Complete Guide to USA Casino Gambling

Gambling was taking place in America long before it was dubbed the United States. Native Americans enjoyed the art of the gamble, and settlers later brought in new games like cards and dice. From then to today, Americans enjoy the challenge and the risk-taking involved in the many forms of real money gambling available to them.

Our complete guide includes everything a United States gambling fan needs to know, including:

  • How old you need to be able to gamble in your state
  • The various options you'll find at online casinos and how to get the most out of them
  • Where to find a local casino near you
  • And a glossary of gaming terms So you know how to speak the lingo

Minimum Legal Gambling Age by State

State Cities Minimum Age
Alabama Montgomery, Wetumpka, Atmore 21
Alaska Atka, Barrow, Juneau, Kake, Klawock, Metlakatla, Sitka 18
Arizona San Carlos, Parker, Prescott, Scottsdale, Tucson, Camp Verde, Somerton, Flagstaff, Payson, Fort McDowell, Chandler, Laveen, Maricopa, Pinetop 21
Arkansas Hot Springs, West Memphis 18 for pari-mutuel wagering

21 for slots
California Petaluma, Clovis, Rancho Mirage, San Bruno, Bakersfield, Lakeside, San Jose, Loleta, Willitis, Bell Gardens, Tuolumne, Cameron Park, BlueLake, Oceano, Blythe, Brooks, Anza, Pacheco, Stockton, Sacramento, Redding, Marysville, Pauma Valley, Manteca, Grover Beach, Paso Robles,Watsonville, Trinidad, Jamestown, Coursegold, Santa Ynez, Cudahy, Fresno, San Rafael, Colusa, Commerce, Tracy, Compton, Adelanto, Alturas,Auburn, Rosamond, Susanville, Rancho Cordova, Porterville, Woodlake, Crescent City, Modesto, Indio, Oroville, Gilroy, Visalia, GrassValley, Campo, Rohnert Park, Valley Center, Havasu Lake, Hawaiian Garden, Inglewood, Isleton, Gardena, Jackson, Guadalupe, Jamul, Antioch,Eureka, Finley, Woodlake, Pauma Valley, Boulevard, Folsom, Lake Elsinore, Livermore, Smith River, Hoopa, Colma, Citrus Heights, Marina, SanDiego, Merced, Oakdale, Porterville, Auberry, Cabazon, American Canyon, Everyville, Ridgecrest, Oceanside, Santa Cruz, Cayucos, Atascadero,Bishop, Pala, Hayward, Benicia, Temecula, Burney, Ventura, Salton City, Laytonville, Shingle Springs, Geyserville, Nice, Corning, Lemoore,Downieville, Highland, Santa Ysabel, Redwood Valley, Hopland, San Jacinto, Palm Springs, Coachella, El Cajon, Friant, Lincoln, El Centro,Turlock, Middletown, Soledad, Alpine, Chula Vista, Lodi 18 at some casinos

21 at others
Colorado Cripple Creek, Black Hawk, Central City, Ignacio, Towaok 21
Connecticut Ledyard, Montville 18 for bingo

21 for casino games
Delaware Wilmington, Dover, Harrington 18 for horse racing

21 for slots
Florida Miami Gardens, Miami, Gretna, Dania Beach, Daytona Beach, St. Petersburg, Ebro, Fort Pierce, Hallandale Beach, Jasper, Hialeah, OrangePark, Monticello, Melbourne, Bonita Springs, Ocala, West Palm Beach, Pensacola, Pompano Beach, Sarasota, Clewiston, Okeechobee, Immokalee,Coconut Creek, Hollywood, Tampa, Cape Canaveral, Jacksonville 18 for bingo, poker or pari-mutuels

21 for slots
Idaho Worley, Lewiston, Fort Hall, Kamiah, Bonners Ferry 18
Illinois East St. Louis, Joliet, Metropolis, Aurora, Elgin, Alton, Des Plaines, East Peoria, Rock Island 21
Indiana East Chicago, Florence, Michigan City, French Lick, Lawrenceburg, Anderson, Elizabeth, Hammond, Shelbyville, Gary, Rising Sun, Evansville 18 for pari-mutuel

21 for gambling
Iowa Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Onawa, Burlington, Dubuque, Northwood, Larchwood, Bettendorf, Marquette, Davenport, Waterloo, Toledo, Altoona, Riverside, Osceola, Clinton, Emmettsburg, Sloan 21
Kansas Dodge City, White Cloud, Horton, Kansas City, Mulvane, Mayetta, Powhattan 21
Louisiana Amilia, Baton Rouge, Bossier City, Harvey, Kinder, Marksville, Charenton, Vinton, Shreveport, Opelousas, New Orleans, West Lake, Dry Prong,Lake Charles, Kenner 18 for pari-mutuel

