From Coast to Coast: Mapping the Expansion of Online Gambling in the USA

  • 2024-05-08

Although states can legalize both casino games and sports betting, many of them are yet to permit online slots and card games. They prefer to regulate sports gambling instead.

In most states where online casinos are not legal, gambling exists in a legal grey area. Maryland is a case in point. In the Old Line State, you can play online slots through MD online casinos located overseas safely. 

In this piece, we’ll outline the six states that legalize online casino games. We’ll explain what they permit and what’s illegal. Additionally, we’ll provide tips to help you choose the right casino for you. Let’s get started.


Connecticut legalized online casinos in 2021. The state permits both slots and table games, meaning you can play poker, blackjack, and roulette in a live setting. There's a catch, though.

In Connecticut, only two casinos have the licenses to provide casino gaming—FanDuel and DraftKings. These two brands also provide sports betting and Daily Fantasy Sports in the state.


Delaware first legalized online casino games in 2012, back when most states didn't even know it was legal to do so. Delaware received the green light to legalize iGaming from the Attorney General in 2011.

Although the Diamond State legalized iGaming way back, it only permits three casino sites. The casinos are subsidiaries of local brick-and-mortar establishments, meaning they're not as popular as FanDuel or DraftKings.


Michigan is an example of a state regulating online gambling the right way. After Gov. Gretchen Whitmer legalized the sector in 2019, he allowed regulators to license multiple operators.

Licensing new casinos was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. But in 2023, the first legal casino came to Michigan. Since then, the sector has hit more than $2 billion in revenues.

The biggest operators in Maryland offer hundreds of slots and table games. They work with companies like Microgaming, Betsoft, NetEnt, and BGT to deliver high-quality gaming experiences.

New Jersey

Legal online gambling arrived in New Jersey back in 2013. At the time, only Delaware was permitting casino gaming. Garden State has been giving out new iGaming licenses to operators annually, culminating with more than 30 legal casino sites in the state.

New Jersey's online casinos generate more than $5 billion for the state. In all fairness, they offer both sports betting and casino games. They include world-class operators like Bet365, BetMGM, FanDuel, and Caesars Palace Online.

Rhode Island

After the success of online casinos in New Jersey, neighboring states have been legalizing the sector rapidly. Rhode Island is one of the latest states to permit iGaming—legalized in June 2023.

Rhode Island has an intriguing requirement for every operator that wants to provide online casino games in the state. They must offer live casino games. For the uninitiated, live dealers provide a social gaming environment. 

They connect you with your fellow players through video technology. You can see and interact with your opponents. Beyond social interactions, live games involve strategies and skills. They’re not as reliant on luck as slot machines.


Pennsylvania legalized online casinos in 2017. However, the first licensed casino didn't open until two years later. The state hosts more than a dozen casinos, including major brands like BetMGM, Caesars Palace Online, and Betway. 

The Keystone State ranks among the top states that benefit from legal online gambling. Last year, PA generated more than $5.7 billion, $2.1 billion of which came from online casinos. The remaining amount came from sports and local casinos. 

West Virginia

This might come as a surprise to some, but West Virginia is home to nine legal online casinos. The state legalized iGaming in 2019. Within two years, major brands like BetRivers and FanDuel had applied for licenses to operate in the state.

Although West Virginia has a relatively small population of 1.7 million people, it generates more than $800 million from its online gambling business. One of the reasons is that WV has progressive iGaming laws.

Casinos can offer slots and table games. They can provide lotto games, bingo, and Keno. Of course, they can also provide sports betting.


Nevada is known for its gambling culture. Yet, none of the casinos in Las Vegas and Reno offer slots online. In 2015, the Desert State legalized gambling online with some rules. Online casinos could provide poker but not games of chance such as slots, blackjack, roulette, or keno.

Choosing an Online Casino in the US

Playing online casino games like slots and blackjack is becoming more and more common in the US. This follows increased legalization around the country. If you’re thinking of playing casino games online, we have some good news for you.

In this section, we’ll outline some of the factors to check in a reputable casino site. 

Safety and Trustworthiness

The first thing you should check for in a casino site is its security measures. Does it hold a valid license? Does it encrypt your data using SSL? Can you secure your account with a password and Two-Factor Authentication?

A license and website security show you a casino is genuine. But it also needs to be trustworthy. Read reviews to learn about people's experiences. Choose a reputable online casino.

Fair Bonuses and Promotions

Many online casinos in the US lure new customers with bonuses. Choose a site with fair bonuses and promotions. Consider the games you can play with a bonus. Next, look at the wager requirements, validity time, and game weighting.

The best casinos offer a variety of promotions. There's the welcome reward. But you can also claim cashback deals, tournament prizes, and VIP loyalty points.

Games and Software Providers

Casino games are not created equal. They come in different types. They have varying features and payout rates. Choose a casino with your favorite slots. Find out which software providers supply games to a casino. Choose a site with games from leading software developers. 

Fast Payouts

One of the biggest complaints people have about online casinos is payments. Everyone wants a site that processes winnings quickly. Choose a casino that accepts your favorite payment options. It also needs to have flexible limits.