States Where Gambling Is Legal

To play roulette, poker, or slots legitimately, it is necessary to be aware of legal details in each state. Some states allow only specific types of games, while others offer broader opportunities for gamers. Online and in-place gambling are regulated by both federal and state laws. Moreover, the rules change frequently. That’s why we have prepared an up-to-date guide that will give you a full understanding of where you can play safely and legally.

What is gambling?

Before we enlist the states where gambling is legal, let’s first figure out what gambling means from the perspective of law. The United States legislation defines several types of gaming activities, such as casino gambling, lottery, sports betting, daily fantasy sports, and some others.

This article mainly focuses on the first type — casino gambling. Until recent years, it had the most strict restrictions. However, during the last decades, many states have moved toward softening their laws. Currently, seven states allow gambling, but their number can increase very soon if the trend continues.

Two levels of legislation

To get operation permission, gambling companies need to comply with both federal and state laws. Federal legislation impacts all the country. Local laws can’t bypass them. Fortunately, on the federal level, gambling is not an illegal activity. For example, in 2018, the law PASPA was canceled by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional before it prohibited all states from legalizing different forms of betting.

Currently, every state has full control over gambling legislation. Specific rules depend on the popularity of casino games and political leaders. There are traditionally conservative states that don’t allow any form of gambling and those with a more liberal approach. Anyway, even if you live in a place where casinos are beyond the law, you can easily move to another state for a gaming weekend. 

States where gambling is legal

The list of the areas where you can legally gamble is constantly updating. Currently, there are seven states where gambling is allowed, but in March of 2024, Rhode Island is going to join them. Most probably, the trend will continue, and over time, more places for safe gaming experiences will appear. This is good not only for casino fans but also for states’ budgets. So, let’s explore the states where you can play right now.


The first in this list is Connecticut. The state allows both casinos and sports betting. It has not been for a long time. The law came into force in 2021. iGaming companies require special licenses to run their business legally. Today, there are three officially licensed gaming platforms in the state.


Delaware is one of the first states that legalized gambling in its territory. You can play both in offline and online casinos, enjoying slots, poker, and other popular games. Obviously, all players must be of legal age (21 or older). In addition to betting in a casino or on sports events, citizens may legally enjoy horse racing betting. Since gambling laws were adopted in Delaware, more than 10 years have passed. During this time, the industry has developed significantly. 


Since 2019, online gambling has been legal in Michigan. It was permitted by enacting the Lawful Internet Gaming Act. Simultaneously, sports betting had become legal in this state. So, now, you can play a wide range of casino games online, including poker and tables. To get a license, gambling companies should comply with the above-mentioned act. Despite the prohibition being taken out just a few years ago, currently, there are more than a dozen operators who legally run this business.

New Jersey

The state legalized both betting and online gambling in 2018 and 2013 respectively. For over a decade, New Jersey residents of 21 years and older have been entitled to play a wide range of money bet games. This includes poker, slots, table games, and other types of online entertainment. New Jersey is a leading state that shows the benefits of legalizing and starts new trends in gambling legislation. There are plenty of online casinos licensed in the Garden State, as the environment here is good both for operators and gambling fans.


Pennsylvania also has a decent experience in protecting gamers’ rights. Gambling has been legal here since 2017. As in other states, PA has its control board for approving and regulating iGaming platforms. The market here is developing rapidly. Many famous casinos offer their services to residents. Sports betting is also allowed in the state since 2019. In general, Pennsylvania is a great place for having gambling fun.

West Virginia

All types of gambling, including online casinos, lottery, horse racing, and sports betting, are allowed in West Virginia. The enactment of the Act happened in 2018. When this article was written, the Mountain State had nine licensed online casinos. Most probably, now, there are more legal places you can play. The wide range of entertainment makes the industry thrive and attracts players from the whole country.


To date, Nevada is the state with a huge amount of land-based casinos. However, online gambling is still not regulated. You can bet on sports events online, but if you want to play slots, you’ll have to visit an offline venue. So, users have a choice: either play in person, enjoy online poker (which is legal), or register on offshore websites. Nevertheless, Nevada remains a truly appealing place for game fans.

Bottom line

Undoubtedly, more states will legalize gambling in the near future. Perhaps, while you’re reading this article, Rhode Island has already done it. Indiana, Illinois, and Massachusetts are also moving toward adopting new acts. The gambling industry is a huge economic sector that brings a lot of taxes. Moreover, it allows people to play their favorite games just near their homes. If you want to play safely and legally now, just do it in one of the states we’ve enlisted in this article.