Bart Calendar spent 10 years as a journalist for Gannett covering murder trials and rock and roll.
Since then he has traveled the Earth gambled in the best casinos in the world.
We all want to play on the absolutely best online casino there is. If we’re putting our money on the site, we want to know we’re getting the most we possibly could for that money. However, defining the best operator out there isn’t as simple as it might seem.
Here at Captain Gambling it is our mission to help find you the best casinos on the web. Check our list out below, or why not read on for more info about how we find the best casinos on the market.
Do you need a great selection of casino slot machines?
Are fast withdrawals your main priority?
How important is having customer support around 24/7 to you?
All of these and many other factors can have a great impact on your overall experience and you’re the only one who really knows what it is exactly that you’re looking for. That’s why we can’t define a single best operator. There are many great sites out there and you should use our reviews, experiences of other players, and your own research to figure out which ones are right for you to play games on.
Of course, many of the sites you’ll find recommended here combine these and other elements, making them a good option for almost everybody. In general, if you stick to our recommended casino game operators, with solid customer service provisions you can hardly go far wrong.
Every time we gamble on the web, we put our real money on the line on the best real money online casino games. Therefore, we’re fully within our rights to demand the best services that money can buy. However, when it comes to choosing your casino, things aren’t always that black and white.
An online gambling operator is a combination of many important factors and each of these factors can be critical for a particular player. While one casino may have a great bonus and wide selection of real casino amusements, it won’t do you much good if you only play on your mobile phone and their downloadable mobile app isn’t particularly good.
This is exactly why we don’t deal with absolutes in our reviews. While our comparison winner is certainly one of the leading US online operators across the board, and one of the best online casinos around, it may not be the best choice for you. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give them a chance regardless as our top pick is always an operator that stands tall in many important categories. But, when it comes to choosing your primary casino, find the one that really meets your expectations and features your favorite casino amusements and go with it.
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Characteristics of a Top Real Online Casino
While it is virtually impossible to determine which the best casino online out there is, we can certainly define what the makings of a solid gambling site are and what every casino should offer. These are the criteria that we always look into when doing our reviews of US online operators. By checking out all of these, we can figure out the overall quality of an operator and cover all the important aspects that players are interested in, such as their range of the best real money casino games.
Good Gaming Library: We always check out what the operator has to offer in terms of game selection and whether it offers a wide range of casino games. To get a good review score, it has to feature a solid number of casino games, online slots amusements and table games so that players have their options.
Nice Welcome Bonus: The welcome bonus is clearly an important factor in determining how good a casino really is. A generous offer for new customers is a clear sign the operator wants all newcomers to feel at home and hang around for more fast payouts.
Software & User Interface: The overall usability of the software or the site is very important. We expect modern casinos to offer highly functional and player-friendly solutions. In this day and age, there is hardly a reason to accept anything less.
Dedicated Player Support: If things go wrong or there is something unclear, you need to be able to get your answers quickly and get back to playing casino games. Thus, a dedicated support team available around the clock is one of the key factors we always check out.
Variety of Banking Options: How many banking options are there you can use to deposit funds and withdraw your winnings? How can you credit your account with the min deposit required? While we appreciate that not all casinos can have all the methods, it is certainly a big plus for an operator to offer as many banking options as possible.
Withdrawal Speeds & Limitations: How fast you can receive your winnings after you request a withdrawal is another hugely important factor in the grand scheme of things. The speed of withdrawals as well as any other limitations or restrictions play a very important role in our reviews.
Mobile Gaming Solutions: Mobile casino gambling is definitely on the rise as more and more players are enjoying their gaming experience on their handheld devices. Thus, we always check out casino apps for different devices to see what they have to offer.
Loyalty Program & Other Bonuses: Finally, we always look into what kind of rewards a casino has in store for its existing customers. How are existing players treated? Is this a place where you should hang around or an operator that gives little back after the welcome bonus?
The above list of criteria serves as an excellent guide to check out every operator. But, we strive to go beyond this and really scratch under the surface. In our reviews, we really try to dig deep and provide you with the most information possible about the casino itself and the casino games it offers.
#1 Real Quality of Bonus Offers
As a marketing tool, bonus offers are often embellished to attract as many players as possible, with the best real money casino games and prizes proving particularly attractive to players. However, there is more to bonuses than just numbers on the screen. Big percentages and huge matches are all good and well but how do these bonuses behave in practice?
The real quality of bonuses is determined by terms and conditions that surround them. Are wagering requirements player-friendly and attainable? Are there too many restrictions in place when you accept a promotional offer and want to play casino games? How good is a particular bonus, really?
