Players playing online casino and winning bonuses.

Online gambling is making its way into the mainstream. Sports betting sites are leading the way, with big names like Draftkings, FanDuel, and Caesars launching in new markets on a regular basis.

Tailing slightly behind sports betting’s legislative pace is the online casino industry. Some states, such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, have legalized online casinos to great effect, seeing big revenue boosts from the one-two-punch of sports betting and online casino gaming. Other markets are seeing big returns from sports betting and have now set their lawmaking sights to online casinos. Illinois is one such market, and the state stands to gain quite a bit from legalized online casinos, should they become a reality.

If you’re looking to play online casino games, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Which are the best online casinos to play at? What can you get for signing up? These types of questions are important to ask before you dive in. Below, we’ll outline five important things to know before you start playing at online casinos.

1: Where Are Online Casinos Legal?

Currently, six states have legal online casinos available:

  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Delaware
  • Connecticut
  • West Virginia

Each market has different rules and regulations, so you may find different operators live depending on which state you’re in. However, most legal states have similar laws governing who can play at their platforms. The minimum age across the board is 21, and you’ll confirm this by providing some personal details when you sign up.

The other important thing to note: you need to be physically located in a legal market to play there. Whether you live in a legal state or are just visiting, you’re allowed to play casino games as long as you’re within state lines. This will be confirmed using geolocation or your phone’s GPS.

2: Get A Welcome Bonus

Online casinos want your business! They’ll show you by offering lucrative welcome bonuses. You might get a deposit match, a risk-free betting window, free spins, free credits, or any combination of those things as a welcome promo.

Pay close attention to the sign-up pages at online casinos—they will tell you how to get your welcome bonus and what the playthrough requirements are. You typically need to bet a ascertain multiple of your bonus amount to earn the full bonus credit before it becomes withdrawable.

3: How To Sign Up And Bet

The steps to sign up for an online casino are simple, and they’ll feel familiar to you if you’ve ever created an online account pretty much anywhere.

  1. Download the app of head to the desktop site of your preferred casino.
  2. Select “register” and follow the prompts, filling in your personal info as requested.
  3. Make an initial deposit. Keep in mind any bonuses that rely on your deposit, such as a match promotion.
  4. Find a game that looks fun and load it up to start playing.

It’s a pretty simple process overall. If you have any trouble, contact the online casino’s support channels. 

4: Types Of Games Available

Games differ from one online casino to the next, but there are a few common offerings available.

Slots are by far the most common type of game available. You’ll find hundreds of titles at some online casinos, all from reputable slots developers.

Table games are the next most common game type. Blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and poker variants are typically on offer at most sites.

Some online casinos, but not all, offer live dealer games in which a real dealer doles out the cards and settles bets as you watch and bet from your phone.

5: Your Data And Funds Are Safe

Legal online casino sites have a number of measures in place to keep your experience safe and secure. First and foremost, the best online casinos employ SSL encryption to encrypt your data as it travels from your device to the platform.

On a higher level, each market has strict regulations in place governing legal online casino operations. Companies that offer an online casino are legally obligated to pay your winnings, so your money is safe. Plus, they offer a wide array of trustworthy payment options.

Compared to offshore or grey market sites, legal online casinos offer myriad reasons to stick with them and keep your entire play session above board and safe.