Washington D.C. is a unique city in that it is the capital of the US, yet it is not part of any state. Historically, it has been strictly against gambling and it was not until recent history that a few of those laws have been relaxed. Currently, D.C. allows just a few forms of gambling like the lottery, bingo, draw games, and sports betting by means of online gambling sites.
Unlike the neighboring states of Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, D.C. does not allow any gambling establishments like poker halls, racetracks, or casinos. The firm stance has been a talking point since the 1980s when the D.C. Lottery first took control of the few forms of gambling, and again when sports betting was allowed in 2019.
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Is Online Gambling Legal in Washington D.C.?
Currently, there is no law in place that allows online gambling from sites that are based in the US, except for the sports betting bill that was passed in 2019. The sports betting law allows players to place bets within authorized brick and mortar establishments or via specified online sportsbooks.
As with most other areas across the US, lawmakers are still far off from creating laws and regulations regarding online casinos that are based outside the country. Being such a gray area causes issues with players who are looking for exciting online gambling sites within the laws.
Washington D.C. Offshore Casino Statistics
Washington D.C. has since 2003, wagered an average of $1.45m each year. In 2020 there has been a gross win amount of $1.69m. Washington D.C. contributes to 0.13% of all offshore casino activity in the United States for 2020.
Click here to see a breakdown of all offshore gambling activity broken down by state. The following is a breakdown of all offshore casino gambling from Washington D.C. since 2003.
*Note: Data from 2020 are currently based on estimates.
Source – H2 Gambling Capital
Offshore gambling statistics for sports betting from Washington D.C. can be found here.
Differences Between Land-based and Online Casinos
While there are currently no land-based casinos in Washington D.C, the city has plenty of people who choose to travel to nearby states that offer land-based gambling establishments like casinos, racinos, or riverboats.
States that offer brick and mortar gambling establishments have millions of people visiting each year because they have the thrills and entertainment all in one place. Offering a wide range of games like slots, poker, roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and craps, they also have a range of dining options along with live shows for even more fun.
Land-based casinos have a thrilling atmosphere and interaction that makes every experience social and exciting. Generally placed in convenient locations around major cities, they are open 24-hours a day for entertainment anytime players want it.
Giving players all of the same casino-style games as land-based establishments, online casinos have the advantage of having hundreds of different games that can be regularly updated with new titles and improvements for more fun.
Available on any device that connects to the internet, online casinos are also easily accessed 24-hours a day and 7-days a week. Players can access complete game collections from the comfort of home or even while on the go.
The added benefit of gambling online is the many promotions and special offers that site members regularly get for joining a casino group. Most sites have a specific promotions page that offers anything from free no deposit cash added to accounts, deposit match bonuses, free spins, or cashback offers.
How to Find the Best Washington D.C. Online Casinos
Players who are interested in gambling online have virtually thousands of casino sites to choose from and knowing which ones are the best can be daunting. To find the perfect site for fun and entertainment, there are a few things to consider:
License and Regulation
All online casinos that offer real money gambling will require a license and regulations to ensure fair play. Most of the sites that offer gambling to US players, the license will be from a jurisdiction from one of the following areas:
- Costa Rica
- Isle of Man
To find the license, players should check the bottom of the main page or read through the terms and conditions of the site. Alternatively, customer support would be able to provide the appropriate information. If a site does not have this information readily available or customer support refuses to provide any solid information, it would be best to look for a different online casino.
User-friendly Site Design
Players who are looking for the best experience with an online casino should also consider the site design and usability. A casino that makes it easy to filter games or access promotions and site information is just as important as the gambling varieties and gameplay.
Before going through the registration process, it pays to play around the site to see how user-friendly it is and how quickly each section can be accessed with ease. Another note should be how often a site is updated or at least when it was last updated. The best sites will regularly update game collections, design, and background programs (security and otherwise).
Good Game Selection
As much as online casinos try to offer all of the favorite games that would appeal to every player out there, some just do not have the collection variety everyone would like. Before registering to a site, a quick look at the game sections will show just what is on offer, whether the site is heavy on slots or table games, and if the site offers sports betting or live dealer games.
When looking through the game sections, players from the US should double-check the terms and conditions for any country restrictions that could block certain game types. While most casino-style games are generally allowed to all international players, many sites prohibit certain game styles to players from particular countries.
Casinos that cater to players from the US will not be able to offer US bank transfers but will have a good selection of banking options that range from wire transfers, major credit cards like Visa and MasterCard, or e-wallets like PayPal, Skrill, EcoPayz, and Neteller. A new banking option that more progressive casino sites offer is a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.
How Can I Stay Safe Gambling for Real Money Online?
On top of finding a fun gambling experience online, security is an important factor to ensure sensitive information is secure from identity theft and hackers. To find legitimate sites that keep players safe, players should consider the following:
Research Popular Sites
Top online casinos will have lots of reviews from players who are members or who have had experience using the site. With so many casinos to choose from, many people have no idea where to start, but a quick search online will gain lots of information and give players a good picture of what is to be expected when joining a group.
Safety and Security
When new players want to join a casino group, they will have to send through their full name, address (which might have to be proven with current utility bills), and a valid photo ID to confirm the player is who they say they are.
In order to keep players and their personal information safe, the best sites will have several security layers that include SSL encryption. Checking out a casino’s security features will give the peace of mind that information from registrations and banking will stay secure at all times.