We don’t just look into gaming libraries as a static element. While an operator may have a great number of slots free with bonus, for example, this doesn’t mean they are necessarily the best choice for a true fan of slots. It is also important to figure out how well they keep up with new releases.
There are new casino games hitting the market almost every day and the best casinos make sure to regularly update their portfolios with these fresh releases. This shows they are capable of keeping up the pace and making sure players are truly catered to.
#3 Other Players’ Experiences
While we always conduct our own in-depth reviews, it is important to listen to voices from other players as well. How does an operator tend to treat its customers in general? Are there many complaints about a particular site and what are these complaints about?
In today’s modern world, it is hard to keep a secret and if there are many bad reviews about a casino online, it is a big red flag even if things seem all shiny on the surface. We take all the reviews and player experiences very seriously and always consider them as well.
#4 What’s the Support Really Like?
While it is great to have access to the support department 24/7, this is just the tip of the iceberg. What are support agents like in their communication with the players? Are they friendly and helpful? Do they listen to players’ questions and really try to resolve them?
A friendly support staff is very important for the overall gambling experience and a rude agent can really ruin what would otherwise be a pleasant day. Thus, we go beyond just checking the support availability to see what you can really expect if you ever have a question or a problem.
#5 The Overall Experience
While it is hard to pinpoint, some operators simply have the way to create a better overall casino games experience than the others. It is the combination of all the different factors already mentioned and some that we haven’t discussed. It all comes together at a certain point.
While this is often highly individual, we try to also keep it at the back of our minds when doing reviews and comparisons. All other things being equal, this can be the decisive factor for a player to choose one operator over another.
#6 Free Game Versions
Most casino operators these days offer free versions of their games you can use to try new slots that you may not be familiar with. These are great as you can take your time and really get to know the games without having to risk any of your hard-earned cash.
While the real casino free play option may not be all that important if you constantly play the same games you know and love, it is quite significant if you like to explore and test new releases. These free games play just like the real thing in every single aspect so you’ll be able to get a really good feel for what to expect.
#7 Occasional Free Spins
Every online casino that gives you free spins every now and again for no special reason is a pretty awesome operator. These operators will treat you to extra free spins simply for being a loyal member or to give you a chance to try a brand new slot and see how you like it.
Operators like this are a particularly good choice for small-time players who don’t want to spend too much money on online gambling. Every now and again, you’ll be able to spin your free spins’ winnings into a decent-sized cashout, which is a pretty good feeling.
#8 Special Missions & Challenges
No one knows better than yourself what you’re looking for in a web casino platform. In general, though, having access to some special missions and challenges while you play is almost guaranteed to help you have a much better time playing and also earn a bit of extra cash on top.
The sense of achievement that comes from completing these small goals and challenges is pretty awesome and will give you all the more reason to play. Even if you’re playing for the smallest of stakes, rather than the best real money games and prizes, if there are additional challenges to go through, you’ll have heaps of fun.
#9 Quality Live Dealer Casino
While live dealer tables have become pretty standard on most casino sites these days, not all operators put the same kind of emphasis on them. If the live casino section is your go-to place every time you log in, you’ll be better served with an operator that features an extensive selection of live tables.
Some casinos make it a point to provide their players with games from several live operators, which means you’ll have the ability to switch between the tables at will. So, if you’re having bad luck with one dealer, you can just move on to another.
#10 Dedicated Support for VIP Players
High-rollers deserve special treatment because they put a lot of money on the line all the time. If you’re in this group, you should be on the lookout for the operators that have a special support department for their VIP players.
By having your dedicated VIP manager, you’ll be able to get assistance much faster and you’ll have access to someone who can help meet your demands, whether it is increasing stakes on a particular game or giving you a custom-tailored bonus just for you. Why play without these perks when you can easily get them?
If you’re looking for a great bonus, our test winner doesn’t necessarily have to be the best option for you. While our tests combine a variety of factors, if you’re exclusively after a great bonus, you should refer to our top picks listed below.
We looked into various criteria when making this list, from the bonus amount itself, over wagering requirements, to various terms and restrictions. When all these are put together, these five bonuses have come on top as absolutely the best choices you can find online.
Our Picks of Top 5 Online Casino Apps
For players who want to enjoy their gaming experience without restrictions and want to have the casino in their back pocket, we’ve come up with the list of the operators that offer most in terms of mobile game options. Their casino apps for real money feature everything you could possibly ask for in terms of the best real money casino amusements.
These apps offer player-friendly, high-quality interfaces, easy navigation, quick load times, and, of course, a great variety of gaming options. Additionally, with some of them you’ll be able to claim exclusive mobile bonus offers so you’ll get even more extra money to use on your online gambling adventures whether you are looking for real money casino amusements and real money games or simply to have fun with friends.
