Is Online Baccarat Legal in the US?

Baccarat is enormously popular among countless players in the US, making it a preferred game in casinos. However, the legal perspective differs when it comes to physical casinos and online platforms. Consequently, only five states – New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, have legalized online baccarat.

Not all these states have online baccarat platforms located within their borders, and Michigan is lagging. As this state is currently in the process of establishing online baccarat websites, players can still enjoy wagering on this game in the remaining four states.

This article will take you through online gambling’s legal issues in the United States, so fasten your seatbelt and let’s start!

History of Baccarat Laws in the US

Although the first records of baccarat appeared in the 1400s, it was not until the 19th century that baccarat started gaining popularity worldwide. Brick-and-mortar casinos in the States welcomed the game in the middle of the 20th century and introduced a few baccarat-related laws to go along with the game.

Regarding land-based baccarat gambling, each state has the right to impose their restrictions and laws, meaning that some US states still outlaw brick-and-mortar gambling locations.

To focus on online baccarat gambling, the Federal Wire Act from 1961 has been the subject of many court cases. It specifically outlaws sports betting through wire communication without mentioning other gambling forms, including casinos and baccarat. The reason this Act has been in the public eye is its uncertainty regarding online gambling.

For that reason, the Act was reversed in 2011. The new Act stated that online sports betting was illegal, while other forms of online gambling were legal. Unfortunately, things did not stay as simple as many operators and players hoped. In 2018, the Department of Justice interfered again by reversing the 2011 Act and creating an unreliable online environment. Because of that decision, online gambling in the US is considered a grey area.

Since the Act is still going through changes and court rulings, some US states have the opportunity to prove that the online gambling industry in the United States can excel.

You must be wondering how the previously mentioned five states have the opportunity to run legalized baccarat online platforms while the remaining 45 states are left empty-handed. The four states with online gambling platforms available within state borders, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, have taken advantage of the situation from 2011.

In 2006, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was introduced without specifically outlawing online gambling. Instead, the UIGEA made it illegal for online gambling service providers to handle financial transactions. That led to chaos within the iGambling community, and many huge online gambling platforms took their operations outside of the US.

Both of these events made states take matters into their own hands. Because of that, only four states regulated online gambling activities, while one more, Michigan, is on its way to doing the same.

Online Baccarat — State by State Guide

Since four states have legalized and regulated online gambling platforms for avid baccarat players, we wanted to go through each of them and emphasize the most significant regulations you should be aware of.

Take a look below.


Delaware became the first state to legalize online gambling in June 2012 and open the gambling market in November 2013. It might seem odd that this small Mid-Atlantic US state would be the first to do that, but that’s why it carries the nickname The First State.

With this legalization, players were able to start betting on online baccarat without any legal consequences. Subsequently, Delaware legalized online poker the same year and sports betting five years later. Players from Delaware can now access numerous casino games online.

New Jersey

Out of all the states with legalized online gambling platforms, New Jersey currently has the largest online gambling market. Players can enjoy a game of baccarat on a dozen licensed and legal websites. Almost every huge online gambling operator has a New Jersey-based online casino site.

The new statute from 2013 legalized online gambling in the state, including Atlantic City casinos willing to apply for an online gambling license. New Jersey’s bill from 2013 will be valid for three more years. After that, the state needs to apply for a renewal.


Although Pennsylvania started legalizing online gambling in 2017, it took some time for it to be finished. Consequently, the state became the newest addition to the list as it legalized online gambling in 2019. Sports betting was legalized in May, followed by online casinos in July and online poker in November.

The state became a safe place for many major casinos to roll out their online casino sites. Currently, there are numerous licensed online casinos where players can try their hand in baccarat without facing any legal issues.

West Virginia

West Virginia legalized online casinos in 2019, and the first online casino platforms became active in July 2020. As these platforms need time to gain attention from players, there is still little activity on the websites. We expect much more from them in the future.

Similarly, there are a few online gambling platforms active at the moment. Those that are active have a scarce choice of games, and not many of them offer baccarat. You will have to check which ones of them do to start your own baccarat journey online.


Michigan legalized online gambling, specifically casino gambling, in December 2019. There are no active gambling platforms, as most of them still haven’t gotten the green light from the necessary authorities to start operating.

The first platforms are expected to run at the end of 2020. All land-based casinos are allowed to apply for an online license.

How to Play Online Baccarat Legally in the US

If you want to stay on the safe side, you should know that you do not have to be a resident of the state where online baccarat is legal. You only need to be physically present in the state, and you will be able to play any baccarat game you want legally.

All you need to do is find a licensed online website that offers baccarat, register with the site, confirm your identity, and you’re good to go. Don’t forget to claim a welcome bonus if the site offers one to maximize your winning chances.

Final Thoughts

Although the United States is home to millions of avid baccarat players, there aren’t plenty of opportunities to enjoy your favorite casino game. Luckily, some states have managed to shine through and establish a secure gambling environment for interested players. We hope you will be able to take advantage of that.

It’s uncertain how the future will look for online baccarat as the online gambling industry in the US is currently unstable. However, the global online gambling industry is thriving, so we’re hoping to see it translate to the States as well.

Until then, enjoy your favorite baccarat game within the borders of states that have legalized it so far.


Online baccarat games are currently legal in four US states — Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. A fifth state will soon be added to this group — Michigan.

US players need to be at least 21 years old to play online baccarat.

Can US players claim online baccarat bonuses?

Yes, they can, as long as an online gambling platform offers one. Check which ones have the best bonuses and open an account with them!

Aside from the typical baccarat playing style adopted in American casinos, players from the US also like to try Punto Banco — European-style baccarat.