Top US Gaming Sites
For the past 15 years or so, online gaming has been a contentious issue in the United States. On one side, we have those firmly against the idea of betting real money over the internet. Their concerns center on underage gambling, addiction and the safety of financial transactions.
On the other side, we have those who believe adults should be free to decide how they spend their time and money in the privacy of their own homes. The debate rages on to this very day, but it seems as though the gaming industry is slowly gaining ground. Not only have we had online gambling since the early 1990s, but we are also starting to see the first US states formally legalize real money gaming.
The debate will likely continue for years to come, but those who wish to bet online can do so right now. There are dozens of gaming sites that are open for business today. If you're interested in giving it a shot, these are the sites that we recommend first:
Within the US market there is no one better than Bovada. They offer safe and reliable deposits and offer everything you could want from an all-in-one gambling site.Read Review
Even through the legal confusion in the US over online gambling, TopBet continues to serve it's players and provide top notch gaming opportunities for all.Read Review
BetOnline is always one of the favorites in the United States market. They have reliable deposits and withdrawals which are hard to come by for an US gaming site.Read Review
Casino games are this sites one priority. If you want to only play casino games, they have over 100 games on offer and continue to serve the US without any trouble.Read Review
Even though the name makes it sound like all they cover is betting on sports, you will find everything you need and more for your gambling at Sportsbetting.agRead Review
These are some of the oldest and most-trusted gaming sites open to US players. There are plenty of other options, but these sites have established their safety over the long haul. Year in and year out, these sites provide safe games and fair odds.
One thing to keep in mind when choosing a site is that it doesn't require a whole lot of startup capital for some random outfit to throw up a pretty website. What differentiates the good sites from the bad is how well they treat players over the long term. A website can be made in a matter of hours; a reputation is built over a course of years.
Legal Issues in the US
The legality of real money gaming online is hotly contested in both federal and state courts. Even experienced attorneys will tell you that the legal status of online gaming is unclear. The debate came to a head in 2006 when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed.
Contrary to popular belief, the UIGEA did not expressly forbid the act of placing a bet online. Instead, the law targeted the banking and gambling industries. The text of the law directed banking institutions to decline all financial transactions related to online gaming.
What this means for you is that there is little risk of getting in trouble for placing a few bets online. Millions of Americans play real money games every week and we have yet to see a single person prosecuted for doing so. Most of the laws on the books focus on those who own gaming sites and those who process transactions for those sites.
Several states do have laws on the books that appear to criminalize the act of playing. Most noteworthy is Washington State, where it is considered a felony to place a single bet on sports over the internet. However, that law has never once been enforced. It appears to be a toothless, poorly-thought-out piece of legislation.
Long story short: you don't have much to worry about when playing online. There is always a risk that old laws will suddenly be interpreted differently, but it's not a risk that concerns us. If you consider the millions of Americans who have placed real money bets online and remember that not a single one of those people have ever been taken to court, it seems highly unlikely that anything will happen going forward.
Recent events in Nevada and New Jersey also show us that the tide is turning in favor of those who support online gaming. In Nevada, online poker was legalized and we now have real money sites based out of that state. In New Jersey, there are several gambling and poker sites that are licensed by the state to offer real money games to residents of NJ.
Over time, it's likely that more states will follow suit. State representatives are always looking for ways to increase income for the state without raising taxes on the people. Legalized gambling will look increasingly attractive as other states see the success of online gaming in Nevada and New Jersey.
But in any case, there are plenty of options open to you right now. No matter where you live, there are multiple gaming sites ready for your business. The main thing is to make sure you stick with sites that are safe and trustworthy.
Types of Gaming Sites
The majority of real money gaming sites fall under one of five different categories:
- Casino gaming
- Skill games
- Sports betting
- All-in-one sites
Out of these five categories, casino, poker and sports betting sites are the most popular in the US. Bingo and skill games are growing, but they have a long ways to go before they match the popularity seen in other forms of gambling.
Some of the big all-in-one sites offer multiple forms of gaming under one roof. The advantage of these sites is that you can try all sorts of different games without having to create new accounts and move money around. The downside to those sites is a lack of specialization. In most cases, a straight-up poker site beats the poker games found at a big all-in-one site.
If you have a specific game-type in mind, your best bet is to try a site that focuses on that game. If you're not sure or have a few game-types that you like, head to one of the big all-in-one sites. You'll get a chance to try different games and can then specialize from there if you wish.