Casino Shield

How to Pick a Legal Online Casino in the United States

The comprehensive guide to: How to tell if a site is illegal and risky, why using legal regulated gambling sites is vital to keeping you, your money, and your information safe, and how to choose a legal online casino in the US.

The question of how to pick a legal online casino in the US can be a tricky one, as each state has different rules and regulations.

Here at Casino Shield, we want you to have the best online gambling experience and our top priority is ensuring you stay safe at regulated, legal online casinos in the United States. In addition to helping you identify the trustworthy legal operators when choosing an online gambling site, we also teach you how to spot the red flags and warning signs at the shady illegal sites and why it is so important to avoid them.

We provide all the information you need to make an informed decision on how to find legal online casinos in the United States, so you can play online with complete peace of mind.

Online casinos the are legal offer:

  • Fair Games.
  • Protect you and your money.
  • Meet stringent guidelines set out by State regulators.

Some states have big plans in the works to launch online casinos and sportsbooks in the future, while other states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, and West Virginia already have a number of exciting online casinos to choose from that you can play on right now. At these casinos, you can enjoy not just casino and sports betting but also poker, daily fantasy sports, and, in some cases. can even buy lottery tickets online.

Before signing up and making a deposit at any online casino in the US, it is vital that you check and make sure it is legal, licensed, safe, and secure.

Not doing your due diligence beforehand can lead to major problems down the road as the security of your personal details and your finances could be at risk and potentially used for fraud or other criminal activity, such as money laundering. You could even be in trouble with the law if you partake in illegal gambling.

When there are so many fantastic online casinos to choose from in the states of MI, WV, DE, NJ. CT, and PA, there really is no need to put yourself at risk by playing at an illegal casino.

Why Choose a Legal Online Casino in the US?

There are many reasons why you should choose a fully legal and regulated online casino in the US to play at when entering the world of online gambling:

  • Protect your banking information: The number one reason why you should opt for legal online casinos is that your banking information will be protected. This can be a huge worry for players, so do not let this ruin your online gambling experience; choose a legit site and know your information is totally safe and secure.
  • Protect your identity: Your identity and personal information are also protected at regulated online casinos. You do not have to worry about potential risks of identity theft or your details being passed on to any third parties.
  • Fair games guaranteed: Games at legal online casinos are independently audited and regulated by US state gaming authorities to protect the casinos’ integrity and to ensure all games you play online are fair and random.
  • Ensured payouts from segregated funds: legal online casinos will always have the cash to award your winnings.
  • Maintaining stellar reputations: When playing at a legal online casino, the operator relies heavily on good word of mouth and keeping its customers happy in order to keep the business going. You can expect stellar customer service and, usually, plenty of promotions and perks to help ensure the casino provides the best possible experience for its customers.
  • Big benefits to the local community: US legal online casinos provide critical tax revenue that is spent within communities to fund services such as problem gambling charities, food banks, help for first responders, homelessness, healthcare organizations, and more.
  • State and federal protections: When playing at a regulated US gambling site, it is highly unlikely to run into any issues, but if you do, the state and federal regulators have the legal authority to step in and assist. Illegal offshore sites, however, are outside of their jurisdictions, so if you do run into trouble or are the victim of malicious behavior, they would be unable to help.

Why Illegal Casinos in the US Are Risky and Unsafe

Illegal casinos in the US are not safe to play at and you could be putting yourself at risk by joining an unregulated online casino.