21 for gambling
Maine Bangor, Oxford 18 for pari-mutuel

21 for slots
Maryland Flintstone, Baltimore, Perryville, Hanover, Berlin, National Harbor 18 for pari-mutuel

21 for casinos
Michigan Brimley, Harris, Battle Creek, New Buffalo, Hartford, Dowagiak, Detroit, Wayland, Bark River, Christmas, Hessel, Manistique, Sault SainteMarie, St. Igaz, Brimley, Watersmeet, Suttons Bay, Manitee, Petoskey, Marquette, Baraga, Standish, Mt. Pleasant, Williamsburg 21
Minnesota Carlton, Shakopee, Duluth, Tower, Hinckley, Onamia, Grand Portage, Morton, Prior Lake, Walker, Cass Lake, Granite Falls, Columbus, RedLake, Thief River Falls, Warroad, Mahnomen, Red Wing, Deer River 18
Mississippi Vicksburg, Tunica Resorts, Biloxi, Sandersville, Gulfport, Choctaw, Greenville, Bay St. Louis, Natchez 21
Missouri St. Charles, Kansas City, Riverside North Kansas City, Maryland Heights, Cape Girardeau, Boonville, Caruthersville, La Grange, St. Louis,St. Joseph 21
Nevada Laughlin, Paradise, Reno, Las Vegas, Sparks, Henderson, Elko, Stateline, Carson City, Fallon, Verdi, Sunrise Manor, Primm, Crystal Bay,North Las Vegas, Minden, Mesquite, Yerington, Winchester, Virginia City, Dayton, Hawthorne, Jean, outside Boulder City, Ely, InclineVillage, Indian Springs, Amargosa Valley, West Wendover, Pahrump, Eureka, Winnemucca, Summerlin, Spring Creek, Searchlight, Enterprise,Beatty, Gardnerville, Tonopah, Topaz Lake 21
New Jersey Atlantic City 21
New Mexico Cuba, San Juan Pueblo, Espaniola, Pojoaque Publo, Tesuque Pueblo, Mescalero, Casa Blance, Albuquerque, Church Rock, Isleta Pueblo, SantaFe, Fruitland, Laguna Pueblo, Isleta, Ruidoso, San Felipa, Sandia Publo, Santa Ana Publo, Acoma, Farmington, Sunland Park, Taos, Dulce, Hobbs 18 for bingo and pari-mutuel

21 for casinos
New York Batavia, Yonkers, Hamburg, Farmington, Union Springs, Akwesasne, Monticello, Ozone Park, Saratoga Springs, Salamanca, Buffalo, Irving,Niagara Falls, Nichols, Verona, Vernon 18 or 21 (depends on the casino)
North Carolina Cherokee 21
Ohio Anderson Township, Northfield, Columbus, Toledo, Dayton, Austintown, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Turtlecreek Township, North Randall 18 for pari-mutuel

21 for casinos
Oklahoma Ada, Miami, Claremore, Sulphur, Fort Gibson, Roland, Sallisaw, Tahlequah, West Siloam Springs, Duncan, Durant, Broken Bow, Grant, Idabel,McAlester, Pocola, Stringtown, Dewol, Eufaula, Okmulgee, Wyanbdotte, Shawnee, Ardmore, Grove, Catoosa, Harrah, Clinton, Consho, Madill,Muscogee, Newcastle, Bartlesville, Hominy, Pawhuska, Ponca City, Sand Springs, Tulsa, Wetumpka, Oklahoma City, Norman, Chickasha, Davis,Paoli, Thackerville 18 or 21 (depends on the casino)
Oregon Lincoln City, Cascade Locks, Warm Springs, Chiloquin, North Bend, Burns, Canyonville, Grand Ronde, Florence, Pendleville 18 for bingo

21 for casinos
Pennsylvania Chester, Farmington, North Strabane Township, Plains Township, Mount Pocono, Bensalem, Grantville, Erie, Pittsburgh, Bethlehem,Philadelphia, Upper Merion Township 18 for pari-mutuel

21 for casinos
South Dakota Deadwood 18 for bingo at Indian casinos

21 for casinos
Texas Eagle Pass 21
Washington Sequim, Arlington, Snoqualmie, Chewelah, Suqamish, Wenatchee, Shoreline, Coulee Dam, Kennewich, Mountlake Terrace, Pasco, Port Angeles,Auburn, Fife, Tukwila, Richland, Clarkston, Toppenish, Shelton, Potlatch, Rochester, Seattle, Manson, Pullman, La Center, Yelm, Yakima,Lynden, Deming, Airway Heights, Okanogan, Ocean Shores, Everett, Tokeland, Mill Creek, Renton, Sea Tac, Ferndale, Bow, Anacortes, Kingston,Marysville, Tulalip, Davenport, Ellensburg 18 for pari-mutuel

