You can now enjoy online casino games safely and legally in a growing number of states. Regulation and licensing pairs big casino brands with local live venues. You get the best of both worlds with all your favorite games on established platforms and apps.
With so many new online casinos to choose from, this guide shows you what to look out for to make the best choice of where to play. As long as you are 21+ and inside state lines in a regulated state, you can enjoy slots, table games and live dealer casinos. The competition between the brands means you’ll be able to take advantage of no-deposit bonuses, matched welcome deals and more.
Below you’ll find out about which states have new online casinos – including the biggest brands in your state. After that the different ways you can compare these casino sites is covered in a detail.
Newest Online Gambling Sites for 2021
States with new online casinos
Regulation for online gambling is sweeping across the country. Most states have started with online sports betting. Other have taken a more comprehensive approach. At the time of writing 4 states have real money online casinos in addition to sportsbooks (and in some cases online poker rooms too).
Legislative efforts are underway from coast to coast. More states are expected to allow online gambling in 2021. The successful roll-out of online sports betting could see calls for gambling to be expanded in states which have regulated for this. If the four states with new online casino regulation make significant tax revenue, then this could well expedite regulation in other jurisdictions.
New online casinos in New Jersey
New Jersey was the first major state to implement online gambling. Their first casinos opened back in 2013. Each brick and mortar casino can hold multiple online casino licenses. This has made it easy for new online casinos to open. As you’ll see below, many of the biggest global casino brands are active in the Garden state.
Big competition means big opportunities to grab bonuses from these casinos. New casinos in New Jersey offer no-deposit/free play bonuses simply for registering. If these are not enough to give your bankroll a boost, then you can take advantage of matched welcome bonuses and other promotions.
Here are the leading New Jersey Online Casinos:
- Golden Nugget: This is the single most popular NJ online casino. Check out the huge range of slots (many of which are live casino favorites), table games including a live dealer studio and novelty games like Slingo and virtual racing. New players get $10 completely free to check out the games. If you like what you find, there is a giant $1,500 matched welcome offer waiting for you.
- BetFair Casino NJ: This brand is better known for sports betting, though have one of the best selections of slots (including many from IGT), and a busy live dealer area for table games. New players get to play ‘risk free’ with a rebate up to $200 on your first day. Look out for a long list of rewards. These are based on game of the week, a tiered loyalty scheme and plenty of one-off promotions.
- Virgin Casino: This brand has partnered with the Tropicana to bring you apps and a desktop casino powered by GameSys. New players get $30 completely free (no deposit needed). This casino features more than 200 games, including online bingo, online slots, table games and video poker. You’ll also get up to $100 cash back if you lose after making that initial deposit.
- Honorable Mention: Tropicana Casino, StarDust Casino, BetMGM Casino
New online casinos in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania passed a comprehensive online gambling bill in 2019, with the first new online casinos opening in 2020. These include many of the biggest brands – some of which were already active in New Jersey. There is no better time to take advantage of bonuses than when the casinos are new. Look out for no-deposit bonuses, loss rebates and matched deposit offers.
Here are some of the biggest and best new casinos opening in Pennsylvania:
- SugarHouse Casino: This brand is created by Rush Street Interactive. They are up and running in NJ – though the live SugarHouse Casino is in Philadelphia. Expect plenty of slots, table games and other popular casino games. Free play plus a $250 welcome (matched) bonus will be available for new players.
- Hollywood Casino: This brand, owned by Penn National Gaming, were fast to get involved in online sports betting. They are also among the first wave of PA online casinos too. You’ll find a huge list of slots and casino games to choose from, as you would at any of their live venues. Bonuses on offer include a $10 free on sign up plus 100% up to $502 on deposit.
- Unibet Casino: This huge brand has announced a partnership with Mohegan Sun in PA. They are known for their impressive apps. Unibet’s international casino has the biggest range of slots anywhere. New players to the site receive $10 free as well as 100% up to $750 on deposit.
New online casinos in Michigan and West Virginia
The next two states that will have new online casinos are Michigan and West Virginia. Both have passed laws allowing sports betting and casinos to operate online. At the time of writing the details of the licensing process is underway in both states.
Reasons to choose new online casinos
When online casinos come to your state, all the casinos will be new. These may be operated by some big brands (many of them have been operating for decades). When each state kicks off online gambling, the casinos will compete for new players. The aim of each new casino is to attract, then impress and retain longer-term players.
Here are the pros and cons for choosing a new online casino:
- Big marketing budgets mean plenty of special offers (no-deposit, free spins and more)
- Enjoy the latest games, including innovative ‘Slingo’ style titles, real money slots and live dealer rooms
- Leaderboard style contests and promotions will have fewer players competing for the prizes
- May not have a big a game selection as the longer running casinos
- Harder to get an approved app for iPhones (can be delayed for brand new brands)
Bonuses and promotions to look out for at new online casinos
If you are going to play at a new casino, then you should take advantage of as many bonuses and welcome offers as you can. All casinos have deals for new players. While these are always worth taking – it does pay to look longer term. If you enjoy a casino, you’ll want to make sure they keep your bankroll topped up with plenty of ongoing offers and promotions.
When you compare casino bonuses, there is more than just the dollar amount to consider. All bonuses will have terms and conditions. What you want to see is easy play-though requirement, fair ‘weightings’ for table games and no tricky terms which could see you lose your bonus before you are able to cash it out. By sticking to big, reputable brands in your state, you will be able to avoid many of these bonus issues.