  • No financial protection: When you deposit real money at an illegal site, there is no guarantee that your money is protected. The site could potentially take your money or go offline and disappear without refunding your cash. The wins on games may also not be as large as they should be or your hard-earned cash could even be seized from payment processors.
  • Poor customer service: At illegal online casinos, the customer service is either very poor or completely non-existent and this means there is no remedy for any disputes that you may have with the casino.
  • Games may not be fair: There is no guarantee when playing at an illegal online casino that the games will be fair and not rigged. They will not be audited and regulated by authoritative independent gambling bodies, so there is no one ensuring their fairness.
  • No responsible gambling protections: Illegal casinos will not put in place responsible gambling protections to protect those who have gambling problems or addictions.
  • Taxes will not benefit your community: It is unlikely that illegal gambling sites will be paying the appropriate taxes and as a result, there will be less tax revenue to fund charities and services in your local community.
  • Legal implications: illegal casinos are illegal for a reason. If you decide to play at this type of online casino, you risk putting yourself in legal trouble.

How To Tell if a US Online Casino is Legal

When you are looking for legal online casinos in the US, you must do your own checks to ensure it is regulated and legitimate. At Casino Shield, we wrote this guide to provide all the information you need to choose a safe site on which to gamble.

Firstly, be sure to check on the site for the regulator seal, which you can find below.

Online Casino Regulator Logos To Look Out For

Legal casinos will contain most or all of the following items listed below. You should always double-check and locate these on the site before making a deposit:

  • Gaming regulator seal: Legal casinos in the US will have, at the bottom of the homepage, a gaming regulator seal to prove they are 100% legitimate, licensed, and regulated by trusted authorities. You should never join an online casino that does not clearly state who its gaming regulator is.
  • Confirm states it is legal in: Online gambling is not legal in all American states and the casino you are playing at should specify which states it is legal in to ensure you are not breaking the law by gambling on it.
  • Associated with a land-based casino: Many land-based casinos in the US are heading online, either on their own or teamed up with another established online operator. That way, the casino is providing players with peace of mind that they are playing at a legal online casino.
  • Reputable name: If the online casino is not associated with a land-based brand, it is still best to choose an option that has a recognizable name and is an established online brand with a great reputation.
  • Headquartered in the US: A legal online casino operating in the US should have headquarters located here to ensure it is following state guidelines on online gambling and that it falls under state and federal jurisdiction.
  • Good customer service: Legal casinos will have good customer service and provide players with a range of contact methods including phone, email, and live chat. The contact info will be easily located on their websites.
  • Regulator Logos: Online casinos have to be licensed and regulated in the state in which they operate. Look out for state regulator logos as seen above to familiarize yourself with what these look like.

If the online casino meets each of these requirements, you can be sure that it is operating legally and that your money and personal details are secure.

Other red flags to watch out for that indicate a site is operating illegally include:

  • Accepting cryptocurrency
  • Accepting foreign currencies
  • Not including the regulator seal
  • Not having an association with a reputable online gambling brand in the US.

These sites can look very legitimate in their design, so taking the time to make these checks is vital to protect yourself when gambling online in the US.

How Online Casinos Are Regulated in the US

The role of online casino regulators is extremely important in ensuring that this industry is adhering to the rules and regulations set by each state to keep players safe when gambling online. The key roles of regulators are:

  • To ensure players are treated fairly and are safe.
  • To ensure online casinos in the US are operating ethically.
  • To ensure online casinos in the US are operating under the law.

All online casinos must be operating within the laws of the state they preside in and this also includes issues surrounding honest advertising, underage gambling, organized crime, and money laundering.

While it would be great to assume that all online casinos are doing this, sadly, this is not always the case and there is no global legal authority to oversee this. The good news is that in the United States, states are doing a great job in regulating online casinos to ensure the safety of players, their personal details, and their money.

