Love playing games to make money? No problem, just hop on a flight and visit the Las Vegas strip or drive to your nearest local casino to play your favorite slot machines and table games.
Until recent years, if that wasn't an option for you, you'd have been out of luck. However, now, there are plenty of alternatives available, like online casinos, slots, and other game apps you can play on your mobile devices to win money. Like most industries, casinos have found a way to deliver their product online. The number of online casinos has grown in the past decade, and today online casino sites are easily found online.
As a result, online casinos are increasing in popularity and are worth a look.
Short History of Online Casinos
Online casinos started in 1994. Reportedly, the government of Antigua and Barbados passed the Free Trade and Processing Act, which allowed casinos from other countries to apply for licenses to open online casinos. As a result, Microgaming and Cryptologic built the first online casino gambling software.
In 1995, Microgaming launched the first online casino, The Gaming Club. In 1996, the first real money was gambled on InterCasino, and the company had 18 games in 1995. Also, in 1995, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission was established in Canada to issue online casino licenses.
Today, online casinos are a multi-billion industry, and the market is estimated to grow to more than $80 billion by 2025.
How do Online Casinos Work
There is little difference conceptually between regular and online casinos, and the games are the same. Depending on the state, you can play online slots, roulette, craps, blackjack, etc. Money is bet by gamblers and won or lost. Generally speaking, you must be at least 21 years of age to legally gamble real money in the US today, whether playing in land-based casinos or online gambling sites.
However, some states allow people 18 or older to gamble in certain situations. For example, in some states, poker can be played at 18. In addition, sports betting sometimes has a lower age requirement depending on the state, and age requirements vary abroad.
Pros of Online Casinos
However, online casinos offer convenience since you do not need to be physically present at the casino to gamble. You can also play for any amount of money you choose, which is helpful if you have a small budget and want to play longer. One significant advantage is you can learn to play for free on many online casinos. This allows you to practice and become familiar with individual games; then, when ready, you can switch to playing real money games.
A recent innovation in online casinos is live dealer games – a combination of online and in-person gambling. The live games are hosted at a land-based casino, and a live dealer is on camera. So, for instance, you can play blackjack over the internet with a live dealer.
Online casinos use bonuses to entice gamblers to play as long as possible. Different types of bonuses include welcome bonuses, free spins or credits, deposit bonuses, and loyalty bonuses.
A welcome bonus is also known as a sign-up bonus. Extra money, or bonus funds, is deposited in your account as an incentive to sign-up with an online casino. For example, Red Dog Casino offers up to $12,250 for new players, while Ignition Casino offers $3,000. Welcome bonuses can range wildly from only a few hundred dollars to very generous bonuses.
Some online casinos have conditions for the welcome bonus. For example, both Bovada and Café Casino require an initial deposit in Bitcoin to earn the online bonus. At the same time, Red Dog gives a 20% boost for Neosurf or Bitcoin deposits.
In many cases, you must play for a particular amount of time or number of games, bet a certain amount, or make a minimum deposit to earn the bonus. Be sure to read the fine print, terms, and conditions when you sign up and take the welcome bonus.
In addition, online casinos offer free spins in slots and credits for tabletop games. Other possible bonuses include:
- Deposit bonus – awarded when you deposit more money into your account.
- Loyalty bonus – awarded to members of the casino's loyalty program who gamble a certain amount of money – this type of bonus is often tiered.
Which States Have Online Casinos
In the US, online casinos are not available in all states. States that have legalized online casinos will have regulated casinos. New Jersey was the first state to approve legal online gambling and, thus, online casinos. You can choose to gamble at land-based casinos with online operations or strictly online casinos.
New Jersey has more than 20 operators of online casinos, and the following states have approved online casinos since 2020: Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, Delaware, and Connecticut. States with bills introduced include New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Louisiana. More states have legal sports betting than online casinos.
Unfortunately, you must be physically located in a state with legalized online gambling to play real money casino games. It does not matter if you live in a state and are traveling or temporarily residing elsewhere. However, you can sign up from anywhere and plan to travel to a state with legal online gambling.
