Regulated vs Unregulated Online Gambling Sites in the USA

By Courtney

In an American context, there are two main types of online gambling sites – regulated and non-regulated. On this page, we’ll explain in great detail the difference between the two, highlight the pros and cons of each, and give you a list of each that we highly recommend.

It’s no secret that each day tens of thousands of American gambling fans visit and play for real money on a host of online gaming sites from the privacy, comfort and convenience of their own homes, if not ‘on the go’ using their smartphones and other mobile devices.

While a portion of these players plays at a handful of online gaming sites owned, operated and hosted in their respective states, most players sign up at offshore gambling sites that welcome Americans and process their deposits, bonuses, play and withdrawals in US$.

Although these offshore sites are not regulated in an American sense, they are in a global sense, the best of which you’ll find listed below. Further down this page, we explain the difference between regulated and non-regulated online casinos and other gaming sites.

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Regulated USA Online Gaming Sites

Although the phrase ‘un-regulated’ may suggest a category of online gaming sites (including online casinos, poker rooms, bingo rooms and sports betting sites) that should be avoided, most of these sites are 100% licensed and regulated – just not in the United States.

Whenever you come across the phrase ‘regulated online gambling in the USA,’ this refers to online gambling sites that are sanctioned by just three US states – Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. (A handful of other states are supposedly in various stages of regulation).

In these states – and these states alone – you’ll find a number of fully licensed and regulated online gambling sites sanctioned and overseen by their respective governments, that are exclusively open to players 21 or older that are residents of their respective states.

Because most of these sites make use of IP address tracking software, if anyone from out of state – or anywhere else in the world – tries to register and play real money games on any of these regulated USA gaming sites, they’re automatically detected and denied access.

This is one of the main conditions of online gambling self-regulation in the United States; that only player from the respective state can access and use their respective facilities. If this were ever violated, the federal government would no doubt have to get involved.

Individual states are permitted to regulate online gambling solely within their own borders. Only in instances where interstate compacts (agreements) have been signed, can they offer their services and facilities to players in fellow online gambling regulated USA states.

Regulated US Online Gambling Sites by State

There are currently only three states in America with regulated online gambling industries – Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. Here is a list of the regulated remote or igaming sites offered by each of the licensed gaming firms:

Nevada Regulated Online Gambling Sites

In February 2013 the state of Nevada licensed and regulated online poker. (No other forms of online gambling are permitted in Nevada including online casinos, bingo or lotteries).

Nevada currently has two licensed and regulated online poker sites run by two separate gambling companies:

South Point Poker LLC

Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Inc.

Click this link for more on Nevada Online Gambling Law.

New Jersey Regulated Online Gambling Sites

In November 2013 New Jersey became the second US state to regulate online gambling. Today it has 23 licensed sites that offer real money casino, poker and bingo gambling.

They are operated by five licensed bricks and mortar gambling firms and only accept players 21 or older who live in New Jersey:

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa | | | | |

Caesars Interactive Entertainment New Jersey | | | | |

Golden Nugget Atlantic City | |

Resorts Casino Hotel | |

Tropicana Casino and Resort |

Delaware Regulated Online Gambling Sites

In June 2012, the state of Delaware became the 3rd (and to date last) to license and regulate online gambling and is considered one of the most progressive.
It has 3 licensed and regulated online casinos (that also offer online poker) operated from the premises of three licensed ‘racinos’ (race tracks with built-in land casinos):

Delaware Park

Dover Downs


Click this link for more on Delaware Online Gambling Law.

Is Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) Considered Gambling?

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is a very popular derivative of traditional skill-based fantasy sports games in the United States conducted over briefer periods (like a day or a week) as opposed to an entire season
So popular is this category that the world’s leading DFS platforms – DraftKings and FanDuel – are billion dollar companies. However, their huge success caused lawmakers to question if DFS is skill-based (as both firms claim) or another form of online gambling?

In answer, most US states do consider DFS a non-gambling skill-based activity, some of which are proposing laws to cement Daily Fantasy Sports as a permitted online activity. A handful of states, however, have categorized it as gambling and banned it.

Here is a list of US States where DraftKings and/or FanDuel are available (as of July 2017):

New HampshireXX
New JerseyXX
New MexicoXX
New YorkXX
North CarolinaXX
North DakotaXX
Rhode IslandXX
South CarolinaXX
South DakotaXX
West VirginiaXX

Is Online Betting Permitted in the United States?

No. While it isn’t illegal for American residents to place sports bets online, it is for US-based sportsbooks to accept interstate sports-related wagers remotely (via phone, the internet, TV or radio) as interpreted by the Wire Act of 1961, which is still valid today.

There is no federal law stopping US citizens from betting at offshore online sportsbooks. If their US bank or financial institution sees they’re making online gaming-related payments, they could forfeit their winnings, and/or have their account closed.