18 or 21 for casinos
West Virginia Greenbrier, Charles Town, Cross Lanes, Chester, Wheeling 21
Wisconsin Odanah, Hayward, Black River Falls, Madison, Nekoosa, Tomah, Baraboo, Wittenberg, Danbury, Green Bay, Bayfield, Lad du Flambeau, Webster,Keshena, Bowler, Mole Lake, Milwaukee, Carter, Turtle Lake 18 for bingo

21 for casinos
Wyoming Riverton, Ethete, Fort Wahakee 18

Please note: Please check with the individual casinos in the location of your choice on what real money games they offer.

If you have ever wondered what states you can gamble in at 18, you now have the answers in the above age limit table. In most states, you have to be either 18 or 21 to gamble, but this varies by state and depends on the casinos themselves as Native American casinos enjoy a special status.

States that allow gambling for 18-year-olds are:

  • Alaska
  • Idaho
  • Minnesota
  • Wyoming

States that allow some forms of gambling for 18-year-olds (usually pari-mutuel and bingo) are:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

The biggest brick and mortar casino in the USA is currently the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut.

Land Based Casino Finder

Find Your State In The Dropdown Below

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Player Stats & Info

Who regulates the American gaming industry?

There is little nation-wide licensing or regulation of gambling, with the exception of tribal gaming, which is authorized by the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. States are left to regulate their own gaming entities, and most states have established gaming commissions or lottery boards to oversee the gaming activities in the state.

Some American states, like New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware, have setup their state-wide online poker and USA casino sites. Those should boast of the utmost safety for players in those states, and there should be no concerns about payments or security with the strict state oversight that is being put into place during the development stage. Most sites should be available to players sometime in the very near future.

How many Americans gamble regularly?

A 2005 study showed that 85% of adults in the United States gambled at least once in their lives, and 80% of them had gambled in the past year. Online gambling has grown quite a lot since that time. In 2007, according to a Topline Findings report, 23 million Americans played poker regularly, and 15 million of them played online for real money. Of those, 7 million of them played online poker for real money at least once per month. The numbers have fallen in the past few years.

Do I have to pay taxes on my iGaming winnings?

Yes. The United States government requires a 25% tax on gambling winnings that exceed $600 at a horse track, $1,200 at a slot machine or bingo game, $1,500 in keno, and $5,000 in poker tournaments. The same pertains to online casino winnings, no matter where the Internet gambling company is based. Players can often deduct losses to offset the amount of tax owed, but a tax specialist should help with that decision. In addition, state taxes vary in America, so someone familiar with the state in question should address the issues of state gambling taxes.

Do online casinos offer play in USD?

Yes. Most international online casinos and poker sites operate in United States dollars because it is a globally recognized currency. Players can deposit and withdraw in dollars from any online gaming site, and they can play in that currency as well, viewing their cashier page and all financial transactions in United States dollars.

Looking to try out a local casino?

Visit our Local Casino Finder to find brick and mortar casinos all over the USA.

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What is the minimum legal gambling age allowed?

18, although the minimum varies between 18 and 21 from state to state. You can easily see the legal ages organized by jurisdiction and state in this table.

How old do you have to be to gamble online?

The age limit to gamble in online casinos corresponds to the age limit for brick and mortar casinos, i.e.:

  • Delaware - 21
  • Nevada - 21
  • New Jersey - 21

Secure Online Play for Americans in the United States

Secure Play

Players can check the trustworthiness of a company by checking the gaming license and looking for symbols from oversight organizations like eCOGRA, which indicates regular audits of the company. Players should be cautious when signing up to play on any online casino for real money.

How do Americans know that their funds are safe?

Players in the United States concerned about funds on an international online casino or poker site should look for proper licensing and a symbol from eCOGRA. That symbol represents the approval of the international oversight organization that conducts regular audits and ensures that the site is operating fairly and ensuring the safety and security of players.

Is play fair on the online casinos?

Most online casinos that cater to American players use random number generators to ensure fair play. They also use encryption software to make sure that all player information is secure within the site. Players should verify that these are used, as most sites will display that information or make it available through their customer service representatives.

Does a player have recourse if they suspect unfair activity?

Yes. Players can always report a site or players on a site to the company that holds the online casino license. Americans don't have recourse with the government because of its refusal to regulate as of yet, but the licensing institution, along with any oversight organization like eCOGRA, will be responsible and look into any concerns about unfair activity.

