The Internet is home to upwards of 2,800 legal gambling sites—that doesn’t even include the less-than-legal sites popping up daily. Finding the best online casinos within this massive pool of options is further complicated by the ever-evolving gambling industry in the United States.
At TechNightOwl, we not only keep track of online gambling legislation nationwide, but we also research, explore, and review new online casinos and betting sites as they are created. The result? A comprehensive database of the best-rated online casinos in the US. It’s our goal to ensure picking a gambling site is never a gamble.
Finding the Best Online Casinos in the USA
We only recommend the best online casinos—but how do we decide which gambling sites make the cut? We start with the basics. To ensure all the sites we recommend are safe and fair, we consider the following factors:
- The site is licensed by a gaming control board (GCB)
- Provides unbiased games and encourages responsible gambling
- Provides fair payout percentage
- Offers transparent bonus terms and conditions
- Has reasonable withdrawal processing times
Any sites that are blacklisted or may have rigged or manipulated games are automatically excluded. Once we’ve established a list of trusted gambling sites, we narrow that down further based on bonus offers, game selection, desktop and mobile capabilities, and more. Here’s what we found:
Best-Rated Online Casinos in 2020
Best In / Category
Golden Nugget Casino
Best Provider Casino Game Selection
Best for Free Sweepstakes
Best Casino for Slot Games
Best Online Casino for Bonuses
Caesar’s Online Casino
Best for Sports Betting
Golden Nugget Online Casino
The Golden Nugget Online Casino is operated by Landry’s, Inc, the same company that owns the land-based version, the Golden Nugget Casino in Atlantic City.
It is among the top online casinos in New Jersey and is well-known for its over 500 slot games—they provide 200 free spins as part of their generous welcome offer. The site also offers virtual sports betting, live dealer games, video poker, and table games, among others.
However, you must be physically present in New Jersey to play. The site uses geo-based location tracking.
Chumba Casino is an online sweepstakes-based gambling site open to both US and Canadian residents.
The site is unique in that while you pay for gold coins, you cash out with sweep coins. You earn sweep coins as a bonus on your gold coin purchases as well as participating in certain events on social media or via email. In essence, the games are all pay-to-play, but the prizes are in a site-based currency, which you can exchange for cash.
That may seem confusing, but it allows Chumba Casino to classify itself as a social gaming site rather than a gambling site, that makes it legal even in states where online gambling isn’t. Washington is the only state where the site isn’t accessible.
LuckyLand Slots is a sister site to Chumba Casino, also operated by Virtual Gaming Worlds. It utilizes the same coin-based exchange system and is likewise legal in 49 states.
As its name suggests, the site focuses on slots. There are 30 exclusive slot games on the site that are not offered on Chumba Casino—or anywhere else. The site is popular not only for its nearly nationwide legality but also for its impressive jackpots. Some have been known to include sweep coin winnings worth over $175,000.
Founded in 1997, 888Casino is one of the oldest online gambling sites. However, it wasn’t available to US players until 2013, when it became the first legal online gambling site in the US. The US site is operated in conjunction with the American company Caesars Interactive Entertainment—a name you likely recognize if you are familiar with gaming hotels and land-based casinos.
The site won “Best Casino of the Year” and “Best Casino Operator” in 2015. That’s likely because they prioritize player satisfaction. 888Casino offers thousands of bonus cash opportunities, along with regular special offers in addition to their popular welcome bonus.
They have an impressive range of casino games including over 200 titles as well as live dealer games. The site is open to residents of New Jersey and Delaware and is set to be available in Pennsylvania soon.
Caesar’s Online Casino
Caesar’s Online Casino is the virtual counterpart of the land-based casino, Caesars Palace, in Las Vegas, Nevada. While it is best-known for sports betting, the site also offers more than 400 slot games and 30 card games (a large chunk of which are poker) in addition to many table-top casino games.
Another significant perk of playing at Caesar’s Online Casino is that you earn rewards points just like you would by playing in-person. Caesar rewards points allow you to earn a wealth of benefits, including free hotel stays, special discounts, free games, airfare vouchers, and other gifts.
The site currently only operates in Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. However, the Pennsylvania site doesn’t offer the same game selection.
Types of Casino Games in American Online Casinos
Slots are popular worldwide for their sheer simplicity, and, as a result, they are one of the most universally-offered casino games. In most online casinos, they also make up a large chunk of the game selection.
Some platforms offer 3-reel slots, 5-reel slots, or fixed-jackpot slot games. Other sites offer progressive jackpots where you can win thousands or millions of dollars. Some sites focus on the tactical aspects of the game or its play features. Other online casino providers focus on the total entertainment value of the game, which includes the graphics and sound effects.
Your options are endless, but all slots work under the same basic premise—you set your bet, pull the handle, and if you match certain symbols, you win!
Like slots, blackjack is also popular in online casinos worldwide. To win this game, the value of your cards has to be higher than the dealer’s cards without exceeding 21.
