With real money gambling sites becoming more widely accepted in the United States, online casinos and sportsbooks have become the preferred methods of gambling online for US residents. USA Gambling sites are now offering more ways to place bets and play casino games than ever before. Welcome to Top-gambling-sites.com — Independent UK Online Casino and Bingo Reviews. Not sure where to start with online casinos and bonuses? Want to play free or get the best real money deals if you deposit? At TGS, we know how to profile the best sites for games, promotions and welcome bonuses, we know how to find gaming credible brands.
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First and foremost: you can legally gamble online in the USA. Gambling laws are constantly changing on a state-by-state basis, but here’s what you need to remember: while running your own casino, sportsbook, or poker room inside the United States is not legal, individual U.S. residents will not be prosecuted for making online bets. Most importantly, all of GambleOnline’s recommended casinos are licensed, safe and secure.
In this guide, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about gambling online in the US. Readers will learn about US gambling laws, see an FAQ with common questions answered, and view a timeline of online gambling laws in the USA.
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GambleOnline.co’s US Online Gambling Informational Quick Menu:
- Best Online USA Casinos: Many sites specialize one aspect of online gambling; casino, sports betting or poker, but what is the best online gambling site that offers all 3 types of online gambling?
- Is Online Gambling Legal in the US? Online gambling legislation can be confusing but we cover that in this section.
- State-by-State Gambling Laws: We provide in-depth US state-by-state online gambling guides for all 50 states.
- Online Gambling USA FAQ: We answer frequently asked questions about the US online gambling industry.
- US Online Gambling History: A quick review of the history of online gambling in the United States.
- Sources: A trusted list of US online gambling resources we used to research for this page.
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Best Online USA Casinos
- Bovada — With a great offering of table games, live dealers, sports betting, and poker, Bovada is our top recommended all-in-one gambling site.
- Café Casino — Cafe features a 500%, $5000 welcome bonus for new players and every casino game in instant play form.
- BetOnline — BetOnline offers online slots, poker, eSports, and live in-play sports betting, all with a $1000 welcome bonus.
- Planet7 — Planet 7 Casino has fast payouts with Bitcoin, free spins, VIP promos, progressive bonuses, and all the casino games you want.
- Slots.lv — Slots LV gives players a choice between $1000, 200% welcome bonus and a $1500, 300% Bitcoin bonus along with slots tournaments, table games, and live dealers.
The majority of these casinos accept players from all states, though some state-by-state restrictions apply. Click on the links below to continue reading for specific state-based recommendations for each site. As you can see, you’ll find plenty of good online casinos that accept US players. It’s not quite as easy to find a reliable US online casino that has sports betting and a poker room, though.
State-by-State Online Gambling Laws
A growing number of US states have regulated online gambling. Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey were quick to legalize and license online betting sites. Pennsylvania came later, while California and other states dithered over the process. Most are waiting to see whether the US Department of Justice will ban online gambling. But even states like Texas allow for legal sweepstakes casino like Chumba Casino, so the picture is complicated.
Looking for more information about online gambling in your state? Click on your state below to get an overview of its gambling laws and sites that allow real money gambling from its residents, or see our recommended casino for each state on the right.
State LawsRecommended CasinoAlabamaBovadaAlaskaBovadaArizonaBovadaArkansasBovadaCaliforniaBovadaColoradoBovadaConneticutBovadaDelawareCafé CasinoFloridaBovadaGeorgiaBovadaHawaiiBovadaIdahoBovadaIllinoisBovadaIndianaBovadaIowaBovadaKansasBovadaKentuckyBovadaLouisianaBovadaMaineBovadaMarylandBetOnlineMassachusettsBovadaMichiganBovadaMinnesotaBovadaMississippiBovadaMissouriBovadaMontanaBovadaNebraskaBovadaNevadaCafé CasinoNew HampshireBovadaNew JerseyBetOnlineNew MexicoBovadaNew YorkBovadaNorth CarolinaBovadaNorth DakotaBovadaOhioBovadaOklahomaBovadaOregonBovadaPennsylvaniaBovadaRhode IslandBovadaSouth CarolinaBovadaSouth DakotaBovadaTennesseeBovadaTexasBovadaUtahBovadaVermontBovadaVirginiaBovadaWashingtonBovadaWest VirginiaBovadaWisconsinBovadaWyomingBovada
US legislators continue to fight over whether to ban or regulate online gambling. Some states have passed laws to make online gambling illegal. If you’re concerned about the legality of online poker, online slots, or table games in your region, read our state reviews.