Many countries besides the US have online casinos, each with its own rules and regulations. Online gambling is prevalent in Europe and Asia. Some of the oldest players in the online casino industry are licensed and operated in the UK and Canada.
Types of Online Casinos
Online casinos are not all the same. Three online casino formats are download software, web browser-based, and mobile apps.
When online gambling first started, the internet was slower than today. Downloading and installing an online casino program is one way to get around the slow speeds. This method was the primary format once disk installations were obsolete for those who played video games before broadband was widely available.
Once installed, the program would connect to the casino servers. The advantage is that graphics were cached locally on your computer and did not have to be downloaded. Although dated, there are still online casinos that still offer this format.
Web Browser Based
Accessing an online casino through a web browser is probably the most common method for gamblers to play. In this case, the graphics and games are served through the internet. Speed is dependent on your internet connection and the casino's server speed.
The advantage here is that you don't need to download unknown software onto your computer. A second advantage is that you can log in from any device, including desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone.
The third method of accessing online casinos is through an app on your smartphone or tablet. The speeds can be faster than accessing the casino by a web browser. The concept is similar to downloadable software; you can only use the app on one device. Most of us are familiar with downloading an app from the Apple App Store for iPhones or Google Play Store for Android devices.
Criteria for the Best Online Casinos
The world of online casinos is complex and rapidly growing. Therefore, what qualifies as the best online casino may differ for each person. However, you can consider the following criteria for determining the best online casino.
The first criterion is a bonus. If you are all about getting free money, look at the welcome bonus. Prizes often change, so checking a site after reading a review pays. As mentioned above, there are requirements to earn a welcome bonus.
You cannot just sign up at an online casino to get the welcome bonus and leave without ever playing a game. Casinos would quickly go bankrupt if that were the case. So instead, look at the dollar value, what you get, and how you need to earn it. The headline dollar value may be impressive, but the average bonus may be lower.
Convenience is a requirement, especially for gamblers that play often. You can use a web browser-based online casino or downloadable software if you play on your desktop or laptop.
Questions you need to ask yourself are related to speed, navigation, and ease of installation. But a mobile app-based online casino may be a better choice if you want to play anywhere.
You can find mobile app evaluations on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. This is important because the games must be optimized for a smaller screen.
Number and Quality of Games
Online casinos differ in the number of games they offer. For instance, Red Dog Casino offers more than 200 games. On the other hand, if you like slots, Ignition Casino has more than 200 slot machines, and Slots LV has more than 3,000 slot games and 70 3D slots. In addition, super Slots has more than 30 video poker games.
However, the number of games alone is insufficient for an excellent online casino. You need to ask yourself about the quality of the games. Are the graphics superb and seamless? Is the sound quality good? How about the animations?
Not all online casinos have the same customer service level; however, this criterion is difficult to evaluate unless you play and interact with customer service. Check some websites that consider customer service for an idea about it before you sign up.
How is your money secured, and how easy is it to withdraw your winnings? What are the deposit methods: credit card, cryptocurrency, wire transfer, check, or other methods? Note that credit card deposits may have fees. In some cases, unlicensed casinos may have higher deposit fees.
Return to Player
Lastly, most gamblers are concerned about Return to Player (RTP) percentage. This metric is the percentage of wagers a specific game will return to the player over extended periods. For example, if the RTP is 90% in a slot game, you will likely lose 10% of your money over time.
Best Apps To Win Money Online
While not a casino or slot app Mistplay is worth mentioning as you can earn real money playing mobile games.
Mistplay is an Android-only app that allows users to play games in exchange for monetary rewards. Play games and rack up points to redeem for free gift cards.
Mistplay supports user communications and offers a chat feature, encouraging connections among participants. The app is also free to join, so don't worry about being caught with user fees to play the games.
2. 21 Blitz
21 Blitz is the perfect mix of Blackjack and Solitaire and a great way to train your brain or pass the time. Start by playing for free against real opponents to hone your skills. Then, switch to cash games to win real money.
