State By State Guide To Legal Online Gambling

Online gambling in the US is a confusing issue, which is why many US players are still confused about the legality of playing at offshore online gambling sites. US players need to check out not only federal gaming laws, but also state and sometimes county gaming laws before they can be absolutely sure if their state permits playing for real money online.

This page tries to clarify, once and for all, the issue of whether playing for real money at offshore online gambling sites is legal in individual US states. Though the laws are ambiguous and outdated, they do not state that it is illegal for US players to play real money games online.

Is Online Gambling Legal in My State?

The US has a set of federal gambling laws that could be, and have been, used to crack down upon online gambling operators accepting bets from US players. Besides, each of the 50 US states has its own set of gambling laws, which could be said to apply to online gambling although none of them specifically mention online gambling. A few states have special online gambling laws, but they are targeted to operators, not players.

Interestingly, there isn’t a single federal or state law that specifically states that it is illegal for players to play for real money at offshore online gambling sites. Although the feds and individual state governments have cracked down on online gambling operators, they have so far not prosecuted a single US player for gambling online. Under these circumstances, US players do not really have to worry about legalities while playing online. So, is online gambling legal? It would appear as though it is, and if not, it certainly seems to be safe in that you will not be arrested or go to jail.

More about Legal Online Gambling in U.S. States

The gambling laws in most US states were framed long before the advent of the Internet. They are, therefore, outdated, contradictory, inadequate, and confusing, in spite of which it can be argued that they apply to online gambling. Very few US states have laws that specifically address online gambling, but again, these laws are created to curb and control operators and do not mention the legality of individual players gambling online. Although it cannot be clearly stated that online gambling is legal in the US states, the following FAQ can clarify issues.

If a gambling site accepts players from my state, is it legal?

If a gambling site operates from and is licensed in a remote location, it is definitely legal. US state governments could say that playing at offshore online gambling sites is illegal for its residents, but there are no laws preventing residents from playing online. Besides, no state has prosecuted any resident from gambling online. Residents can, therefore, sign up at offshore online gambling sites without fear of getting into trouble with the law.

Has anybody ever gotten into trouble for online gambling in the U.S.?

No US player has gotten into trouble with the federal or state government for playing for real money at offshore online gambling sites. However, federal and state gambling laws have been used to make things tough for gambling operators.

What is the legal age to gamble/gamble online in my state?

The legal age to gamble is either 18 or 21. It depends on the gambling laws of one’s state, which players can easily check out on this website.

What is the difference between legalized and regulated online gambling?

US states have legalized and regulated certain forms of land gambling, which means that only state-licensed operators can run gambling businesses within the state, offering games permitted by the state. A majority of US states have not legalized and regulated any form of online gambling. A few states such as Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware has passed online gambling bills, but haven’t launched online gambling sites.

Offshore online gambling sites that accept US players are safe and legal as long as they are licensed and regulated by a gambling jurisdiction. It is illegal for these sites to operate from the US, but safe for US players to play for real money at these sites.

Need More Help?

The information we present here on is simply meant for reference only. It is simply what we've learned and experienced in our many years of gambling experience.

If players want to be absolutely sure if playing at offshore online gaming sites is legal in their state, we always recommend that they seek professional counsel that is familiar with their state's statutes. They would be best qualified to give you straight-up legal advice if that is what it will take to convince you that it's safe to gamble online.

In the meantime, do a check through your local booking reports. Do you see anyone that has been arrested for betting sports online, spinning a few online slots or playing in an online poker tournament? Fact is, millions of people do it every year and that is the reason why states are pushing to regulate and tax the industry instead of turning a blind eye to it.

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