Online Gambling USA FAQ
Is online gambling legal in the US?
Many US residents are confused over the legality of US online casinos — and for good reason. The United States is a patchwork of federal, state, and local gambling laws. The answer varies depending on where you live. Currently, states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire are suing the US Department of Justice to determine whether the federal government can ban online casinos, poker rooms, and lottery sites.
Which states have legal online gambling sites?
States such as Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey have already begun offering legal USA online gambling, and many more states will soon follow. You will not be prosecuted for betting at an offshore online casino. You cannot run your own online casino in the United States, and betting at US-based online casinos varies by state laws. However, you are definitively good to go in terms of betting at offshore online casinos.
How long will it be until the United States has legalized online gambling?
JPMorgan Chase believes as many as 20 US states will have legal online gambling by 2025, though the US’s largest financial institution adjusted this prediction down since then. to read our updates for the latest in legal US online casinos and poker.
What are the age requirements for online betting?
Each state and jurisdiction has a different requirement, but most online casinos have an age limit of 18 and over.
Can I register with more than one casino or sportsbook?
Absolutely. Many players test multiple casinos or sportsbooks before settling on a favorite. Some players shop for welcome bonuses, so they join dozens of online casinos.
Where can I play online casino games for free?
You can play online casino games for free anywhere in the United States. Create a players account, download the casino software, and play in practice mode if you want to enjoy free US online casino games.
Is online gambling as safe and fair as land-based casinos?
If you play at online gambling sites licensed in the UK, Gibraltar, Malta, Kahnawake, or a few other countries, the games are as safe and fair as any brick-and-mortar casino. It’s important that you find safe and fair online gambling sites. Read our recommendations on the best online casinos and poker sites.
History of Online Gambling in the United States
September 13th, 1961 | Federal Wire Act Passed
President John F. Kennedy signed into law the Federal Wire Act of 1961, which was intended to target illegal bookies. However, the US government has (incorrectly) tried to say this law applies to online gambling as well.
October 28, 1992 | PASPA Becomes Law
President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), a sports betting ban.
October 13th, 2006 | UIGEA Becomes Law
George W. Bush signs into law the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). UIGEA makes it illegal for banks or credit card companies to process any online financial transactions for the purpose of Internet gambling.
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Friday, April 15th, 2011 | Black Friday Rocks US Online Poker
Dubbed Black Friday, the FBI and Department of Justice seized major gambling sites’ domains and indicted 11 executives with money laundering, fraud, and violating the UIGEA.
December 23rd, 2011 | US Justice Department Reverses Wire Act Opinion
The US Department of Justice reversed their opinion of the Wire Act stating that the Wire Act only applied to online sports betting. Online poker, fantasy sports betting, and real money casino games are deemed legal.
June 28th, 2012 | Delaware Legalizes Online Gambling
Delaware passed the Delaware Gambling Competitiveness Act to become the first US state to legalize online gambling.
February 22nd, 2013 | Nevada Legalizes Online Gambling
Nevada’s Governor Brian Sandoval signed an online gambling bill, legalizing online poker.
November 26th, 2013 | Delaware Legalizes Online Gambling
Online gambling became legal in New Jersey on this day making NJ the third US state to legalize gambling online. Gov. Chris Christie signed into law online casinos and poker sites.
October 26th, 2017 | Pennsylvania Legalizes Online Gambling
The Pennsylvania Senate passed a bill to legalize online casino games, online poker, online sports betting and daily fantasy sports. PA became the fourth state to legalize online gambling.
May 14th, 2018 | Supreme Court Repeals PASPA
The United States Supreme Court ruled to repeal PASPA.