Here are the types of bonus offer that you’ll find at new online casinos:
- Free Play/No Deposit: Most new casinos offer free play bonuses in the $10 to $30 range. These are a great way to check out an app, and hopefully win some money. It can pay to check the play-through requirement (if any) in your winnings. You should also check whether you are restricted to certain games and whether you are eligible for progressive jackpots.
- Matched Welcome Bonuses: This is the most frequent offer at all online casinos. They will match your initial deposit at a 100%+ rate. The amount they will match can vary quite a lot. Some casinos have $100 caps, while others go as high as $1500. Play-through requirements and game restrictions can make the difference between a good offer and an average one.
- Loss Rebates: These deals work by making your first deposit lower risk. If you play and lose, then you get a refund (as a bonus) which you can use to try again. These popular bonuses can help players feel more relaxed about making a deposit. They might also let you try out new casino games you would not otherwise have considered.
- Loyalty Schemes: You’ll find a lot of variation in the loyalty rewards programs at new online casinos. Some brands tie these to their live casino rewards programs. Others have tiered clubs, where your rewards and bonuses get bigger as you play more. Still others have a social aspect, with leaderboards, daily wheel spins and other entertaining aspects.
- Regular and One-Time Promotions: The frequency and size of player promotions will make a big difference over time. Look out for casinos with a long list of offers and a track record of generous deals for existing players. Enhanced points deals, rebates, reload bonuses and free spins can all appear in this category.
How to access online casinos
If you are new to the world of online casinos, then the technology than runs them will not be familiar to you. The days of needing to download software onto your desktop computer are long gone. These days, you can choose from playing at online casinos via your web browser, or downloading an app.
Apps are device specific. Android and iOS (Apple) apps are available for most of the newer online casinos. You will not always find the same list of games available on apps as you do from the web versions of the casino. What you will find is that these casinos make sure that the best games are included – and that they are optimized for your smaller screen.
Android phone and tablet users will need to download the apps directly from the casino websites. Google doesn’t allow any US gambling apps, and until that changes the only way you can get them is by dismissing any ‘unknown source’ messages on your phone and downloading direct.
Apple users should get the apps by first going to the casinos, then following their download instructions. While you can get the apps from the App Store, this way will ensure you get the correct one for your state.
Apps have the advantage of having geolocation software included. The legal status of online casinos means they need to be strict about your location. Games can’t be played legally outside of state lines. By using casino apps, you can prove you are inside your state.
Browser based online casinos have advantages too. If you are playing on your desktop at home, these are the way to go. You’ll get access to 100’s of games not available on the apps, including many slots and live dealer casino rooms.
What games to expect at new online casinos?
You’ll be able to enjoy many of the same slots and table game found at live casinos when you check out the apps and websites. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Over the years the worldwide online casino industry has built a huge portfolio of innovative and entertaining casino games.
Most of them are slots. In addition to live slot titles from IGT, Aristocrat and others, you’ll find 100’s which were designed for online use. Many of these online slots are every bit as entertaining as the live casino equivalents. Slots with progressive jackpots, second screen bonus features, innovative reel setups and wilds that behave in unexpected ways are now found at every new online casino.
Your experience playing table games will also be different at legal state licensed casinos. Many of them offer live dealer games (in addition to the player vs software tables). These are streamed from studios – usually inside the casinos. You bet on hands dealt in real time by a real dealer. Games include blackjack, roulette, baccarat, Casino Hold’em, 3-Card poker and Ultimate Texas Hold’em. When you look at the list of software-based games, you’ll find plenty of variations, entertaining side bets and brand-new titles.
Games don’t stop there. You can also enjoy Slingo games (a hybrid slot/keno setup), video poker, virtual betting games, 90 ball bingo, keno and novelty games too. Many of these titles are available in demo mode. This allows you to check out several new casinos and find the games you enjoy the best before you make a deposit.
New online casinos: Making a deposit
A big advantage of state by state regulation of online casinos is that depositing becomes just another online transaction. You can pay into a casino (and get your wins back out) in the same way you’d make any online purchase.
Options include credit cards, with Visa, Discover and MasterCard the most commonly accepted brands. You can also use bank transfers via ACH, Wire or (sometimes) Bill Pay. Electronic wallet services are a popular option for security conscious players. They include PayPal, Skrill and Neteller. If you prefer cash, then you can often take this to the cashier of the license holding brick and mortar casino. PayNearMe works in conjunction with 7-Eleven stores.
New sweepstakes casinos: An alternative outside the regulated states
If you don’t live in a state where casinos are individually licensed, then you still have an option to enjoy slots and some table games. This is via a new type of online casino that uses laws first created for sweepstakes contests.
There are several popular new casinos in this category. They operate legally, in some cases covering the majority of states. These casinos work by turning every spin or hand into a short sweepstakes contest. From the player’s perspective, they are just regular games. To stay legal these casinos won’t charge you directly to play – instead giving you chips for ‘free’ when you purchase play-money chips.
Final thoughts on playing at newer casinos
With so many new online casinos appearing in the regulated states, there are a lot of bonus deals to take advantage of. With just a little planning, you could receive free play from several different casinos. If you don’t win at them all, then you might well build a bankroll for free at one or two of them.
In the 25+ years since online gambling started, casinos have changed massively. New online casinos today can bring you table games with real dealers, online versions of the most popular live slots and games which are created specifically for apps and online play.
As more states legalize online gambling, the early experience of casinos in New Jersey and Pennsylvania will allow for quick roll-outs. The question is: Will you be ready to take advantage of everything these new online casinos have to offer?