will tell you how you can find the right casino amongst the many casinos available, to get you on the right path towards legal betting.

The state of play in your state or providence

So, what is the state of play inside of America and Canada? Is gambling online in USA illegal everywhere? Does the internet allow for loopholes in the law? Can players benefit from gaming overseas? What games are available? There is plenty to discuss and observe given the scale of Internet sites out there.

Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, Texas and many more states have had their brush of gambling in one form or another. Whether it be the lottery, sportsbooks and land-based operators, there will have, at some point in history, been access to a form of betting outlet. The culprit for the modern confusion over the legislation is the laws themselves.

The same can be said of Canadian laws, there are providences with their own gambling terms, even the ages in which you can gamble alter from 16 to 21 depending on where you live. The problem is that countries, or should we say governments, don’t want to be seen to condone gambling or betting and laws are there to initially confuse and to limit the number that does play, but when you do, they are more than happy to tax you on the money you win, which is a real put-off for people in the United States.

In simple terms, a bill can be passed to make gambling illegal by federal law, yet states can overrule this, effectively allowing their own laws to overrule. Thusly, why Las Vegas out in Nevada is able to flourish and for many, many decades. There you can bet live, wagering money on your classic casino games like poker, blackjack, roulette, craps and slot machines. It’s the ultimate gambler’s fantasy, so why is this the only open place like this in the entire USA?

Well, there is a bigger world on the internet that you can access from your mobile, that can be launched from your tablet and played in via your desktop and the online world is legal for many, not just the few.

Getting to grips with online casino sites

What power do laws have when it comes to the Internet market for casinos? Players are certainly able to use the Internet freely; states will allow for players to deposit into casinos across the worldwide web, but truth be told, restrictions can happen depending on the state and any site can be blocked if those states don’t approve of the passion you have for gaming online. Even with sportsbook sites being the biggest hit this decade unless the state has passed the law allowing you to make bets with online sites, the sportsbook option may not load.

So, what do we offer you with this guide? We are now going to go through the key areas in America and Canada to discuss what the bill is on gambling. Where you can and cannot play sports betting or access live online poker. We will also inform you where you are able to deposit to win real money with your bets, be it a casino or sportsbook site.


Is online gambling legal in NY?

New York has had its ups and downs with casinos in the past, whilst all games were banned up until 2013, you could still bet on horse racing. So, where does the state of New York stand right now on gambling?

NY Facts

In 2013 voters approved a new passing of a bill to allow people to play inside Las Vegas-style casinos within the state. The legislation approved the right to build up to 7 new sites and 5 Indian-run casinos in the upstate NY area. A clear example of state law overruling federal law. So, what about online? Yes, the state allows players to access online casinos and this works in two ways. If the casinos that are licensed in New York opened an online alternative, you can play in these. You are also able to join sites that operate online that are based overseas.


Is online gambling legal in Texas?

Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because a game is called Texas Hold ‘Em, that everything is rosy in the Lone Star State, the truth be told, it is one of the most strictest states in the country when it comes to the idea of gambling.

Texas Facts

No casino is allowed to be built in Texas, access to an online site is also prohibited. Should you wish to deposit your money on something, then players are able to benefit from the likes of greyhound racing, horse racing, bingo and raffles are allowed. These areas are what the state class as social gambling and make the list of ways you can win money legally.


Is online gambling legal in Florida?

How do casino establishments fair in Florida? Well, this is an odd one seen as part legal and part illegal. The term Pari-mutuel comes up a lot in the legal terms which makes it one of the more confusing of laws in the US.

Florida Facts

Whether it’s live sportsbooks or land-based operators, the law is state controlled, and it comes with some rules [once going over it several times.] So, the law has passed allowing players to gamble. But wagering is restricted to activities where winnings are not in excess of $10.00! Now, because of this, sites on the Internet would be pointless in joining, though the law isn’t too clear on this either. There is a ‘however’ point to make. If the casino is on an Indian reservation, then you are under their control where gambling on anything is allowed. So, if they are licensing any online casino it could be a way in.


Is online gambling legal in California?

The laws of this state are interesting, to say the least. Some games are banned, and some aren’t which doesn’t help matters should miscommunication come about.

California Facts

So, you can play poker but not roulette, but you can’t play poker unless you’re in a county of more than 4 million residence. Online sites are banned unless licensed by Indian Authorities. To simply sum up the idiocy of the law, slots are banned, unless they are 25-years old and not used for gambling purposes.


Is online gambling legal in PA?