January 23, 2019 | US Justice Department Reverses Wire Act Decision
The US Department of Justice reversed its December 23, 2011 opinion on online gambling and the Wire Act. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told states and gaming companies to comply by June 14, 2019. New Hampshire and New Jersey sued the DOJ.
March 29, 2019 | Illinois Legalizes Sports Betting
Illinois legalized sports betting with the “Sports Wagering Act”.
May 6, 2019| Montana Legalizes Sports Betting
Montana legalized sports betting. Gov. Steve Bullock’s veto failed to override the House and Senate votes.
June 4, 2019 | Tennessee Legalizes Sports Betting
Tennessee legalized sports betting with the “Tennessee Sports Gaming Act”.
June 12, 2019 | New Hampshire Legalizes Sports Betting
New Hampshire legalized sports betting when Governor Chris Sununu signed the bill into law.
July 26, 2019 | North Carolina Legalizes Sports Betting
North Carolina legalized sports betting on tribal casino lands with Gov. Roy Cooper’s signature.
August 27, 2019 | Oregon Legalizes Sports Betting
Oregon became the 11th state outside of Nevada to accept a legal single-game sports bets.
August 29, 2019 | West Virginia Legalizes Sports Betting
West Virginia legalized sports betting and online wagering. DraftKings and FanDuel launch sportsbooks.
September 23, 2019 | Senate Pushes Forward on Federal Sports Betting Bill
Senator Mitt Romney and Senator Chuck Schumer are reportedly working to reintroduce a federal sports betting bill
November 5, 2019 | Colorado Voters Approve Legal Sports Betting
Colorado becomes the 18th state to officially legalize sports betting since May of 2018
- TVG: This betting site is part of the Television Gaming Network, the biggest horse racing channel. Bets are available from hundreds of racetracks. TVG offers a $200 risk-free first bet as a sign-up bonus.
- BetAmerica: This site is expanding into sports betting, though their most popular product is horse race wagering. You’ll get a 100% welcome bonus, up to $100. Keep an eye on BetAmerica’s promotions calendar for regular enhanced odds offers.
- TwinSpires: Branded around the famous Churchill Downs landmark, TwinSpires offers free past performance reports along with your bet. You will also get a $100 welcome bonus, depending on your wagers.
Is online horse betting legal in the US?
Before the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, many forms of online gambling were promoted. While this act stopped the operators of poker sites, casinos and sportsbooks from accepting wagers from the US, horse racing betting sites got a carve-out.
Betting online is allowed via pari-mutuel pools in any state, which provides horse race betting within its borders.
There are 30 states that allow betting online:
More recently, individual states have been regulating sports betting within their borders. Horse racing has not been part of this legislation since the federal law already allows it.
When it comes to on-track betting, simulcast wagering, and off-track betting offices, this is under the jurisdiction of the individual states.
In most states, you need to be 21 or older to place a bet.
How to bet on horse races online
Betting on horse races is different than betting on sports. Instead of the betting sites offering lines, bets are pooled into a system called pari-mutuel betting.
As you’ll read below, there are many ways to bet.
The total wagers on different bets (win, place, show, trifecta, and so on) are collected, and then the pool is divided between the winning tickets.
Any last-minute rush to bet on a horse will divide the prize pool between more tickets. Pari-mutuel betting sets the price of each bet, not the betting sites.
There are three main types of bets. You can bet on an individual horse, on several horses in the same race (and the order they will finish) or on the outcome of multiple races.
Here is an explanation of how each bet works.
Single horse bets:
- Win: This is the most straightforward horse racing bet. You are wagering that your selection will win the race.
- Place: Your horse needs to come in first or second for this wager to be successful.
- Show: Adding an extra spot, you’ll receive winnings if your selection finishes first, second, or third.
Multiple horse bets:
- Exacta: This bet involves picking two horses. To win, both horses need to finish first and second in the correct order. You can “box” all multi-horse bets, essentially betting twice to cover both finishing orders.
- Trifecta: Pick three horses to finish in the correct order, and you’ll potentially have a big payout. Again, it is possible to box these bets, covering the six possible finishing combinations of three horses.
