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
Legal 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 though the government didn't get involved for centuries, some states began to restrict activities. Some went underground, but other forms of gambling like lotteries prevailed throughout the years.
Many American states saw the revenue possibilities from legalizing casinos, lotteries, race tracks, and sports betting. Though the federal government has struggled for many years to combat underground games while letting the states make their own laws, it wasn't until the prevalence of online gambling that individual states started to regulate these types of games. These included all the popular online casino games like video poker, roulette, blackjack, slots, craps, faro, keno and baccarat, Today, states again are taking the issue into their own hands and beginning to legalize games that the federal government has yet to embrace.
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
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, San Francisco became the center of American gambling, but gambling was outlawed again at the beginning of the 20th century. 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.
The first state to legalize gambling was Nevada in 1931. During the 1950s, Las Vegas developed into the gambling capital of the United States and over time, organized crime was driven out of Vegas.
In 1977, gambling was legalized in Atlantic City, New Jersey, which became a major tourist destination. Shortly afterwards, the first reservation-based gambling institutions were set up by Native Americans. These became increasingly popular and in 1988 the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act gave tribes permission to run gambling establishments on their reservations.
More and more states recognized the earning potential from gambling and in the year 2017 , there are many brick and mortar casinos all over the United States. Further down in this article, you can find out how many states you can gamble in.
Minimum Legal Gambling Age by State
|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)|
|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
|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 games they offer.
If you have ever wondered what states you can gamble in at 18, you now have the answers in the above table. In most states, you have to be either 18 or 21 to gamble, but there are some states where this depends on the casinos themselves as Native American casinos enjoy a special status.
States that allow gambling for 18-year-olds are:
States that allow some forms of gambling for 18-year-olds (usually pari-mutuel and bingo) are:
- New Mexico
- New York
- South Dakota
The biggest brick and mortar casino in the USA is currently the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut.
Land Based Casino Finder
Zoom in by state:
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.
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 since US government crackdowns 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.
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
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.
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.
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
- Western Union
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 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.
Responsible Gaming for Americans
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.