How to spot a rogue online casino

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Rogue online casinos are easy to come across, but depositing with an illegal, off-shore online casino can be dangerous. is here to help you be sure to avoid rogue, illegal casinos that will take your money.

What are illegal online casinos?

Illegal online casinos are casinos that are not approved by the U.S. government and a state legislature. All off-shore (that is, not hosted within a U.S. state) sites are illegal within the U.S. The federal government has charged offshore online casino operators tens of thousands of dollars and even indicted C.E.O.’s of the casinos.

How can I identify a rogue online casino?

  • Repeatedly stating that U.S. players can play legally: It is true that you personally will not likely be prosecuted for playing at an offshore casino, but you also won’t receive help if they steal your money. Why trust your money with a casino that is operating illegally?
  • Check a website listing “blacklisted” online casinos (notice that these are all offshore casinos, and no legal U.S. casinos are listed)
  • Very large introductory offers; rogue casinos often make enormous offers to get you to deposit money, for example, 350 free spins. However, these promotions have unending wagering requirements, where you’d need to wager 80-120x the worth of your free spins.
  • No association with a land-based casino (see below)

How do I know if an online casino is legal?

All legal casinos are 1) legal for play only within the state that has approved the casino and 2) partnered with a physical casino. A casino operator is the online casino (for example, Golden Nugget Online Casino or 888) and each operator has to be partnered with a casino in that state (Golden Nugget’s Atlantic City casino or, in the case of 888, Caesars).

You can find information about the physical casino at the bottom of the home page or in the “About Us” section of the online casino’s website. The site should also make it clear that you can only play within the bounds of a certain state.

All of the online casinos listed and reviewed on are 100% legal and overseen by that state’s gaming authority.

Why use a legal online casino?

All legal casinos are approved and supported by a state, which means that the state would also support you if you had any claim against that casino. You can even go to the cage or cashier at the online casino operator’s land-based casino partner to discuss any issues you might have in person.

But legal online casinos also have the best bonuses. While many casinos offer no deposit bonuses and matching deposit offers that sound good, the devil is in the details. Wagering requirements for illegal off-shore casinos are frequently 80x or more, whereas legal online casinos in the U.S. are rarely above 40x on slots, and you can regularly find deals as low as 1x! That means more money in your pocket, and faster!