When it comes to live dealer casino games and other forms of online gambling, the United States can be confusing. USA players often wonder whether it’s legal to play casino games online and why some of the regulations seem to conflict with each other.
Don’t stress out about this, we’ll explain everything in this guide to the best live dealer casinos USA.
The UIGEA Regulations Explained
To understand the current state of legal live casinos in the USA, we need to take a quick detour back in time. The year was 2006, online casino gaming was booming in America, and the US government was becoming increasingly concerned about all of the revenue flowing overseas.
Instead of regulating online casino gaming, they prohibited it under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, otherwise known as UIGEA. This brought every live dealer online casino USA to a temporary standstill as operators tried to interpret the new regulations.
As it turns out, the UIGEA regulations don’t prosecute players in any way. After all, America is supposed to be the Land of the Free, and throwing Americans in jail for playing live casino games online would be a little over the top.
These regulations targeted two groups: casino operators and payment firms. It became illegal for payment companies to facilitate online gambling transactions for Americans. Companies like Neteller suffered badly, but only a few years later, Americans figured out that you could use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to play at live dealer sites like Red Dog Casino. As of today, it’s the best live dealer casino USA.
As is always the case in America, some states didn’t like these new federal regulations, and they decided to go their own way and legalize online casino games on a state-by-state basis. Let’s look at where each US state stands today.
It’s said that the first through the door always gets a bloody nose, but that’s not true in this case. New Jersey reaped the financial rewards of being the first state in the USA to legalize online casino gaming.
In 2013, NJ legalized online casino gaming when it passed Bill A2578. It tied all of the legal NJ live casinos to real casinos in Atlantic City. This boosted revenues and raised millions in taxes for New Jersey. Some of the best live dealer roulette USA can be found at these casinos.
Pennsylvania decided to hop on the legal online gambling train in 2017 when it passed the Expanded Gaming Act. This made online slots, table games, and poker legal within the Keystone State. This includes live dealer blackjack, roulette, and other card games since those fall under the category of table games.
West Virginia has a reputation as a traditional state in many ways, but it’s online gambling laws are some of the most progressive in the nation. Land-based gambling has been legal in the state since the late ‘90s, but in July 2020 the first legal WV live casinos came online. Obviously, West Vriginia liked the extra tax revenues and economic benefits that legalized sports betting brought its way in 2018, and decided to expand that to casino games and live dealer online casinos USA players.
In December 2019, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the Internet Gaming Act, making live dealer casinos and other casino games legal in the state. Detroit already has multiple iconic land casinos, but this forward-thinking bill makes live dealer games accessible to anyone with an internet connection anywhere in the state.
What About the Other American States?
What if you don’t live in one of the aforementioned states but still want to find a live dealer casino USA players accepted? It’s possible, but those casinos won’t be based in the United States.
How is this possible? You see, after the government passed the UIGEA regulations, many casino sites opened overseas in jurisdictions like Costa Rica, Panama, and Curacao. Casinos like El Royale continued to offer live dealer games for American players in most states.
Strictly speaking, this is a grey area legally, but remember what we said previously; there’s no legal danger of any kind for players. Let the operators worry about the government, and focus on enjoying the best live casino experience you can.
While regulated companies like Evolution Gaming only operate in the legal states mentioned above, Visionary iGaming and Fresh Deck Studios continue to serve American players. You can play blackjack, roulette, and baccarat with beautiful live dealers around the clock.