Finish the desk before the time runs out to get a bonus and find combos to perfect your game strategy. Play head-to-head games with the same deck to ensure fair play and challenge players worldwide.
Note: Cash tournaments are available in most of the world. Cash tournaments are not enabled in the following states: AR, CT, DE, IL, IN, LA, ME, and SD. If you don’t live in a prize-enabled region, you can still play for free.
3. Cash'em All
Earn free gift cards and money by playing free games on your mobile device. Earn tokens for every minute of gameplay and earn extra rewards for referring your friends. Download this free app to your Android device to see available game options and earnings. It's easy…just play games and get rewarded for your time!
This Android-only app will give you awesome rewards for playing games on your mobile phone. Download the free app, choose your favorite game from the list, and earn rewards for each minute you play. Boost your earnings by referring your friends! The earning potential on this app is lower than other mentioned, but if you're going to play games in your spare time, you may as well earn something!
Top Slots Apps
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Best Online Casinos
You may be a conservative dividend growth investor or a passive index fund follower. Still, everyone likes to have some fun now and then. Below are 25 online casinos with different games, welcome bonuses, deposit methods, ages, and fees.
Larger companies with several sites often operate many online casinos. In addition, some casinos are not licensed, which is riskier for gamblers. Still, we include them here since they have been established for many years or are part of a larger corporation. As a result, the list is not comprehensive, and there are dozens to hundreds more online casinos.
7. Red Dog Casino
Red Dog Casino appears on several highly rated lists due to the RTP, bonuses, payout speed, and number of games. Red Dog was launched in 2019 and is licensed and located in Curaçao. This medium-sized casino has more than 200 games and offers up to $12,250 for new players as a welcome bonus.
This online casino does not offer sports betting, Bingo, or jackpot games. Instead, red Dog has a live dealer casino for blackjack, baccarat, and roulette. The withdrawal limit is $10,000 per month. You can deposit money by credit card, Bitcoin, Neosurf, and gift card.
8. Ignition Casino
Ignition Casino is another popular online casino. The larger casino is licensed in Curaçao but based out of Costa Rica. Ignition Casino is owned by a larger casino operator who owns Slots LV, Bovada, and Café Casino. Unfortunately, players from certain states and the UK cannot play on this site.
The casino offers slots, video poker, tabletop games, baccarat, Bingo, jackpot, and live dealer games. Players can receive up to $3,000 in bonuses. In addition, Ignition Casino has a live dealer. Ignition Casino is differentiated by the use of Bitcoin for deposits. However, you can deposit money by credit card, check, and bank wire.
9. Slots LV
If you love slots, Slots LV is probably the best online casino for you. The casino is licensed in Curaçao, although some review sites say it is not licensed. There is a Curaçao gaming commission symbol on the website. Slots LV has been around since 2013, so we include it on this list.
The primary attraction is Slots LV has more than 3,000 slot games. Players receive up to $5,000 in welcome bonuses and $7,500 if they use Bitcoin. The main attraction is the lack of a withdrawal limit. You can deposit money by credit card, Bitcoin, and bank transfer in Canada.
Bovada is an online casino better known for sports betting. This casino has live dealer games, and it is well-known and was launched in 2011. Bovada is reportedly not currently licensed but is operated by the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group.
We include it in this list due to its age and amount of internet traffic. In addition, Bovada has a welcome bonus of up to $3,000. One attraction of this online casino is the high withdrawal limit of $225,000. You can deposit money by credit card, Bitcoin, Venmo, or check.
11. Café Casino
Café Casino was only established in 2016 but has rapidly grown since then. They have 200+ games, but no sportsbook, and their mobile app game selection are less than the web browser version. Café Casino is not licensed, and there is no information on the website about the license or owner.
The welcome bonus is up to $5,000. The main attraction of Café Casino is it does not charge deposit fees when using a credit card. There is a $10,000 monthly withdrawal limit. You can deposit money by credit card, Bitcoin, Ethereum, or check.
