Online casinos and iGaming have enjoyed a surge of popularity throughout the United States since sports betting became legal in 2018. However, despite their popularity among users and a lucrative source of revenue for states, online casino and iGaming is only legal in a handful of states throughout the country.
Online casino is only legal in six states (seven including Nevada), but several states have considered iGaming legalization bills within the last several years.
Continue reading this page to find where you can legally participate in iGaming and where you may be able to participate in the future.
Online Casinos Legal in Six States
Currently, only six states in the country have legalized online casino and online casino table games. Legalization efforts for iGaming have been much slower than the sports betting legalization boom since the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018.
States with legalized online casino gaming typically feature casino apps from such operators as DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, WynnBET, Caesars, or BetRivers.
The following states have legalized online casino apps and iGaming:
Connecticut launched both sports betting and online casino in October 2021. As was the case with sports betting, FanDuel and DraftKings partnered with the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, respectively, to offer iGaming to residents of the Constitution State.
Residents must be 21 years of age to play. Connecticut offers poker, slots, table games, live dealer table games, and a variety of other online casino games.
Delaware was technically the first state in the country to offer legalized online casino gaming, pass legislation on May 9, 2012, and launching its first online casino on Nov. 8, 2013.
Delaware also has a unique single-vendor system where the state retains one exclusive vendor to provide all of its online poker and casino game services. For several years that service has been provided by 888 Holdings, but the state recently published an RFP for its vendor services and received a strong bid from Rush Street Interactive.
Delaware online casinos offer a wide variety of games for those 21 years of age or older.
Michigan has offered online casino and iGaming to its resident since Jan. 22, 2021. The Wolverine State has more than a dozen online casino apps for its residents to choose from. Michigan residents must be 21 year of age or older to participate.
New Jersey currently has more than two dozen online casinos that must be tied and partnered with existing brick-and-mortar casinos in the state. All online casinos are licensed and regulated by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. Gamblers can play table games, slots, and poker in the Garden State.
To participate, gamblers must be located within the Garden State and be 21 years of age or older. The state passed online gaming legislation on Feb. 16, 2012, but did not launch iGaming until Nov. 21, 2013.
Pennsylvania legalized online casino gaming in 2017, but it took another two years for the online apps to launch in the Keystone State. Today, more than a dozen apps are available for Pennsylvanians 21 years of age or older to enjoy. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board regulates and controls online casino gaming in the state.
West Virginia had an interesting path to legalization, as an online casino gaming bill was allowed to pass by Gov. Jim Justice (R) without his signature. The bill went into law on March 27, 2019, but the state didn’t launch online casino until July 15, 2020. West Virginia was the fifth state to legalize online casino in the country.
When Will Online Casino Come to Your State?
Not one of the lucky residents on the above list? Well sadly, iGaming and online casino legalization has been slow going in the past several years. No state has legalized or launched online casino gaming since Connecticut in October 2021.
However, several states have introduced legislation to legalize online casino in the last few years, at least showing that gambling expansion is on their radar.
So, what states have at least recently thought about legalizing iGaming and online casino?
On New York’s Radar
New York’s sports betting market has firmly planted itself as the top market in the entire country, and at least one state politician is hoping the Empire State strengthens its grip around online gaming.
Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., one of the main proponents of New York’s online sports betting legalization in 2021, this year introduced bill S4856, a piece of legislation seeking to legalize online casino gaming, including slots, table games, and live dealer games.
The bill included a 30.5% iGaming tax rate. Most states average between 15% to 18% for their iGaming tax rates, but New York does not shy away from aggressive tax rates. It’s online sports betting tax rate currently sits at 51%, the highest rate in the country.
The bill allows all nine online sports betting operators to acquire an iGaming license. In addition to the nine licenses for online sports betting operators, the bill allows New York casinos, racinos, and tribes to hold an iGaming license. Each license is valid for 10 years and requires a $2 million license fee to hold.
