Online casinos are a dime a dozen. Do a quick Google search and you’ll find tens, if not hundreds of them, easy. In probably less than a hour  too.

However, US accepting casinos are not a dime a dozen. There are very few of them, and even fewer worth having an account at.

But don’t worry. I’m not going to make you look for them on your own. We’ve already done the work for you. Below you’ll find our picks for the best US casinos online. And below that we go over a few important details you should understand about online casinos and gambling in the United States.

6 Things Americans Should Understand About US Casinos

There are 6 things that, as an American, you should understand about US casinos online.

1. The UIGEA Doesn’t Make Online Gambling Illegal

Some of the biggest misconceptions or misunderstandings about the legality of online gambling in the US is that the UIGEA makes it illegal.

That’s not true.

The UIGEA is a bill that was passed in 2006 along with the Safe Port Act. The main idea behind the bill is to prohibited banks from processing transactions to and from online casinos and American players. That’s why banking is so difficult nowadays — it’s illegal. Your bank is not supposed to ok your credit card request or cash your checks.

2. That Doesn’t Mean Online Gambling Is Ok Though

The UIGEA may not make online gambling illegal, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s ok for you to do. That depends on the state you live in.

Currently there are about 15 states that oppose online gambling and have laws making it illegal. If you live in one of these states (like Washington, Kentucky, Maryland, etc) then you are breaking the law if you gamble online. This is referenced by sites like Wikipedia, PokerNews and

Operators are starting to adhere closely to these laws, too, by preventing players in these states from signing up for an account — even for free money games. They want nothing to do with you. My guess is that they are doing this to try to stay in the USA’s good graces so that they can enter the US market at some point in the future.

Note: Just to be clear, even if you live in one of these states you can still find and join an online casino. But understand that it’s a risk.

3. Deposits Can Be Difficult

The hardest part about gambling online, regardless of the state you live in, is the banking. Since banks aren’t supposed to process your transactions you might have your credit or debit card turned down. You’ll have to find another option to use, like an e-wallet or money transfer service.

4. Cashouts Can Be, Too

Cashouts won’t be any easier. In fact, they are more of a hassle.

For one thing, US players cannot receive a withdrawal to their debit/credit card. So that’s one less option you’ll have.

You run the risk of having your bank turn you down, too. They might decline your check or reject your bank wire. Worse, they might close your account. I’ve seen that happen a couple of times. It’s a rare occurrence, but it can (and does) happen.

You will also deal with delays. Since it’s harder to process US payments, operators frequently come and go. Payments take longer to process and get sent out to players. So you could easily wait 4-12 weeks for your withdrawal.

5. US Accepting Casinos Are Harder to Come By

To be clear — finding a decent US accepting casino is difficult. There are lots of gambling sites that will be happy to take your money. The problem is that a good portion of them are willing to run with your money, too. Others don’t have good games, player base, history, promotions, banking options or a number of other things that should be important to you.

Several of the largest poker and casino sites don’t even bother in the US market. The reasons vary. But it all comes down to not being worthwhile. For example, sites like Party Casino and 888 Casino have shareholders to answer to. So it’s a much bigger risk to enter the US market and process transactions since there can be consequences like fines. Not to mention that entering the US market now might prevent them from entering when it actually becomes legal.

Other sites just suck. Sure, you can sign up, make a deposit and play, but maybe their software sucks, their support isn’t supportive or their promotions are weak.

Whatever the case, you’ll find that the casinos worth playing at are far and few between for American players.

This challenge is amplified for players in one of the states that have laws against online gambling.

6. US Casinos Are Riskier

Being a US player, not only is it harder for you to find a casino, but any casino you do play at will be a risky situation. Even if the casino is legit.

I think Black Friday is a good example of this. The situation had nothing to do with players, but they were affected. Sites like Full Tilt, Absolute Poker and UB couldn’t pay their players. Thousands of players now are out thousands (maybe millions) of dollars. It’s been almost 2 years, too, and still no repayment.

But it’s not just because they sites handled their customer’s money poorly (although that is a big reason). It’s just the fact that they were a US accepting site. This puts a target on their back.

Then you have the casinos that go out of business, for whatever reason. They handled their money poorly, were kicked out by the DOJ/US government or were rogue operators, just trying to take advantage of the hole in the market.

I don’t point these things out to discourage you from playing though. Just to warn you. In fact, I still recommend playing online, but definitely only with money you can afford to lose. I’d also spread that money across a couple of casinos so that if one casino does pack up shop (for whatever reason), you don’t lose your bankroll.

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