12. Super Slots
Super Slots is known for online video poker and has live tabletop games and more than 200 live dealer games. This smaller casino was only launched in 2020 and is reportedly licensed in Panama.
Still, the operator has run online gambling since 1991 and operates the Bet Online and Sports Betting sites. You can play on mobile apps and a web browser; the welcome bonus is up to $6,000. In addition, you can deposit money by credit card, Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, check, and bank wire.
13. 888 Casino
888 Casino was launched in 1997, making it one of the oldest online casinos. The casino is based in the UK and licensed in Gibraltar, UK, Malta, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Delaware. The parent company is publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). This older casino has many online casino games and live dealer games.
You can also play on a mobile app. The welcome bonus is low, though, at only up to a few hundred dollars and 25 free spins. In addition, the 888 Casino offers deposits by credit card, checks, PayPal, and specific cryptocurrencies.
14. Intertops Casino
Intertops Casino is another older casino established in 1996. However, the casino is smaller and reportedly operates without a license. Unfortunately, the website does not have easy-to-find information on the license.
We include it in this list due to its age. This online casino is smaller and does not have live dealer games, a sportsbook, or Bingo. The welcome bonus is up to $5,555. You are only allowed one withdrawal per week, and it has a monthly withdrawal limit of $10,000. You can deposit money by credit card, cryptocurrency, wire transfer, or check.
15. Mansion Casino
Mansion Casino has been around for over a decade, established in 2004. The casino is licensed in the UK and Gibraltar. This online casino has many tabletop games, slots, and an extensive collection of live dealer games.
The welcome bonus is $5,000 or GBP 5,000. Mansion Casino also has a VIP section that may interest some gamblers. The Mansion Casino offers deposits by credit card, checks, PayPal, Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies. One inconvenience is that this casino has a monthly withdrawal limit.
16. Gala Bingo Casino
Gala Bingo Casino is known for its large selection of Bingo games. However, you can also play slots, video poker, tabletop games, and live dealer games. In addition, there is a mobile app and web browser-based gaming.
The casino was launched in 2002 and is licensed in the UK and Gibraltar. You can deposit money by credit card, PayPal, Apple Pay, and other methods. There is a daily win limit but no withdrawal limit for Euros.
17. Las Atlantis
Las Atlantis is another casino on many lists of the best online casinos. The site launched in 2020 and is licensed by Curaçao. Although new, this casino is part of a larger group. This new casino has over 250 games with an underwater focus. Las Atlantis has slots, video poker, tabletop games, and live dealer games.
Since the casino is new, it offers all three formats for gaming. It probably has the most significant welcome bonus of up to $14,000. In addition, there are free deposits and withdrawals of up to $10,000 per month. You can deposit money by credit, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Neosurf.
18. Jackpot City
Jackpot City is one of the oldest and largest online casinos, having been around since 1998. The casino is now part of a larger group. Jackpot City is licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority. However, online casino seems to focus on gamblers from Canada and Australia.
The primary attraction here is the jackpot prizes ranging from $40,000 to millions. Jackpot City has slots, video poker, tabletop games, and live dealer games on a web browser or a mobile app. The welcome bonus is only $1,600. You can deposit money by credit, check, cryptocurrency, and numerous other ways.
19. Spin Casino
Spin Casino is another relatively new casino launched in 2019 but has become one of the largest online casinos quickly. Spin Casino is licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority.
Spin Casino has slots, video poker, tabletop games, and live dealer games on a web browser or a mobile app. The welcome bonus is a paltry $1,000, and you can deposit money by credit, e-check, and cryptocurrencies.
20. LeoVegas Casino
LeoVegas Casino is another prominent online casino with a European focus and was established in 2012. LeoVegas is licensed in the UK, Malta, Spain, Denmark, and Sweden.
This online casino has a large section of slots, video poker, tabletop games, jackpots, and live dealer games. The welcome bonus is only $1,000 and 200 free spins. This casino is one of the few online casinos with no withdrawal limits. LeoVegas offers deposits by credit card, checks, debit, PayPal, and cryptocurrencies.