- Superfecta: This wager involves picking four horses to finish in the correct order. While it is hard to win this bet, the potential payout can be huge.
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Multiple race bets:
- Pick 5/6: These bets involve picking the winner of several races at a specific track each day. It is harder to win than many bettors imagine, with one outsider winning a race upsetting a lot of people’s wagers. If a pick bet loses, the prize pool will roll over to the next day. If a pick’s prize pool rolls over more than once, it can create a considerable jackpot, which incentivizes many people to join the betting.
- Futures: You can combine futures bets for the most significant race meetings. A popular example would be to pick a horse to win the Triple Crown.
How horse race betting sites work
You can access horse betting sites on your mobile phone, tablet, or via a desktop computer. While there are differences between the brands, they work in much the same way.
Apps are available, too, though they are not required. The websites will adjust automatically to fit your screen size, putting the navigation icons and links behind menu buttons to save space.
Registering for a horse race betting site requires only a minimum amount of individual information.
Firstly, the sites will detect your location to ensure you are within a legal jurisdiction. You will also need to provide the last four digits of your Social Security number to prove you are old enough to bet (21+).
Here are the main sections you’ll find at horse racing betting sites:
- Today’s Races: The default view will show the latest races. You can scroll through this list or use the menu on the left to narrow your search by type of race or track. If you are looking for an individual horse or venue, then the search button is the fastest way. You’ll find basic information on the runners, along with the latest win, place, and show prices. Clicking on these betting lines will move a selection to your bet slip.
- Bet Slip: After selecting runners from the day’s races, you can organize your wagers using your bet slip. Some sites have a “quick bet builder” to simplify this process. You can remove selections, bet on single horses, or organize your choices into exacta or trifecta bets.
- Video Streaming: Once you have placed a bet, you’ll be able to enjoy the action via video stream. TVG is part of the Television Games Network, which offers additional media content.
- Results Databases: There are two levels of research possible at the horse racing betting sites. Primary data on each horse is freely available to help you make the best selection. You will also find the pro-level past performance data, which is free (site dependent) as long as you place a wager at the meeting.
- Account Information: This is where you will find your account info, balance, and progress toward clearing any bonuses or collecting loyalty rewards.
- Cashier: The cashier section will include your balance and an area to deposit and withdraw your winnings. We cover how to deposit at a horse racing betting below.
- Bonuses and Promotions: It is worthwhile to keep an eye on the promotions pages of all the major sites. You never know when a deal will appear, covering the type of bets you were about to place. We explain the types of incentives in more detail below.
How to deposit at a horse race betting site
Depositing any of the major betting sites is both straightforward and safe.
While you won’t find the long list of payment methods available at the state-regulated sportsbooks, it is easy to get your money on board.
The primary method is your bank card, which can be your Visa or Mastercard debit or credit card. You can also use prepaid debit cards, including Visa gift cards.
Bank transfers are available under various names, including ExpressFunding or Expressfund.
Many sites will accept wire transfers, as well as old-fashioned paper checks. For cash deposits, you can use PayNearMe at your local 7-Eleven stores.
Finally, PayPal is available for both deposits and withdrawals. While many bettors welcome this service charge fees, the added security for online purchases.
Bonuses, promotions at horse race betting sites
You can take advantage of bonuses at the major horse racing betting sites. These range from small, completely free bets to matched welcome deals.
You should also consider ongoing promotions and incentives; these can make a big difference to your bankroll over the long term than the initial welcome offers.
Here are the forms of bonuses that the significant sites have in common:
- Matched Deposit Bonus: As an incentive to new bettors to deposit, the horse race betting apps will match your first deposit with free bets. With $100 in free bets up for grabs, the standard match is at 100%. You will need to wager your winnings, and typically complete the required betting within 30 days.
- Risk-Free First Bet: Removing the risk from your first wager is used in place of the matched deposit method at TVG. Here, your stake gets refunded (as a new bet) if your initial wager loses.