Despite the introduced bill, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) did not include an iGaming element in her executive budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2024.
Addabbo could not find backing legislators to support the bill and has shuttered his efforts for online casino this year. However, the senator did say iGaming is “not a matter of if, but when” for the state. Addabbo said he will take up the issue against in 2024.
Legislation Introduced in Illinois
Illinois lawmakers had their eye on a bill in 2023 that could have potentially legalized iGaming in the Prairie State, but odds for its passage are long at this point.
Sen. Cristina Castro (D-22) introduced the Internet Gaming Act (SB 1656) on Feb. 8, which seeks to legalize iGaming for licensed operators, such as casinos or race tracks.
The bill will allow operators to offer any “internet-based version or substantial equivalent of a gambling game, slot machine, poker, table game, or any other game approved by the board, including, but not limited to, simulcasted live-dealer versions of casino games.”
The Internet Gaming Act calls for an iGaming tax of 15% of adjusted gross gaming revenue and up to three individually branding gaming skins for each licensed operator. Individuals 21 years of age will be eligible to participate and there is no in-person account registration requirement included in the bill.
The Internet Gaming Act is the first piece of legislation proposed by an Illinois lawmaker since 2021. State Rep. Bob Rita (D-28) introduced HB 3142 in February 2021 which would have allowed Illinois casinos or racetrack to offer internet gaming.
The bill has stalled in committee, but could pave the way for legislation to move farther in 2024 and potentially be approved.
New Hampshire May Cross Finish Line in 2023
New Hampshire legislators have introduced an online casino bill that could potentially cross the finish line in 2023. The New Hampshire Senate approved SB 104 earlier this year by just one vote and the bill is currently in a House of Representatives committee.
The bill, which would direct net proceeds to a community college education scholarship fund, seeks to legalize casino games including poker, roulette and blackjack to anyone in the state older than 17 years of age.
The New Hampshire Lottery Commission has released fiscal estimates for the bill, reported that legalized online casino and iGaming could generate $25 million during its first three years of operation for the Granite State.
New Hampshire is the likeliest state to legalize online casino this year.
Maryland iGaming Stalled in 2023
Maryland Senators Ron Watson (D-23) and Nancy J. King (D-39) introduced iGaming bill SB 267 in January 2023, just a few months after the Old Line State successfully launch online sports betting.
The introduced bill attempted to legalize online casino play with a tax rate of 15%. While it did not survive the state’s crossover day in March, the face that the bill was introduced at all could be considered a win for iGaming fans in the state.
If the Senators laid any groundwork for their bill this year, 2024 could be an interesting legislation session for online gaming in the state.
It should be understood, however, that the bill did seek to legalize online casino gaming through a referendum, meaning both the Maryland Senate and House of Representatives would have to approved the legislation before it being sent to the Maryland voters for final approval.
This means that if legislation and a referendum vote are both approved in 2024, online casino gaming likely wouldn’t have a chance to be live in Maryland until 2025 at the earliest.
Indiana iGaming Efforts Dead for 2023
Prior to this year, regulatory experts believed Indiana had the best chance to legalize online casino for 2023. However, an iGaming bill died in committee this year and the Hoosier State will have to wait until 2024 for any future legalization efforts.
Rep. Ethan Manning (R-23) introduced HB 1536 to legalize iGaming in Indiana. However, a fiscal estimate for the bill warned that online casino gaming would likely hurt Indiana’s retail casinos.
If approved, the bill would have legalized online slots, blackjack, roulette, and poker, as well as digital lottery tickets and scratch-offs for the Hoosier State.
“Online casino games will displace some gambling activities occurring at brick-and-mortar casinos. Studies have concluded that up to 30% of new online gaming revenue are displaced from existing casino revenues. The figure could be higher for a saturated market like Indiana,” the report noted.
The bill was left to languish in the Senate without being approved by the state’s crossover day on Feb. 27.
Despite its failure, iGaming legislation will likely be taken up again during the next legislative session.