In online casinos, blackjack commonly offers a smaller house edge than many online casino games, usually roughly 0.1%, so you have a better chance of winning big! However, keep in mind that most online casinos also employ continuous shuffle mechanics—which means you can’t count cards.
Online Scratch Cards
Online scratch cards are essentially the virtual versions of lottery scratchers that you can find in physical corner stores. You may want to take advantage of these as they are far more beneficial than their land-based equivalents. There are reports that the Return to Player (RTP) percentage of a physical or lottery-issued scratch card is merely 65%. An online scratch card in the US has an RTP of about 95%.
Online casinos in the US offer a wide variety of craps games online, including free to real-money games. In virtual versions, the rules are the same as they are in land-based casinos. They use a random number generator (RNG) to simulate the unpredictability of a dice toss. This factor guarantees that the game is entirely fair.
Playing online craps games can be a great way to practice betting strategies before you try at a brick-and-mortar casino. Many sites even provide free-to-play options just for that purpose (though they rarely offer any real winnings).
Online Sports Betting
Unlike traditional sports betting where you can only bet on the available markets, online sports betting provides an extensive range of games. You can simply search for your preferred sport and make your wager. Whether you want to bet on soccer, football, or baseball, online sports bets offer a superior selection for those who like variety.
Online roulette games use random number generators to replicate the spinning of a wheel. Beyond that, the rules are exactly the same as they are in a land-based casino. You can bet where the ball will land, or in this case, what number the generator will pick, the range it will land in, or the color.
Some online casinos also offer live roulette games with real dealers. Those are video-based and just like being there in person.
Free Online Casino Games VS. Real-Money Casino Games
Are you playing for money or a little fun? If you’re new to the gambling scene, you may want to start playing games for free until you get a feel for how they work.
Most US online casinos give players a choice to try out their various games without payment. While you may not get the same excitement as playing real-money bets, free games are still amusing. These free-of-charge games will help you practice before taking the plunge and wagering your hard-earned money.
To play free games, you’ll probably still need to create an account. You will then see both demo and real-money games. What’s the difference?
- No cash involved, and the online casino provides credits that you can use to gamble.
- Free-to-play bets can be less volatile since there is no financial risk for the casino/platform.
- You can’t activate the special bonus features that trigger some progressive jackpots.
- Offer attractive bonus schemes that can help you to get started.
- You can win real cash.
- Provide various money deposit and withdrawal methods.
All in all, both free and real-money casinos are entertaining, easy to use, and convenient. So long as you have a reliable device and internet access, you can play to win or practice anywhere, anytime.
Depositing and Withdrawing Money at Online Casinos in the US
Numerous brick-and-mortar casinos in the US still can’t accept payments from credit and debit cards—but that isn’t the case in online casinos. The best-rated online casinos in the US provide various money banking options, including:
Prepaid Cards – Simply sign up on the site and fund the card. Once you’ve funded it, you can start playing.
Bank Transfer – Some casinos allow players to transfer cash directly from their checking accounts without the need for cards, but you may have to pay additional fees.
E-Wallets – E-wallets are essentially prepaid wallets or online financial accounts where you can store funds from different sources. The most popular options are PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller, which are primarily used in American online casinos.
Debit or Credit Cards – US online casinos widely accept MasterCard and VISA. Nonetheless, some banks still won’t process deposits from online casinos.
Common Bonuses in Online US Casinos
- No-Deposit Bonuses – These bonuses are acquired just by signing up for an account. Although they are generally small, you get them for free without making any deposits.
- Deposit Bonuses – Once you have decided to deposit cash, many casinos will match your sum up to a specific amount of money. For example, a 100% match (up to $500) will give you $400 if you deposit $200. Deposit bonuses are the most common promos in US online casinos.
- Cashback Promos – This bonus is essentially a loyalty promotion that credits back a percentage of the player’s losses. For instance, a 10% cashback on monthly wagers/ losses of $400 would give you $40.
Safety of Online Casinos in the US
It is important to note that your safety depends on the platform you are using. Unlicensed online gambling sites come with significant risks, such as unfair odds, loss of funds, and even identity theft.
Licensed online casinos in the US only use software from governed game providers. In these legally functioning casinos, each game is tested by trusted gaming laboratories before its actual release.
Licensed sites also protect your data and deposits. They use high-grade encryption and will separate the funds that you deposit for gaming from the operating budget of the online casino. These measures guarantee that your money is always safe. By sticking to the best-rated online casinos, your overall security isn’t at risk.
Responsible Gambling in Online Casinos
While choosing a licensed casino ensures that the site has your safety in mind, you also need to keep your safety in mind. In online casinos, betting is fast. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and spend more than intended.
Online gambling can also be just as—or even more—addictive as in-person gambling. Learn when to cut your losses or walk with your winnings, and be aware of the symptoms of a gambling problem.
Count on TechNightOwl to Find the Best Online Casinos in the USA
The online casino and sports betting world is competitive—the best-rated sites today might not score the top spot tomorrow. We’ll be updating this page to ensure you can always find the best online casinos in the USA right here—so stop back by soon.