Why You Can Trust captaingambling Reviews & Comparisons
Unlike many review sites out there, captaingambling is actually licensed by the state of NJ to offer comparisons for gambling operators. What this means is that we’ll never try to mislead you or provide you with false information just to get you to sign up with a casino.
Instead, we strive to create an honest and trustworthy gambling community on the web where players can find the up to date information they can really rely on. Our reviews and comparisons of every casino site are always thoroughly checked and completely unbiased, created by people with a lot of experience in the industry who know what to look for.
In this process, we also rely on help from our members. Your experiences and opinions are invaluable as they give everyone a better insight into what a particular operator is really about so we can have a complete picture from all angles and insights into the deals they offer such as free casino games promotions.
Legalities of Online Casino Gambling in the States
The gambling situation in the US is still somewhat unclear and not as great as many would like it to be. However, there have been many positive movements over the past several years, creating a positive environment where it would be possible to eventually set up a system where all US players will have access to fully regulated and licensed sites to play casino games and win some impressive prizes.
As of right now, internet gambling is regulated at the state level, which means states determine their own rules about licensing the operators and allowing players access to said operators to play games. While this is good for people living in the states where there is a law to guide gambling online, players from other states are still unable to join and play.
Because there is no iGaming law on the federal level, players from one state can’t play on a gaming site licensed and located in a different state. This is an important limiting factor that’s been preventing the development of the sector as a whole as it is much harder for the operators to really grow while they are limited to a single jurisdiction.
At the same time, offshore casino operators are pretty much free to do what they like even though their activities are unregulated. The best online casinos accept players from almost all US states and they account for a large percentage of the overall gambling traffic. We must emphasize that depositing money with these sites and playing here is definitely not recommended and can lead to many problems even if you only opt for the min deposit.
Future of iGaming in the States
Trying to predict the future is never an easy task as there are always different variables that can come into play and change everything. Having said that, it does appear that regulated gambling provision in the United States is on the right track. The number of regulated internet casinos is growing by the day and US online players are having access to a wider array of options than ever before, with customer service teams on hand throughout on most USA online casinos.
Many states are looking into the states that had already regulated internet gambling to use them as models and set up their own iGaming market. While there are still some jurisdictions that strictly oppose the idea, there are more and more of those that are seeing all the various benefits of setting up a properly regulated and controlled environment.
Looking ahead, we must think that, with these changes, the number of offshore operators working in the US will experience a decline. Since players will have access to more licensed options as we move on, the need for these casinos will simply go away. They will likely fight for as long as they can to hang around but if things continue moving in the current direction, they could become obsolete and unnecessary in the next few years.
Since we’ve made some speculations about the future of the gambling market in the USA, we’d like to take a brief look back at the past. The history of online casinos in the USA is no less interesting than the coming development. It shows that the US casino market has always been changing and will continue to change in the future. We are curious!
The List of Top Online Casinos
888 Casino: Wealth of Experience
Started back in 1997, 888 Casino has been offering a top rated service around the globe for years and opted for the US market as soon as it opened in 2013, partnering up with Caesars Casino for its license with Nevada Gaming Commission.
The casino offers over 300 casino games from renowned providers such as NetEnt, SG Gaming, NextGen, IGT and many more. Aside from its huge game library, 888 teases new players with a USD 20 no deposit bonus as well as two 50% deposit bonuses of up to USD 1,000.
BetAmerica Casino: America’s Favorite
Known for the horse racing offer online since 2008, BetAmerica Casino opted for Sportsbook and Casino in 2019, partnering up with Golden Nugget to gain a license from the Division of Gaming Enforcement
BetAmerica has a developing library of over 300 casino games from providers such as NetEnt, Konami, and IGT, going from a shy start to a quick success among the NJ casino-goers – who recognized the quality service from customer care (with support available through e-mail, live chat, and phone) to a new casino-dedicated deposit bonus of up to 1,000.
Betfair Casino: Casino & Sports Betting Giant
Betfair is another heavyweight gambling company in the industry for almost two decades, offering a top rated service to US players since 2013 as they also joined Golden Nugget in their attempt to provide a well-rounded service.
There are over 380 games available, including 343 slots from best providers and the Betfair exclusive, together with a number of top rated games, Jackpots, casino games, live dealer tables. The bonus, on the other hand, consists of USD 10 FREE sign-up bonus and a USD 2,500 first deposit bonus tailored for high-rollers. The banking options to claim it are numerous and include debit cards, e-wallets, PayNearMe, and more.
