US Gambling Authorities and Licensing Boards

Online gambling in the United States can be confusing at times, but comprehending the gambling landscape will help you find safe casinos and participate within your state’s legal boundaries. Here, our experts explain how American gambling regulators operate.

Who governs online gambling in the United States?

Because the United States is a coalition of states governed by a federal government, the rules governing online wagering are slightly more complicated than in other countries.

This means that, while wagering is legal at the federal level, states have the authority to regulate gambling within their borders.

This explains why gambling – or, in this instance, online gambling – may be legal in one state but illegal in another, and why each state has its own gambling regulator that determines the law and may even issue licenses to online sportsbooks and casinos.

Why Should It Matter?

As a participant, you may question why you should care about gambling commissions and regulators in the United States. But while we recognize that the topic may not be as entertaining as playing online poker, such as Jacks or Better, or mobile slot games, it is an essential part of staying secure. This is why.

Each jurisdiction in the United States has its own regulations for online wagering. This may indicate that it is lawful and safe to play online poker in one state but not in another. Therefore, knowing the laws of the state in which you reside or are visiting can keep you out of trouble.

You should only gamble at authorized and legitimate casinos. If you do not know who licenses online casinos in your state or other states, you cannot be certain that you are playing at a lawful casino, putting you, your money, and your personal information at risk. Consequently, you knew to safeguard your funds and account.

If casinos are illegal in your jurisdiction, they may not protect your liberties. Casinos must abide by the laws of the jurisdiction in which they are licensed, and if they violate those laws or do not uphold their end of the agreement, they are liable before the courts of that jurisdiction. However, if you play at a casino that is not licensed or approved by your state’s gambling regulators, your state can do little to assist you if your rights are violated or if you are not paid your winnings.

Licensing helps keep you secure. Despite the fact that licensing and laws may appear to be merely bureaucratic formalities, US gambling regulators issue licenses to ensure that casinos are equitable to players and do not engage in fraudulent or money-laundering activities.

The Leading Licensing Agencies In The U.S.

Only Utah and Hawaii out of the fifty states in the United States have completely prohibited wagering. The remaining 48 states have legalized some forms of wagering; for some, this means that land-based casinos are permitted, while for others, participation in state lotteries is permitted.

A number of states have legalized online sports wagering and/or Daily Fantasy Sport over the past few years. However, when it comes to online casino games such as pai gow poker, online roulette, and online video slots, there are only a few jurisdictions where it is lawful to participate.

State of New Jersey

The Garden State enacted a law in 2013 allowing Atlantic City casinos to offer online wagering through partnerships with online operators. Since then, the state has legalized numerous other forms of gambling, and there are now tens of platforms that enable participants over the age of 21 to participate in online casino games, poker, daily fantasy sports, sports betting, lotteries, and horse racing. To qualify as a legitimate casino in New Jersey, a facility must be located in Atlantic City and be regulated by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.


In Michigan, adults over the age of 21 can participate in online casino activities (including poker), sports betting, daily fantasy sports, and the online lottery. However, this is only permitted in casinos regulated by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.


The Coal State has one of the most permissive attitudes toward online gambling, permitting users to participate in casino games, horse racing, sports wagering, daily fantasy sports, and lotteries. To be considered a legal casino in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board must regulate it. Gambling is lawful for those over the age of 21.


The Delaware State Lottery Office has issued online casino licenses to three land-based Delaware casinos, allowing residents over the age of 21 to engage in lawful online gambling. Here, residents of Delaware can participate in online casino activities, gambling, and daily fantasy sports. Delaware and Nevada poker players can now participate at each other’s online poker tables as of 2015.


Even though Nevada is the home of Las Vegas, it lacks a legal framework that permits online casinos to operate within the state. This is one of the most surprising facts for people outside of Nevada. However, the Nevada Gaming Control Board does regulate some forms of online wagering, such as sports betting, horse racing, and poker.

Other Gaming Authorities You Should Be Aware Of

As we’ve seen, wagering commission regulations protect consumers, but they aren’t the only entities you should be aware of.

Analytical Laboratories

Independent of internal reviews of casino brands, casino game developers, and gambling commission regulations, a number of international companies test casino games to ensure their algorithm is secure and equitable. These include global leaders such as eCOGRA, iTech Labs, TST, GLI, BMM Testlabs, and NMi, which has a U.S.-based office.

Knowing about these testing companies allows you to determine which casinos to trust, especially if they make a big deal about their games being “safe and truly random.” In other words, the presence of the logo of one of these leading testing facilities is an additional indication of safety.

Responsible Gaming

For many participants, wagering is an occasional pastime, but for others, it can become an addiction that negatively impacts their mental health, finances, and relationships. Because of this, you should always be aware that there are numerous organizations in the United States that can assist you with wagering responsibly and any gambling issues you may have when gambling online.

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) provides direct assistance in the majority of U.S. states. In the meantime, the International Centre for Responsible Gambling continues to finance research to better comprehend the impact of gambling disorders on individuals in the United States and abroad.


Online wagering in the United States is subject to numerous gambling commission regulations and licensing objectives. To ensure that you are always kept secure and only play when it is lawful to do so, please review our state-specific pages.

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