September 21, 2017 / by Samantha Beckett
Pennsylvania Senate Law and Justice Committee Chairman Chuck McIlhinney (R-District 10) says business owners allowing illegal gambling operations to take place at their establishments will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. That is, of course, assuming the state legislature, which is currently mulling multiple gambling expansion measures, one being to allow slots [...]
September 20, 2017
September 20, 2017
September 20, 2017
September 20, 2017

Depositing and cashing out in online casinos

The online casinos we are introducing to you on this site offer many different payment options. However, many Americans may find it difficult to use their credit cards or e-wallets like PayPal for paying on international online casino sites. You may have to check on the pages of the casino online of your choice, but generally US players can use the following deposit methods in online casinos:

  • Prepaid cards, such as Ukash

With regard to cashing out your winnings, you need to check with the internet casino you want to use which method is best for US players. The time for withdrawals can also vary, so please check out the T & C on the casino site to avoid disappointment.

Parimutuel Explained

Parimutuel betting is a type of wagering where the final payout is determined after all bets are made. That differs from fixed odds betting where you know the payout when you place your bet.

Perimutuel betting is popular form of gambling in a lot of US states. You'll often find parimutuel betting at off-track facilities. These are places where you can bet on an event without actually being physically present at the location where the event is unfolding.

When you bet on horses, you're taking part in parimutuel betting. All bets are pooled together and the house takes its fee. Once betting closes, the payouts on the outcome are finalized based on how much money is in the pool and the results of the event.

With parimutuel betting (and horserace betting in particular) you'll see odds posted for each wager. But the odds are indicative of the popularity of the horse relative to others.

Legal Gambling's Popularity in the United States

Legal US Gambling

From church bingo nights, to office betting pools during March Madness, to charity Texas Hold 'Em tournaments at the local VFW chapter, gambling and American culture are incredibly intertwined. So much so that many gambling expressions and phrases are now common household expressions, such as wildcard, up the ante, poker face, and many others.

These things probably don't surprise you if you've spent any time at all in the U.S. No matter where you are, you don't have to drive far to see a billboard advertising the local state's lottery or an ad for a nearby casino. Fantasy sports are a multi-billion dollar industry as is online casino gaming. Americans also now have access to casinos online from all around the world that both accept US Dollars and offer every kind of game they could want in multiple varieties including video poker, slots, craps, baccarat, Keno, blackjack, roulette, and countless others.

What were the first gambling laws enacted?

Nevada took the reins to legalize most forms of gambling in 1931, and though New Jersey didn't follow until 1977, the decades that followed saw many land-based casinos built in states across America. And in 1988, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act allowed tribes to offer gaming on their reservations in order to generate revenue. Meanwhile, the Federal Wire Act of 1961 prohibited wagering on sports between states.

Brief history of gambling in the United States

Since the time that Native Americans gambled for food and necessities and bet on physical activities, gambling has been an integral part of United States history. It became a more prominent part of society when the British settled in America, bringing European games like cards and the idea of lotteries. Early cities and towns centered on saloons and gambling halls and soon other forms of gambling like lotteries began to gain popularity. Gambling has always been popular and has a long history in North America and the United States. Native Americans enjoyed different games of chance and first settlers brought card and dice games from Europe to North America.

Gambling was at first concentrated in New Orleans and the areas around the Mississippi. During the Gold Rush era, gambling spread west and San Francisco became the new center of American gambling. Following the Civil War, gambling experienced a resurgence in popularity in the south as well as in old frontier towns like Deadwood, South Dakota and Dodge City, Kansas, whose names still remain synonymous with gambling today. In the years to follow, lotteries and gambling activities became part of the activities of the criminal underworld and were run by the mafia and other organizations before and during Prohibition.

Cities like Miami and Galveston became America's new gambling hotbeds during prohibition and post-World War II, but by the mid 1950s, American gambling centered around one place: Las Vegas. For the next five decades, Vegas' population would just about double in each, with the amount of world class casino gaming there growing equally as fast.

In the 21st century, riverboat and land casinos can now be found in many other states, as can other forms of gambling like off-track betting, lotteries, and scratchcards. But the largest gambling growth in America has come online. The mid-2000s poker boom put countless millions of American players in touch with online casinos, allowing them to enjoy playing blackjack, sports betting, slots, and more online.

Responsible Gaming for Americans

Responsible Gambling

Americans have many resources for responsible gaming and problem gambling. The National Center for Responsible Gaming is dedicated to researching the subject and promotion education and awareness http://www.ncrg.org/. Help can be found there, as well as through Gamblers Anonymous, http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/locations.

Those with problems, or those concerned about a friend or family member with a problem or addiction, are free to use the search engine to find open or closed meetings located in every state around America.

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