- Promotions: Look out for promotions where your stake gets returned for second-place finishes, enhanced odds, and other one-off deals for specific races. Promos are often themed around the most significant events, for example, the Kentucky Derby or Breeders’ Cup. Some sites have regular promotions, while others change their lists all the time.
- Free Past Performances: You can get pro-level datasheets, and expert selections at TwinSpires via its free past performances offer.
- PicksContests: Here, you’ll compete against others at your site to pick the winners of multiple races.
- LoyaltyRewards: Collect points based on the bets you place, and then exchange them for extra bonuses or free bets.
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Most popular horse races in the US
There are hundreds of races every day, especially during the summer. The main distinction is between thoroughbred and quarter horse (flat) racing and standardbred (harness) races.
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Furthermore, these races can take place on dirt, turf, of artificial surfaces. There are other formats, including endurance races.
The best horses compete in graded races. There are different levels of these with stakes races at the top. Some of these have multimillion prize pools, which attract the top equine talent from around the world.
You can also bet on international races at US horse race betting sites. Some of these, like the Epsom Derby and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, are huge events.
On a day-to-day basis, you’ll have access to races from the UK, South Africa, Australia, and beyond.
Most prominent horse race events
With hundreds of tracks and various types of racing, there is a lot of action when it comes to the domestic horse racing calendar.
The highlights of the year will vary, with each state having its big meetings. When it comes to the biggest races of all, the three components of the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup are as big as it gets.
Here are the details:
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- Kentucky Derby: The first leg of the Triple Crown takes place on the first Saturday in May at the famous Churchill Downs racetrack. This race is known as “the Run for the Roses.” It is open to 3-year-olds and run over 1¼ miles.
- Preakness Stakes: The second leg of the Triple Crown occurs two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and is held at the Pimlico Race Course in Maryland. Attendance is traditionally huge, only beaten by the Kentucky Derby.
- Belmont Stakes: Three weeks later, the final leg of the Triple Crown takes place at Belmont Park, NY. If a horse has won the first two legs, expect colossal media coverage of this race. The Belmont Stakes is nicknamed “the Test of the Champion.”
- Breeders’ Cup: This series of thoroughbred races with huge prize pools that move from track to track. It attracts the best horses from around the world each year. The biggest purse (at $6 million) is for the Breeders’ Cup Classic race.
Most popular racing events outside of the United States
In addition to the domestic calendar, there are major races from around the world available for betting. Here are some of the richest:
- Epsom Derby: This was the original derby that inspired the Kentucky event. It takes place on the first Saturday in June each year over one mile and four furlongs at the Epsom Downs Racecourse near London. This race was first run in 1780.
- Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe: France’s most prominent race takes place at Longchamp, near Paris, on the first Sunday in October each year. It is considered Europe’s second most prestigious horse race.
- Dubai World Cup: This race meeting is more recent, starting in 1996 in the United Arab Emirates. It is broadcast live on TVG and features the biggest prize pools of any race meeting around the world. It attracts the best global thoroughbred talent.
- Japan Cup: On the last Sunday in November, the biggest prize horse race in Japan is run at the Tokyo Racecourse, which is more than 2,400 meters. With a significant purse, this race attracts the best talent from Europe, as well as the US.
Thanks to a carve-out in the federal laws concerning online gambling, horse race betting is available in the majority of states.
As long as you can legally bet on a race in person in your state, you are also allowed to place a bet online. These bets join with the pari-mutuel pools operated at the tracks, which gives everyone a fair payout based on the weight of wagers for each contender.
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Three horse race betting sites dominate the scene: These are TVG, BetAmerica, and TwinSpires.
Each site gives you access to hundreds of racetracks around the globe. However, bonuses and incentives vary between these sites. You can enjoy deposit bonuses, risk-free bets, free past performance data, and plenty of promotions.
Whether you bet at the top-rated stakes meetings or regional, daily events, there is a wide range of betting options. You can bet on single horses to win, place or show, pick multiple horses in the right order or bet on several races in a row.
You can bet right now from your desktop or iPhone, iPad and Android device. Check out what online horse race betting sites have to offer soon!