USA Unregulated Online Gaming Sites

There are two types of unregulated online gaming sites in the context of the United States; those that are unregulated in the US but licensed and regulated in recognised and reputable offshore online gambling jurisdictions, and those that are not licensed in any jurisdiction.

Always stay away from the latter whether you live in the US or anywhere else. We do not feature or recommended unlicensed or unregulated sites. We only highlight reputable and lucrative USA-friendly casinos that welcome US dollars and, in some cases, Bitcoin.

The Impact of UIGEA on Online Gambling in the USA

In late 2006 the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was signed into law, making it illegal for US banks and financial institutions to process online gambling-related payments.

The subsequent difficulty in making deposits and withdrawals is why so many US players stopped playing at offshore sites, and why said sites stopped accepting players from the US.
Since then there’s been a resurgence in US-friendly offshore sites including poker rooms (e.g., bingo halls (e.g. and sportsbooks (e.g. and casino sites that accept Americans and US dollars, like those we feature.

Our Featured US Casino Sites are Licensed and Regulated

All of our featured US online casino sites are 100% licensed and regulated by one or more of the world’s most respected online or remote gambling jurisdictions. These include the UK, Alderney, the Isle of Man, Antigua and Barbuda, Kahnawake (Canada( and Gibraltar.
These sites are closely monitored by their jurisdictions and accountable for amongst other things, their conduct, game quality, game suppliers (software vendors), random number generator (RNG) software, security levels and protocols, and 24/7 support facilities.

American Online Casino Sites Deemed Safe and Secure

When it comes to selecting the premier American-friendly online casino sites, our team of reviewers have a clear and concise brief; only seek out online casinos that are 100% safe and secure that being completely trusted by US players.

They do this is by rating every casino using a tried and tested range of criteria. Only online casinos that match all of these criteria are reviewed and featured on No Deposit Kings – no exceptions. Those that do not are ignored.

Here are some of the key criteria we use to rate the best American online casino sites:

  • Accept US-based players – Premier American online casinos accept players from the United States no questions asked provided they are of legal gambling age.
  • Belong to ‘online gambling watchdog’ organisations – Many reputable US casinos are endorsed and monitored by the likes of eCOGRA, Interactive Gaming Council, Online Players Association or The Gambling Commission to ensure they (and other online gambling-related entities) operate using the best practices.
  • Offer US$ as currency – Most of the world’s premier online casinos offer US dollars as one of their currencies, and United States online casinos are no exception.
  • Are accessible on desktop and mobile devices – Every USA casino site worth its salt can be accessed on PCs, laptops, notebooks, smartphones or tablets regardless of the operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Blackberry). All they need is fast and stable internet connection via WiFi, 3G, 4G or LTE.
  • Offer no download instant play games – While there still a few US online casinos with downloadable games, most offer browser-based HTML5 fun + real games for any platform, from desktop to mobile devices – just click to open and play.
  • Powered by the best software developers – Top USA online casinos are powered by many of the best, most reputable and fairest gambling software developers like WGS Technology, Realtime Gaming (RTG), Top Game Technology and Rival Gaming.
  • Big game selections – The best US casino gaming sites have hundreds of top quality games that range from classic slots, video slots and progressive slots to video poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, scratch cards, bingo and much more.
  • Attractive bonuses and promotions – Only the most frequented American online casinos offer the best and most generous welcome and reload bonuses and worthy daily, weekly or monthly promotions with big benefits and rewards.
  • Wide range of banking methods – When it comes to funding and cashing out their US casinos accounts, the casinos we promote offer a broad range of US-friendly payment options that are proven to be safe, reliable and secure.
  • 24/7 casino support facilities – Without exception, all top American casinos online offer players fast and efficient support facilities that are available around the clock via phone, email, Live Chat and in some instances, comprehensive FAQs.

Regulated vs. Unregulated Online Casinos – Pros and Cons

Whether you play at a USA regulated online casinos or the best US unregulated casino sites featured on this site, you should have an entertaining experience at both provided you play responsibly and always within your means. Here are a few pros and cons of each:

Regulated Online Casinos – Pros

  • They are sanctioned by their respective US state
  • Many of them also offer online poker games

Regulated Online Casinos – Cons

  • There are relatively few of them in just three states
  • They are only available to residents of their states

Unregulated Online Casinos – Pros

Unregulated Online Casinos – Pros

  • They are not endorsed in the United States
  • Player disputes aren’t dealt with on US soil

Published on: 2017/09/29

About The Author

Hi, I'm Courtney, the Webmaster at No Deposit Kings - We provide visitors with free and easy access to real money casino gaming thanks to no deposit casino bonuses offered by our hand-picked selection of online casinos.

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