Well-known for its promotions, the US casino now goes a long way to offer a genuine user-friendly approach with better customer support, channeled through mail service, telephone, and live chat.
Borgata Online Casino: A Versatile Gaming Operation
Atlantic City casino list cannot be done without Borgata, both for their brick-and-mortar venture and an online service opened with the first wave of providers in 2013. 128-bit encryption by Thawte Security offers top security as players choose from over 400 different games, including slots, Craps, Bingo, and Slingo made by NextGen, IGT, NetEnt, Scientific Games and others.
With a number of customer support channels and a wide array of deposit options for making a min deposit, Borgata offers a well-rounded service and tops it with great bonuses and promotions – including a USD 20 sign-up bonus and a USD 600 match deposit bonus with just a 10x wagering requirement.
Caesars Online Casino: The Royal Place to Gamble
Caesars Online Casino also moved quickly to gain their license in November 2013 but later moved to NYX software to boost their service and player base. Top security and only prominent payment processors promise player safety, as the renowned casino offers a library of over 470 games including 430 slots, traditional favorites like Poker, roulette, different blackjack options, and even scratches and Slingo.
Players can grab a USD 10 bonus when making an account for free together with a USD 300 depositbonus when first placing money with the casino, which can be done through a number of methods including direct bank transfer, cards, e-wallets, and PayNearMe. The VIP Program is huge and offers an array of services with Caesars Rewards, which adds to the value of playing here.
DraftKings Casino: Enjoy Fantasy & Casino
DraftKings Casino is a somewhat less famous name when it comes to casino but enjoys a huge player base in their fantasy sports and Sportsbook platform. The casino does offer a more limited array of casino games only to be extended through 2019 with a newly-made partnership with NetEnt, building on their library of slots, video poker, blackjack, roulette, among others.
DraftKings boasts mobile gaming through a modern and responsive design available for both Apple and Android devices, while the banking options are again limited to debit and credit cards as well as PayPal.
The support is knowledgeable if the extensive FAQ is not enough, as players can get in touch through e-mail and live chat services.
Golden Nugget Online: The Hidden Nugget
Golden Nugget online casino opened its virtual doors in December 2013 and while they were somewhat late to the party, it feels they’ve gone a long way to surpass many competitions. The casino now offers over 500 online casino games including titles from Bally, NetEnt, Everi and many more.
There’s a free USD20 sign-up bonus up for grabs together with a match deposit bonus of up to USD 1,500, which serves as a great boost to one’s bankroll together with a great VIP Rewards Club with weekly cashback bonuses and Golden Nugget land-based services.
Hard Rock Online Casino: Rock Your Day Away
Hard Rock casino reopened in June 2018 and did so in great fashion, offering a web casino platform with a huge library of games – including slots, most popular games and amusements, video poker, live dealer tables all orchestrated by providers such as NYX, Gamesys, NetEnt, High 5 and others. There’s also a Sportsbook in the announced in 2019 and to make even more of a boom, Hard Rock Online Casino offers new customers a match deposit bonus of up to USD 1,000 and 50 Free Spins together with a rewards program including cash prizes and Hard Rock Hotel stays!
Party Casino: Party it Up with Party Casino
Party Casino was also relaunched in 2018 and the company decided to do so under newly acquired Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa’s license, going on to offer over 250 games including fan-favorite slots, bonus poker, live dealer games, craps, and a number of video poker options.
Depositing through some of the well-known processors such as VISA, MasterCard, Neteller, or Skrill, players can grab a USD 500 deposit bonus over a course of three initial deposits – first of up to USD 200 then two of up to USD 150. The casino offers gameplay through Windows’ Internet Explorer and Apple’s Safari as well as all iOS mobile devices!
PlayMGM Casino: Just Live the Vegas Strip
Opened in July 2017, PlayMGM partnered up with Borgata to offer a great service featuring casino, sportsbook, and poker sections available through a browser-based platform and mobile apps for both Android and iOS devices.
There are over 380 different games with PlayMGM Casino, including favorites such as blackjack and roulette, 11 video poker options, craps, and fan-favorite slots. New customers are offered a USD 25 sign up bonus and a match deposit bonus of up to USD 1,000 with a 20x wagering requirement topped with great playMGM iRewards Loyalty Program leading to rewards such as MGM resort treats, online bonus dollars and online store merch.
PokerStars Casino: The Kings of Online Poker
Known for its robust online poker platform, PokerStars Casino is a somewhat new name in the casino offer, moving quickly to catch up in the only way they know – through slick design, upgrading game selection of over 150 slots, video poker, and live dealer tables.