Here are the regulatory bodies for each state in which online gambling is currently legal:

Regulation and Licensing Requirements

The exact regulation and licensing requirements will vary depending on the jurisdiction and/or state that the casino is operating in, plus the range of services that they offer. Some of the most common requirements that must be met include:

  • Accounting procedures: There can be differences in accounting procedures depending on each state, but what is almost always necessary is: having customer deposits separated from all other casino funds. A regulator will ensure that deposits at an online casino are protected and that if the casino were to go out of business, the player would get their money back.
  • Fairness of games: Regulators have online casinos demonstrate that their games are fair and that the integrity of the casino is intact. Customers should always have the correct odds of winning and many online casinos will verify this using a third party that runs tests on their software on a regular basis.
  • Assessment of owners: It is not just anyone or any business that can operate an online gambling site in the US. There is a strict process where owners and executives are assessed to ensure that, for example, they do not have a criminal background related to finance.
  • Guaranteeing a complaints process: The role of regulators is also to ensure that there are processes in place to properly handle complaints in a professional and timely matter, with some licensing authorities also providing arbitration services for unresolved complaints.
  • Preventing underage gambling: Regulators will check that online casinos are doing the appropriate and necessary identity checks of their customers to ensure there are no underage gamblers using their site.
  • Problem gambling help: Regulators are there to ensure that online casino sites have measures in place to help prevent problem gambling. This can include available actions such as self-exclusion, time limits, and deposit limits.

As online casinos become legal in more and more states across America, it is likely that the role of regulators will also be expanded to ensure that all gambling sites are operating within the law and in accordance with all their state’s regulations.

What States Have Legal Online Casinos?

Each state has different laws in regards to what is and isn’t legal for online gambling and this can be complicated to understand. These state laws are also constantly being updated and changed, with more and more states introducing legislation that allows legal online casinos to operate. Some of the US states that have already become more open with the use of online casinos includeMichigan, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, New Jersey, and Connecticut.*

Online Casinos in Connecticut

Online casino games went live in Connecticut in October 2021.

Mashantucket Pequot (Foxwoods Resort) and Mohegan (Mohegan Sun, who previously had a monopoly on gambling in the state) have each launched an online gaming platform that can also offer online sports betting and online poker.

DraftKings

Mashantucket Pequot has partnered with DraftKings offering online casino games and sports betting.

FanDuel

Mohegan Tribe has partnered with FanDuel to offer players online casino games and sports betting.

Online Casinos in Delaware

In 2012, legislation was passed making it legal to play at an online casino in Delaware. The system here is different from other states, as there are three online gambling apps available to download from three of the state’s most recognizable casinos and racetracks. These apps have been created in partnerships with the reputable 888 and Scientific Games.

Delaware Park

Delaware Park is a casino well-known to players in the state and is one of the three casinos with online gambling available. Players can enjoy slot games, roulette, blackjack, poker, and more at this casino known predominantly for its horse racing.

Dover Downs Hotel and Casino

Dover Downs Hotel and Casino was once only a horse racing track but it now also has a fantastic casino. Owned by the famous Bally’s Corp., this is another land-based casino with an online casino and an app available to download. At this online casino, you can find a wide range of slots plus table games such as blackjack, roulette, poker, and baccarat.

Harrington Casino and Raceway

Next to the Delaware State Fairgrounds lies the Harrington Casino and Raceway establishment. This is one of the most reputable gambling brands in the state. It was first opened back in 1996 and has built quite a loyal following since. Its online gaming site offers slots, jackpots, roulette, blackjack, video poker, and poker.

Online Casinos in Michigan

Internet gambling was officially legalized in the Mitten State in December 2019, but it was not until 2021 that MI online casinos began to launch. Online casinos, sports betting, and online poker are all legal in this state and you can find many big-name brands here including Golden Nugget, BetMGM, FanDuel Casino, DraftKings, WynnBET, and Stars Casino by PokerStars.

BetMGM

At the BetMGM online casino in Michigan, players can enjoy a range of exciting slot and casino games such as blackjack, roulette, and poker. All of the games that you can find in the popular MGM Grand Casino in Detroit are available to play on the website, as well as on the iOS and Android apps available to download on your mobile device, so you can game on the go.

DraftKings

DraftKings has joined the online gambling scene in Michigan after teaming up with the Bay Mills Resort and Casinos. This casino offers a downloadable mobile app where you can access 100+ games from big software providers such as IGT and Evolution Gaming. Slots, roulette, baccarat, blackjack, and poker can all be played here as well as a small selection of live dealer casino games.

