This page is dedicated to listing the best real money gambling sites. This isn’t just a list of random websites that I’ve seen published elsewhere; I have personally reviewed every site on this page. The goal here is to not just give you a generic top-list page, but to actually give you real recommendations that you can depend on.
The Best US-Friendly Gambling Sites for 2016
|Rank||Gambling Site||New Player Bonus||Review||Visit Site|
|1.||Bovada Casino||100% up to $250||Read Review||Visit Now|
Every single casino on this page has processed at least one real money withdrawal for me at some point. And let me tell ya, the quickest way to get to know a casino is to ask them for a withdrawal. Anyways, I’ve worked with each one of these gambling sites for at least two years and I trust each one.
We have recommendations for specific types of players or casinos. You can see all those here:
Some other websites may review hundreds of casinos, but it’s hard to believe those guys really, truly know every casino they recommend. There aren’t as many casino sites listed here, but they are all casinos that I know intimately.
Follow any of the links below for a full review of each gambling site:
- Lucky Red Casino Review
- Bet365 Casino Review
- Buzzluck Casino
- Golden Cherry Casino
- Sun Palace Casino
- Vegas Casino Online
- Old Havana Casino
- Club SA Casino
Update: New Jersey Legalizes Online Gambling and Poker
The state of New Jersey finally legalized online gambling in late 2013. See the following link for more information and updates:
Things Newbies Need to Know
Getting started with real money gambling is pretty simple. You choose a site, sign up for an account and make a deposit. I’m sure you could figure that out on your own. However, there are certain things that you should know that aren’t always obvious.
It’s better to know these things before you sign up and play for real money. That way, you can be prepared and continue your journey with the power of knowledge behind you.
1. Scan your driver’s license and a utility bill
Most real money gambling sites ask for a copy of your driver’s license and copy of a utility bill before they will process your first withdrawal. Online casinos are a little paranoid about being ripped off, so they always verify the identities of new players asking for their first withdrawals.
That’s good to know ahead of time because it’s a shocker if you sign up for a casino and only find out they need your information when you try to withdraw your winnings. The first time a casino asked me to fax them my ID, I thought it was some kind of scam. It’s not. That’s just how the online gambling industry works.
So before you sign up, go ahead and scan a copy of your driver’s license and a utility bill that shows your current address. Save it in a safe place on your computer and then you can just e-mail it when you go to make your first withdrawal.
2. No deposit offers have a “win limit”
Some casinos offer you little “free play” chips just for signing up. For example, Casino Titan will give you a $7 bonus as soon as you create an account. You don’t even need to deposit to get this bonus.
These no-deposit bonuses are nice, but they aren’t amazing. Read the terms and conditions sometime. You’ll be surprised to learn that the bonus chip can only be used to win X number of dollars, where X is usually something like $250.
Don’t get me wrong, I used to love these no-deposit bonuses. The thing is, you can’t use them to get rich. The maximum winnings are limited, so don’t waste your time playing progressive jackpot slots with your free bonus money.
3. Casino bonuses must be cleared
Look on the front page of any real money gambling site and you’ll see some kind of crazy looking deposit bonus. They often look something like this:
GET UP TO $3,000 TODAY!
Those offers are actually legitimate, but there’s one catch. You have to clear the bonus before you can withdraw it or any winnings derived from it. Some people call these “rollover requirements,” other people call them “wagering requirements.”
The basic idea is that you have to place a certain amount of wagers before you can withdraw the bonus. For example, the terms and conditions of a bonus might include something like “this bonus has a 20x rollover.”
In this example, you would have to place a total sum of wagers equal to 20 times the bonus amount. So if you get a $100 bonus with a 20x rollover, you would need to place a total of $2,000 in wagers. You could do this by playing 2,000 hands of $1 Casino War or spinning the slots 2,000 times at $1 a spin. It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose as long as you meet the total wagering requirements.
Choosing the Right Gambling Site
The key to finding the right real money gambling site is knowing which sites are safe and which sites should be avoided. Safety is my primary concern because real money gambling is all about trust. You have to trust that the casino handles its money well and that it will send you your winnings when you’re done gambling.
Once you have the safety thing figured out, choosing a gambling site is easy. Most online casinos are similar in nature. They all have the same basic table games and a few dozen slot machines. The biggest differences you’ll see are how the software looks and what kind of promotions each casino has to offer.
In all the years that I have gambled real money online, I haven’t seen much difference between casinos. As long as the casino is safe, it’s a going to be a good place to gamble. The casinos listed at the top of this page are all safe. They aren’t ranked in any particular order because they are all pretty similar.
My advice to you is to just visit any of the casinos recommended above and give it a try. You can download the software and play on a free account before you ever make a deposit. That way, you can give the games a try without risking anything up front.
Legality of Online Gambling
The laws regarding online gambling around the world are complex, poorly written, vague and difficult to interpret. Let’s start with the United States.
United States – see all US accepted online gambling sites
It seems that more and more people in the US are starting to wake up to the fact that online gambling isn’t going anywhere. The government prohibition has been a complete failure and more people are getting sick of Washington DC bureaucrats micromanaging our lives in the Land of the Free.
We’re starting to see more support for legal and regulated online gambling and poker in the United States. A Justice Department ruling in 2011 changed its interpretation of the Wire Act and basically gave states the option to allow online gambling within state borders. Since then, several states have introduced online gambling legislation.
Nevada now offers online poker to state residents, while New Jersey and Delaware already allow online gambling to their residents. It’s a start, but we still have a long ways to go. Some of the big land-based casino owners see the potential in online gambling and are doing everything they can to get behind this early. Other casino owners (most notably Sheldon Adelson) see online gambling as a threat and are fighting it every step of the way.
We have a whole mess of people fighting for various interests. Some business owners are interested in jumping in and joining the fun. Others are resisting. Some politicians are siding with whoever they think will further their careers the most. And a very small minority of politicians are siding with the idea of liberty.
Whatever their motivations may be, it’s nice to see some states finally giving their residents the freedom to gamble online. However, the state-by-state approach is apt to fracture the industry and make it difficult for poker sites to maintain liquidity. What I would really like to see is a nationwide repeal of all online gambling prohibitions.
The Legal Situation in the UK
Online gambling is fully legal and regulated in the UK. In 2005, Parliament passed The Gambling Act 2005 and set up a nice regulatory framework for online gambling. The act legalized online gambling, set up the Gambling Commission and set the standards for all involved in the industry.
In short, the Gambling Act accomplished what I wish we could get done here in the States. Those who wish to run gambling sites in the UK must meet the commission’s strict requirements and submit their operations to independent testing and financial audits. Even those who develop software for gambling sites must be registered.
The online gambling industry in the UK is doing big numbers now. There are numerous high quality gambling sites that employ tens of thousands of people and handle millions of bets every week. Players are protected from rogue operators, safeguards are in place for minors and problem gamblers are able to get the help they need.
Every country takes a different stance towards online gambling. Many countries have laws on the books but little interest in enforcing them. Canada would be a prime example of that attitude. Although it is technically illegal to run gambling sites in Canada, most international gambling sites accept Canadians and even advertise in Canadian media.
Other countries are stricter and actively censor the internet of known gambling websites. I really can’t give you a full rundown of the situation in every country, so your best bet is to talk to attorneys where you live and see what they say. Make sure you understand the risks and proceed with caution.