New customers are now also offered USD 30 free money after at least USD 20 deposit, together with different on-going promotions – which now feature a match deposit bonus of up to USD 200 for Live Table games. While the game selection could be better, it’s important to note PokerStars develops quickly and takes great pride in it.
SugarHouse Casino: The Sweet Taste of Victory
SugarHouse Casino takes its license from the NJ Divison of Gaming and promises a legal and safe online gambling resort as well, paired with DigiCert Inc encryption and deposit options such as bank wire, debit cards, PayPal and Neteller.
The casino now offers over 170 casino games but can still boast variety, with slots, video poker, craps, roulette, baccarat, keno, and even a separate poker room all featured in the production of providers such as NetEnt, Evolution Gaming, Bally, Konami and many more. New customers get a Spin to Win feature with up to USD 250 in Same day free play, which adds to its unique feel and service.
Tropicana Casino: A Heaven for Online Gamblers
With a business opened back in 1981, Trop AC offer legacy and tradition with their online resort as well, opened in late November 2013. Tropicana Online Casino is available on desktop and mobile devices regardless of players’ preference and offers 236 different games – including slots, video poker, table games such as blackjack and roulette, as well as craps, baccarat, and even 90 ball bingo.
Aside from a number of running promotions, Tropicana also offers new players USD 25 sign-up bonus and a USD 100 cashback for any losses during the first seven days of gameplay. There are Daily Free Spins to be won and a great online Loyalty Program to be part of.
Virgin Casino Online: The Most Innocent Casino
Virgin Casino Online was launched in 2014 and under Tropicana Casino’s license, offering Gamesys software and a sizeable library of over 245 games through it – including slots, keno, and a number of bingo variants.
The casino offers a lucrative free USD 30 sign-up bonus and a copied USD 100cashback feature on losses over the first week with Virgin Casino, together with a number of promos such as free spins and V* points VIP program. Virgin Casino also offers a more varied payment range including online bank transfers, Mastercard, Visa, PayNearMe, and Skrill.
Top 10 Casino Online FAQs by the Players
Hopefully, this article will be a useful resource in your gambling journeys. We’ve tried to cover many various aspects to help you better understand the intricacies of casino gambling as well as insights into the best real money casino games. However, if you still have some questions that need to be answered, you’ll probably find them in this section.
What is the minimum legal casino age to gamble online?
Do I have to pay taxes on my casino online winnings?
In the US, all casino winnings, including online winnings are taxable. Usually, you’ll have to pay 25 percent of whatever you win and, in some states, you’ll also need to pay additional state tax.
Will I get paid if I win playing online?
As long as you stick to licensed and regulated US sites, you can fully expect to get paid if you get lucky enough and win. The same doesn’t apply if you’re taking your chances with offshore operators, though.
Are online casino sites fair? Can casinos control your winnings?
Licensed US sites are controlled for fairness and randomness so you can rest assured they do things by the book. There is no way for a casino to control your winnings beyond the official house edge.
How do casinos make their money, then?
Gambling venues, online and live, get their money from the house edge. This is a mathematical advantage that’s been incorporated into the rules of the game or pay-table of the slot, which ensures the house always retains a certain percentage of money over a long period of time.
Which casino game is most profitable?
While all casino games have an inherent house advantage, perennial favorites like blackjack are usually much more profitable than games like slots or keno.
How fast can I expect to get my online casino winnings?
Regulated sites usually pay their players very fast. In most cases, you won’t have to wait longer than 48 hours to get your winnings and often, you’ll get your withdrawal even faster.
Are there also free games available on these real money sites?
Yes, you can usually find free versions of almost all games offered on these online casino sites. While you can’t win any real money on real money games playing this way, it is a great opportunity to test the games from the best online casino sites out there and see how you like them or learn the rules of games you aren’t familiar with.
Are bonuses worth taking?
In general, casino bonuses are a good way to give yourself some more playing time and boost your bankroll. However, you should always read the fine print to know the exact rules of a particular bonus to determine if it is worth taking.
How can I have fun playing but protect myself from gambling addiction?
Although there is no single surefire way to protect yourself from a gambling addiction, you should always play within your means and only for entertainment. If you’re playing to make money or are overextending yourself just to gamble on real money online casino games, it may be time to stop and seek some help.
Welcome to CaptainGambling Family!
If you are passionate about gambling online, enjoy talking to likeminded people and want to share your thoughts and experiences with USA online casinos, you’re more than welcome to become a part of the captaingambling community. Become an active member of our forum and let us know about your personal experiences with various gambling operators and online casino sites to help us build an even better site!
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.