Stars Casino

PokerStars is one of the most recognizable names in the world of poker and now you can enjoy playing it in the great state of Michigan with Stars Casino by Poker Stars. Players can download the app to access the range of games or simply enjoy them through a mobile or desktop browser. This casino provides a wide selection of thrilling casino games including poker, roulette, baccarat, and blackjack. Live dealer games can be played here too and, while the name focuses on poker, there are also plenty of great slots available to spin.

WynnBET Casino

Wynn is one of the top names in the gambling industry and there are many casinos in this state that are owned by its partner brand. It is a top online casino in Michigan to try, providing its players with over 100 fantastic slot games as well as video poker, poker, baccarat, roulette, and blackjack games. Games from big software developers including NetEnt, NextGen, IGT, and WMS can all be found at this online casino in MI.

Golden Nugget Casino

Golden Nugget is an iconic fan-favorite casino known to players across the country. It now has an online casino operating in Michigan where players can enjoy slots, poker, blackjack, roulette, video poker, and live dealer game from big software developers like IGT, Bally, and NetEnt.

FanDuel Casino

There are two popular land-based FanDuel casinos in this state and, in 2021, the brand also launched its own online casinos in Michigan. Hundreds of games are available to play at the FanDuel casino including a range of slots, blackjack, roulette, poker, video poker games, and much more. At the moment, you will not find live casino games here, but live dealer games could very well be introduced in the near future at this online casino in MI.

BetRivers

BetRivers Casino MI is another great option for Michigan players looking to try their luck online. BetRivers was one of the first eight operators to go live in the state of Michigan in January of 2021 when legalized online gambling first kicked off.

Online Casinos in New Jersey

One of the very first states to legalize online gambling was New Jersey. NJ online casino sites launched way back in 2013 and there are now more online casino sites operating in New Jersey than in any other US state, with over 20 to choose from. Online casino games, poker, and sports betting are all legal in this state and you will find popular brands such as Golden Nugget Casino, BetMGM Casino, DraftKings Casino, Virgin Casino, Tropicana Casino, Caesars Casino and Sportsbook, and Unibet.

Borgata

Borgata Casino was one of the first online casinos to launch in New Jersey and offers players over 200 exciting games from big software providers such as IGT, WMS, and NetEnt. There are hundreds of slots to be spun. plus a range of blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and table games. Live dealer games are provided by Evolution Gaming and Ezugi.

Stars Casino by PokerStars

Stars Casino is part of the PokerStars network — one of the most recognizable names in the online gambling industry. Stars Casino is now available to play in NJ and players can choose from a range of fantastic slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and poker games. This casino also offers a large selection of live dealer games that you can enjoy on the go and there is easy access to the online poker and online sportsbook area of the site.

Golden Nugget Casino

One of the most reputable online and land-based casinos in New Jersey is Golden Nugget. If you are looking for an online casino in New Jersey with over 600 great games including slots, blackjack, roulette, video poker, baccarat, and live casino games, then this could be a great option for you.

BetMGM Casino

BetMGM is partnered with MGM Resorts International and has exclusive access to all US MGM land-based and online sports betting. At this casino, players can look forward to playing 400+ games — including a range of 300+ slots, video poker, blackjack, roulette, poker, and live casino games. As one of the most recognizable names in the world of gambling, this is a site players can enjoy with complete peace of mind.

DraftKings Casino

A hugely successful and popular land-based casino in this state is DraftKings and, in 2020, they debuted their online casino NJ mobile casino app. You will find a great range of games at this site — including slots, video poker, table games, keno, and live dealer games. There are 500+ games here and the live dealer area has exclusive DraftKings NJ online casino games for players to enjoy.

Tropicana Casino

Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City is the brand behind this online casino that offers 100+ games from software providers including Bally, IGT, and NetEnt. At the Tropicana Casino, you will find a range of slots, video poker, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and poker. This casino does not, however, offer live casino games.

