The history of online gambling in the United States is an interesting one. The commercial internet as we know it came into being in November 1992, but it wasn’t until May 1995 that the government dropped out of the project.
The first official online gambling site, Intertops.com, opened its “doors” in 1996 and was quickly followed by a torrent of other gambling sites offering services to anyone who wanted to place a bet.
In October 2006, there were more than 2,500 online gambling sites owned by 465 different companies.
Where is online gambling legal in the US?
Currently, online gambling is legal and regulated on a state level in New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada. In October 2017, Pennsylvania joined the online gambling industry. It is expected to launch its iGaming sites and online poker later in 2018.
The legality of internet gambling is extremely complicated. Some countries have no laws regarding it, and others have legalized online gambling both within and outside their borders.
Some countries have made certain forms of gambling online legal and other forms illegal.
The United States has no federal laws that prevent internet gambling from a consumer-based standpoint; however, many individual states have such laws.
What kind of legal gambling is available online in Nevada and Delaware?
At the time of this writing, Nevada had three legal betting sites: WSOP.com, RealGaming, and WorldWinner.com. The first two sites offer online poker, and the third offers a variety of skill games.
Delaware is the new kid on the block, having legalized online gambling in 2013. Currently, there are four off-track horse and greyhound betting sites located within the state and three online casinos.
So is it legal to gamble online in other states?
The answer isn’t as easy as a simple yes or no. There is way too much gray area involved in the interpretation of the laws.
What we do know is that, as of 2017, New Jersey has by far the most vibrant community for internet gamblers.
Where can players legally gamble online in New Jersey?
At the time of this writing, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has issued licenses to five different Atlantic City casinos and offers players a chance to wager on 20 different NJ online gambling websites.
Customers may be able to gamble in other states, but the best online gambling is taking place in New Jersey.
VirginCasino.com, for example, offers a free $20 sign-up bonus for all new players. Simply enter the Virgin Casino online bonus code, 20BUCKS, when you sign up for a new account and enjoy the freeplay.
In addition to the free $20, Virgin has a $100 cash back refund on first deposits. This means players can effectively sign up for an account on VirginCasino.com and gamble $120 with absolutely no risk.
New Jersey also recently saw the launch of PokerStarsNJ.com. Without a doubt, PokerStarsNJ is the best place to play legal online poker anywhere in the nation. PokerStarsNJ will give players a 100 percent first-time deposit bonus up to $600. Enter bonus code STARS600 to get started.
We also recommend several other online gambling sites within New Jersey, including BetfairCasino.com, GoldenNuggetCasino.com, and TropicanaCasino.com. All these sites have wonderful first-time deposit bonuses and a myriad of fun and exciting NJ online casino games to explore.
With any luck, more states will follow suit and regulate online gambling in the near future, but for the time being Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware are the only legal options.
Obviously, if you reside within the states of Nevada or Delaware, you will be doing most of your online gambling there. But if you are looking for a great place to travel and want a fantastic gambling destination, skip Las Vegas and come to Atlantic City.
Not only does New Jersey have world class resorts and casinos, it offers the best legal online gambling in the country. If you live nearby, why not jump on a train and come to New Jersey to play some great online games?
Don’t have the funds for a big deposit? No problem. With just $50 in wagers, you’re in, and no deposit is required at all. So small players can join the fun, too. However, you do need to be a registered player at the respective casino, and the more days you can play this week, the better your chances.
Unfortunately, if you live in New York, Florida, Rhode Island, Louisiana, Hawaii, Guam, or Puerto Rico, these NJ gambling website promotions are not open to you. But otherwise, if you’re a Tropicana and/or Virgin online casino New Jersey account holder, a fabulous prize could have your name on it!
Pot O’ Gold at Tropicana NJ
The dream of every online casino player is not just to be a winner, but to win a pot o’ gold. This week, Tropicana NJ is offering a promotion that may keep that dream alive, or at least give you a share of the casino’s own pot o’ gold filled with $7,000 in bonus dollars.
Two hundred winners will share in the bounty, so your chances are looking good already.
