Is Online Blackjack Legal in the US?

The card games of blackjack and poker hold a high level of esteem, inspiring countless Hollywood movies. It is widely recognized that many casinos in the United States legally provide the chance to play blackjack for real cash. However, when discussing the online version of this widely favored game, the terms and conditions can differ slightly.

At the moment, online blackjack is legal only in a few states — New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Michigan. On the other hand, there are some states where online blackjack and other casino games are absolutely prohibited.

If you wish to find out more about the legal framework of online gambling in the US, you’ve landed on the right page. Read this comprehensive guide to learn all about it!

Initial Online Blackjack Regulations in the US

Online gambling laws in the US are often causing confusion among avid online casino fans. Although each of the states has the right to regulate online gambling as it sees fit, no particular federal laws officially prohibit or allow online blackjack on the country’s level.

The actual problem can be traced back to 1961 when the Wire Act was put into effect. This law aimed at preventing any cross-border illegal gambling activities that were practiced thanks to wire communication.

The Wire Act from 1961 targeted all sorts of online gambling for years. Nevertheless, since the appearance of wireless internet allowed online gambling, it challenged this law’s relevance.

The first change occurred in 2011 when the US Department of Justice decided to reverse the Wire Act and apply it solely to sports betting. From that moment on, the US began considering the legislation of online casino games, including blackjack.

However, in 2018, another reversal of the law made the online gambling regulation in the US complicated and unclear and put it in the so-called grey area.

All these moves finally resulted in the matter being reviewed by the federal court, meaning that the situation might officially change in the future. Until then, every state that took advantage of the loophole in 2011 now has legal online blackjack platforms.

The Problem Called UIGEA

Another problem standing between legal online blackjack platforms and many US states is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act from 2006 (UIGEA). Namely, the act sounds as if it prohibits only gambling via the Internet.

Still, if read carefully, one could easily conclude that UIGEA doesn’t target US citizens at all. On the contrary, this Act forbids financial establishments to knowingly accept payments related to betting or wagering over the Internet. In other words, it is not explicitly mentioned that US citizens are prohibited from playing online blackjack, except in several states.

Yet, the governments of many states have misinterpreted this law and consider online casino games such as blackjack illegal. Consequently, not so many states went for online blackjack legislation, but the situation is hopefully changing for the better.

Online Blackjack in the US — State by State Guide

As you’ve noticed throughout the text, only a few US states currently allow its residents to play blackjack online legally. Below, you can read about each state that considers online blackjack games legal. Let’s take a look!

New Jersey

New Jersey is one of the states where you don’t have to wonder about the online blackjack’s legality. At the moment, the state is the largest market concerning regulated online gambling in the states.

New Jersey is home to various online gambling operators, and these states’ residents have a plethora of choices regarding online blackjack. Its online gambling bill is valid for three more years, after which it has to be renewed.


Although not that prominent concerning size or popularity, Delaware stepped up in terms of online gambling and became the first to make it legal in 2012. Naturally, blackjack was one of the games that have been the most popular among the online casino community in the First State.

Apart from online blackjack, Delaware’s residents can participate in various other casino games, online poker, and sports wagering. In contrast, other states still lead an open discussion about whether online gambling is legal.


Pennsylvania is proof that other US states should start with online gambling legislation as soon as possible. The process lasted for up to a couple of years; in Penn’s case, it started in 2017 and finished in 2019.

Apparently, there were online casino aficionados who’ve been waiting for Pennsylvania to legislate online blackjack. The available platforms work flawlessly, and players know that they can enjoy their favorite casino games without facing any legal consequences.

West Virginia

West Virginia comes as one of the latest innovations in the US online gambling market. However, the process of legalizing online casino games went much smoother than in Pennsylvania’s case. The legislation started in 2019 and ended in 2020 when the first online gambling platform got activated.

At the moment, there are several active platforms, but they haven’t yet reached peak popularity. However, concerning blackjack, players have nothing to worry about, as this is the game that will always be offered thanks to its world-known prominence.


Michigan is the last state to legalize online casino gambling. Although no platforms have been launched yet, they are carefully planned and will start working as soon as vital regulatory bodies show thumbs up.

The end of 2020 is reserved for launching the first online casino platforms in Michigan. This opportunity has been given to each of the currently operating land-based casinos, provided they pay $50,000 for application and $100,000 for the license.

How to Play Online Blackjack Legally in the US

Before you dive into the world of online blackjack, the first thing you need to check is whether your state has legal permission to offer this activity. Yet, the good news is that online games of chance are not restricted only to state’s residents — they apply to anyone physically present within the state’s borders.

Therefore, if you’re living in a state where online gambling is not legal yet, all you have to do is visit one of those where it is officially allowed.

Once you find yourself in the online blackjack-friendly area, find the most appealing platform and create an online casino account. This is usually a straightforward process that will take only a few minutes of your time. Provide the necessary details and fund your online casino account by using a payment method of your choice. After the casino confirms your registration, you’re good to go!

Bottom Line

There’s still no need to envy US residents for their online gambling laws. Right now, only a few states have a regulated online gambling market with active casino sites where players can enjoy blackjack and other popular games.

Based on the current situation with online gambling in the US, we can’t be certain about what the future brings. The online gambling legislation is still not developing as fast as residents hope, but these states that have already been in this business bring hope that something might change for the better in years to come.

All in all, if you wish to take part in online blackjack games in the US, the options exist, so use them wisely. Good luck!


At the moment of writing this text, online blackjack has been officially legal in these several states — New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Michigan.

Online blackjack fans living in the US have to be at least 21 to participate in online gambling activities.

Can US players claim online blackjack bonuses?

Yes, they can. Players from the US can claim a welcome bonus or any other promotional offer provided that the site of their choice offers one.

American Blackjack and European Blackjack are, by far, the most popular versions of this evergreen card game, with Blackjack Switch and Vegas Strip Blackjack standing right behind.