Caesars Casino and Sportsbook

Caesars Palace in Atlantic City is the name behind the Caesars Casino and Sportsbook. With over 500 games available, it offers a huge library of exciting games including slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, video poker, and poker games. A selection of live games can also be found at this casino.

Unibet

Unibet has been operating around the world for over two decades and is widely known to players abroad. Now it is entering the US market and players can enjoy a wide range of slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and video poker games. A good selection of live casino games can be played here and you can enjoy these also through the site’s downloadable mobile app on iOS and Android devices.

Online Casinos in Pennsylvania

The first online casinos in Pennsylvania launched in 2019 and there are already more than 10 great sites to play at. It is one of the most liberal states in the US when it comes to online gambling and you can find many big-name brands available here including BetMGM, UNIBET, Caesars Casino and Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel Casino, Stars Casino by PokerStars, BetRivers Casino, and Fox Bet Casino.

FOX Bet Casino

FOX Sports and The Stars Group have teamed up to launch FOX Bet Casino in Pennsylvania. There are 400+ games here to play from top software providers such as NetEnt, IGT, and NextGen. Players can enjoy slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, poker, and video poker games here, as well as live dealer games. There is a downloadable mobile app available for iOS and Android devices.

Stars Casino

PokerStars is one of the world’s biggest online casino brands and it now operates in the state of Pennsylvania after teaming up with Mount Airy Casino in Pocono. Stars Casino NJ has 100+ games available to play, including a range of online slots, blackjack, roulette, video poker, poker, and baccarat. A good selection of live casino games can also be enjoyed here. There is a mobile app available to download.

Borgata Casino PA

Borgata Casino is available now to play in Pennsylvania after going live in 2021 and operates under MGM International and Entain. At the Borgata Online Casino, you can enjoy a range of slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and video poker games, plus live dealer games. This site has a mobile app available to download on both iOS and Android devices.

Unibet PA

Unibet has launched an online casino in PA after teaming up with the Mohegan Sun Pocono. Unibet is a hugely popular brand in Europe and is now looking to do the same in the US. Players definitely will not be disappointed by the range of games at this casino as it has one of the biggest in the state with over 150 great slots, progressive jackpot slots, blackjack, video poker, roulette, and a few live dealer options. Big software providers here include Bally, NetEnt, IGT, and WMS.

BetRivers Casino

BetRivers Casino is a well-known brand in Pennsylvania and operates multiple land-based casinos across the state. BetRivers entered the PA online casino market and, although the game selection is currently quite small, they do offer slots, blackjack, roulette, and video poker games to players. Software developers you will find here include IGT, WMS, NetEnt, and Barcrest.

Hollywood Casino

One of the first online casinos to launch in PA was Hollywood Casino. It provides a huge range of games from big software providers like NetEnt and IGT. At this site, you can enjoy plenty of slots, blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and video poker games. Live casino games are available and a mobile app can be downloaded on Android and iOS devices.

Caesars Casino and Sportsbook

Everyone knows and loves the famous Caesars brand and now players in Pennsylvania can access their exciting range of games from home. Caesars online casino in PA is hugely popular as players can enjoy a range of slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, poker, and live casino games.

DraftKings

DraftKings is one of the most played at online casinos in the US and is known for its brilliant range of 300+ slots and table games. Slots at the DraftKings Online Casino are provided by world-class software providers including IGT, NextGen, NetEnt, and Scientific Games. If slots aren’t your thing, you can enjoy lots of video poker, roulette, blackjack, and baccarat games.

FanDuel Casino

FanDuel online casinos can be found across the US, but the first site was launched in Pennsylvania. Slots are available from software developers such as NetEnt and IGT, plus a range of video poker, blackjack, roulette, and poker games are available. Live dealer games can be accessed at this site and there is a good range of sports betting and daily fantasy sports available. FanDuel Casino PA also offers a downloadable mobile app.