How to participate in the Pot O’ Gold Prize Draw promotion
This promotion started Monday, March 12 and continues through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, March 18. Assuming you are eligible to participate, simply log into your TropicanaCasino.com account this week whenever you can. Then play your favorite games as usual.
For every $50 wagered on any game on any one day during the promotion, you receive one entry into the drawing, up to a maximum of five entries per day if your wagers for the day amount to $250 or more.
While some players will play every day and earn the maximum number of entries, if that is too much wagering for you, don’t worry. Tropicana online casino in NJ will be picking 200 winners, so a lot will depend not necessarily on how much you play, but the luck of the draw.
You have a very good chance of being one of the lucky 200, even with a lot fewer than the maximum number of entries.
Picking the Pot O’ Gold winners
On Monday, March 19, a random drawing will be held to determine all the winners. The following matrix shows how the prizes will be distributed:
|# of Winners||Prize|
|1||$500 bonus money|
|4||$250 bonus money|
|5||$100 bonus money|
|20||$75 bonus money|
|20||$50 bonus money|
|50||$30 bonus money|
|100||$10 bonus money|
As you can see, all prizes are in the form of bonus money added to your account. The largest prize is $500 in bonus money, and the smallest is $10 in bonus money. Half of the prizes are in the amount of $30 or more.
Claiming your prize
Winners can expect to see their bonus in their accounts within 24 hours of the drawing (or up to three business days in the event of technical difficulties). They then have up to 14 calendar days to claim their prize.
In addition, all bonus money won in this promotion is subject to the same wagering requirements as any other bonus money a player might receive from this casino. You need to wager the bonus 1x on any game and have up to 30 days to do so. Upon completion of this very minimal wagering, any resulting winnings, but not the bonus itself, are yours to keep and available, if you wish, for withdrawal.
Unfortunately, as soon as you wager the bonus once, the casino takes it back. It is no longer yours.
Leprechaun prize draw at Virgin NJ
Players at Tropicana online casino’s sister site, Virgin online casino, will be glad to know that Virgin is also offering a prize giveaway. In fact, the period and rules for earning entries are identical to those outlined above for the Tropicana giveaway.
What’s different is that instead of giving away bonus money, which you then have to wager, Virgin is giving away valuable gifts, which you might like even better. The following matrix shows what you can win.
Five lucky winners will receive:
|# of Prizes||Prize|
|1||Nintendo Switch (valued $300)|
|2||Sonos One speakers (valued $200)|
|2||Amazon gift cards (valued $150)|
Of course, all of these prizes are great, but out of all the people participating, only five players will win, and that’s it. Everyone else will have to hope they got lucky and won playing because they will walk away from the drawing empty-handed.
Claiming your prize
On Monday, March 19, the casino will hold a random drawing to determine the five winners. The lucky players will be notified via email within three business days and then have 14 calendar days thereafter to claim their prize. All prizes are nonexchangeable and nontransferable, and no cash substitute is available.
Are the Pot O’ Gold and Leprechaun prize draw promos worth your time?
Any online casino promotion where you have a chance to win a nice prize with no other requirement than to simply play as usual is, of course, worth your time.
The difference between the two giveaways is that in the Tropicana giveaway, you have a much better chance of winning, but in all probability, it will be a small prize. Your chance of winning in the Virgin giveaway is much slimmer, but if you do win, it will be a big prize. The smallest prize in the Virgin NJ online casino drawing is worth $150, whereas the smallest prize in the Tropicana online casino drawing is only $10 in nonredeemable bonus money.
The promos are good, but they could be better
The Virgin online casino drawing would be a lot better if it offered more prizes, even if they are only small ones. For example, offer 100 players a small amount of bonus money.
The Tropicana NJ drawing would be a lot better if those who win bonus money could keep the bonus, too, and not just the winnings. Only allowing a player to wager the bonus once and then taking it away altogether significantly limits the potential to win with it, especially if the bonus is small.
On the other hand, traditional bonuses typically come with a much larger than 1x bonus wagering requirement. So it is entirely possible, that instead of ending up a winner after betting the bonus, the player not only loses the bonus but his or her own money, too. With the Tropicana bonus, you are much less likely to win a lot, but losing the bonus money is the worst that can happen.
It is impossible to lose any of your own money.