Pennsylvania is basically a no-go state when it comes to wagering on classic casino games. The bill here was passed in 2013, but very little had been done to take advantage of this opportunity. So, what is and isn’t allowed in this state?

Pennsylvania Facts

Those in Pennsylvania can enjoy live sportsbooks, charity raffles and pull-tab games. Anything outside of this is seen as an illegal act of gambling with the first-degree misdemeanor punishing players with up to five years in prison and fines up to the value of $10,000!!!

Online gambling is prohibited, and sites banned.


Is online gambling legal in Michigan?

It is one of the more freer states. Here in Michigan, you can play a mix of lottery games, sports betting and you have access to Indian-run casinos.

Michigan Facts

The state laws are clear when it comes to defining how you can win money from gambling-related activities. Though you cannot bet on stocks, bonds, registered bets or pool selling, you can enjoy recreational card games, bingo, bowling and you can access online sites that are registered by tribal authorities.

Players must be 21 or over to deposit and play in online platforms. Casinos that wish to be launched in the state will have to pay a $50,000 application fee alone and the license to permit their service is $100,000! With a fee of $50,000 every year thereafter.


Is online gambling legal in Illinois?

This is a mixed bag, with both federal and state laws imposing their powers across the gaming options. You will be able to enjoy some activities from your mobile in the pursuit of an online casino, however, the fantasy of winning in other capacities is very limited.

Illinois Facts

The internet is not restricted given the fact the federal act is covered by the Indian Gaming Regulatory body. Though laws have been passed, they offer a bizarre alternative. Riverboat casinos allowed but the market is limited to lake populations of 3+ million! Horse racing is allowed, as well as bingo, antique slot machines, charity raffles and online casinos licensed by Indian gaming authorities.


Is online gambling legal in Canada?

So, how is the state of gambling when it comes to Canada? Is there internet access? Is the casinos market as bad is it is in the US? Are the only legal operators those run on Indian reservations?

When it comes to Canada there are options. Players have access to online sportsbook sites; they have support for land-based casinos run by Indian reservations. There are no federal laws as each state is self-governed. Online gambling is widely available throughout many of the providences.


Where is online gambling legal?

The key states where online gambling is 100% legal in any capacity.

  • Delaware
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Nevada
  • Iowa
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • West Virginia
  • Indiana

Summary: Is it legal to gamble online?

Gambling online is regulated in different ways all over the world. As a result of this, it can be a real nightmare checking the different rules and regulations for each country, state or even province where you want to play from.

A brief breakdown of facts

We get a lot of correspondence here at Casino Bonuses Index.com regarding the legalities of using online casinos from within English speaking territories, mostly along the lines of “Is it illegal in my country”? Where can I go to check? One thing we always advise our player base is to check with the online casino that you intend to play at as a first point of action. If it’s not laid out plainly in their terms and conditions, then you can also check with their customer support. A more time-consuming method would be to check with the gambling regulatory board in your own country if you’re still unsure.

Two of the most popular questions we get asked is regarding the legality of playing at an online casino when you live in the USA, Canada and also in Europe. This question is a veritable minefield on one side and the equivalent of a walk in the park on the other. Why so? Well simply put for European residents it’s completely legal to gamble online, literally everywhere and anywhere. While most European residents might prefer playing at home grown online casino sites or with European brands that have a well-established reputation, the reality is they can play at whichever online casino they like as long as it’s regulated by a legitimate Gambling Commission or any of its white listed jurisdictions.

For residents from the USA however, things can become really tricky because, across most of the United States, the legality of online gambling is in a perpetual state of limbo. In all states aside from just nine in America, it is illegal to gamble online and also illegal to operate an online casino. The only original three states where online gambling is legal are Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. If you happen to live in any of these three states, then it’s perfectly legal to play both online casino games and online poker because they are approved jurisdictions. For a more updated list refer to the list above.

The problem with online gambling restrictions in the US centres around two pieces of legislation, The Interstate Wire Act of 1961 and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006. Both laws prohibit transmission via telecommunications and/or the internet of bets or payments to a terrestrial or online gambling site and vice versa. This means even overseas operations would be breaking the law by accepting US players at their online casino. The most interesting part of all of this is that technically the United States does not have the authority to prosecute someone in another country and also so far has not prosecuted any players from the United States, so the law exists but is almost never enforced.

What this led to, was many online casinos putting outright bans on US players, while others continued to allow US citizens to play at their sites stating that it was legal because they themselves are licensed in a jurisdiction where online gambling is regulated. It’s worth noting that these laws do not cover state lotteries or certain fantasy sports that meet legal requirements, nor do they clarify whether betting on horse racing is legal or not.

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