BetMGM

BetMGM is another well-known brand throughout the US and after launching its online casino in April 2021, players in Pennsylvania can now access the BetMGM Online Casino PA via desktop or mobile. At this online casino, you will find a range of slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and poker, as well as live casino games.

Online Casinos in West Virginia

Online casinos and online poker became legal in West Virginia in 2019 through the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act, while online sports betting became legal in 2018. The first online casino in WV launched in 2020 when DraftKings Casino partnered with Hollywood Casino Charles Town. Other recognizable brands to launch since then are BetMGM WV and BetRivers WV. Among the respected online casino brands that are expected to launch in this state in the near future are Golden Nugget Casino and FanDuel.

BetMGM WV

BetMGM is part of the MGM group and is known for its high-quality casino games. The online casino in West Virginia is no different and you can expect a brilliant range of slots, blackjack, roulette, and baccarat.

DraftKings Casino

DraftKings is a hugely popular brand in the US and WV players can now access hundreds of games through its online casino site. Slots, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, poker, and live dealer games are all available at this online casino.

BetRivers Casino

BetRivers Casino has partnered with Mountaineer Casino to offer this online casino in WV. At this casino, players can enjoy a range of slots, roulette, baccarat, and blackjack games. In the future, you can expect to find live casino games also available at this site.

Choosing an Online Casino FAQ

Why should I play at a legal online casino in the US?

Players should choose a legal online casino in the US as your banking and personal info will be protected, payouts are ensured from segregated funds, fair games are assured, there are responsible gambling measures in place, and there are benefits from the tax revenue to local communities.

Why shouldn’t I play at an illegal online casino in the US?

You should :never play at an illegal online casino for a number of reasons such as there being no protection for your money, no remedy for disputes, no responsible gambling measures in place, taxes will not be going to your community, there is no guarantee that games will be fair and you could face legal implications.

What should I look for in a legal online casino?

When you are checking if an online casino is legal, you should be looking for a gaming regulator seal, confirmation of which states the casino is legal in, and its association with a land-based casino. It should also have a reputable name, its headquarters should be in the US and you will be able to easily find clear information for customer service, including a phone number.

Where are online casinos legal in the US?

States in the US where online gambling is legal are Delaware, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

What online casinos are available in Delaware?

Online casinos in Delaware are available from Casino at Delaware Park, Dover Downs Hotel and Casino, and Harrington Casino and Raceway.

What online casinos are available in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, the Mashantucket Pequot has partnered with DraftKings offering online casino games and sports betting and Mohegan Tribe has partnered with FanDuel to offer players online casino games and sports betting.

What online casinos are available in Michigan?

Online casinos in Michigan include Golden Nugget, BetMGM, FanDuel Casino, DraftKings, WynnBET, and Stars Casino by PokerStars.

What online casinos are available in New Jersey?

Online casinos in New Jersey include Golden Nugget Casino, BetMGM Casino, DraftKings Casino, Virgin Casino, Tropicana Casino, Caesars Casino and Sportsbook, and Unibet.

What online casinos are available in Pennsylvania?

Online casinos in Pennsylvania include BetMGM, UNIBET, Caesars Casino and Sportsbook, DraftKings, Stars Casino by PokerStars, FOX Bet Casino, BetRivers Casino, and FanDuel Casino.

What online casinos are available in West Virginia?

Online casinos in West Virginia include DraftKings Casino, BetMGM Casino, and BetRivers Casino.

Who regulates online casinos in the US?

Each state regulates and licenses online casinos operating in their jurisdiction. There are separate gambling regulatory bodies for CT, DE, MI, NJ, PA, WV.

What requirements do regulatory bodies enforce on online casinos?

Regulatory bodies ensure that accounting procedures are in place, games are fair, online casino owners are responsible, a complaints process is guaranteed, there is help for problem gamblers, and that underage gambling is prevented.