Casinonic was established in 2019 and had a European focus, and Curaçao licenses the casino. Casinonic has the usual games but is differentiated by many live dealer games and progressive slots.
The welcome bonus is only 1,200 Euros, and the monthly withdrawal limit is $15,000. LeoVegas offers deposits by credit card, debit, PayPal, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, and other methods.
22. Sportbetting.ag Casino
If you are more into sports betting than slots or other casino games, then SportBetting.ag Casino may be for you. This large site was established in 2003 and reportedly licensed in Panama. This online casino is available in all 50 states, and you can play on a web browser.
Although focused on sports betting, this casino offers all types of games. The welcome bonus is only $1,000. However, there are some withdrawal limitations. You can deposit money in multiple ways, including credit, check, Bitcoin, bank wire, Ethereum, and other methods.
BetOnline has operated since 2004 and moved to its current domain in 2012. The casino is licensed in Panama, and this site is known for its sportsbook and accepts players from all 50 states. BetOnline also has more than 400 casino games, including slots, tabletop games, video poker, Bingo, and live dealer games.
The welcome bonus varies depending on which game you are playing. There is a withdrawal limit depending on the game and deposit and withdrawal fees. You can deposit money by credit card, bank wire, check, money orders, and cryptocurrency.
24. Wild Casino
Wild Casino is a relatively new online casino founded in 2017 and operated by a larger company that owns BetOnline and SportsBetting.ag. The casino is licensed in Panama and operates internationally. Wild Casino has increased since its launch. You can play with a web browser.
Wild Casino has 400+ games, including slots, tabletop games, video poker, Bingo, and a live dealer. The welcome bonus is up to $5,000. There are some withdrawal limitations. You can deposit money in multiple ways, including credit, check, Bitcoin, bank wire, Ethereum, and other methods.
25. El Royale Casino
El Royale Casino is a new casino launched in 2020. The casino is licensed by Curaçao but accepts gamblers from around the world. El Royale has a large selection of slot games, tabletop games, live baccarat, and live blackjack with a 99% RTP. In addition, El Royale has a web browser and mobile app options.
There are multiple welcome bonuses, but the largest is $12,500. In addition, some of the bonus options give you free spins. The other nice thing is that there are no withdrawal fees, but there is a $10,000 withdrawal limit per month. You can deposit money by credit card, bank wire, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Neosurf.
26. Genesis Casino
Genesis Casino is a relatively new online casino established in 2018 but owned by a larger group. The casino is licensed in the UK, Spain, and Malta, and it is popular in the UK but accepts players from many countries. Genesis Casino has many slots, video poker, tabletop, baccarat, and live dealer games.
It does not have a sportsbook or Bingo. The current welcome bonus is $1,000 and 300 free spins, and the withdrawal limit is $22,000 per month. Numerous deposit methods include credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, bank transfer, and others methods.
BetUS is an older casino established in 1994. The casino is licensed by Curaçao and is popular with US gamblers. The primary focus of BetUS is sports betting. However, this online casino also offers slots, tabletop games, video poker, baccarat, Bingo, jackpot, and live dealer games, making it an all-in-one choice.
You can play games in multiple formats, including 100% compatibility with iOS and Android. The current welcome bonus is up to $5,000. The withdrawal limits are based on the game played. You can deposit money by credit card, check, bank wire, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other methods.
28. Casumo Casino
Casumo Casino has been around for almost a decade after launching in 2012. It is a giant online casino popular in the UK and Scandinavia, and the casino is licensed in Sweden, Malta, the UK, and Denmark. Unfortunately, you can't play online at Casumo Casino for US residents.
This casino has sports betting, slots, video poker, baccarat, Bingo, jackpot, and live dealer games. The current welcome bonus is only 300 Euros and 20 free spins. There is no withdrawal limit in Euros. You can deposit money by credit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, debit, bank transfer, and other methods.
29. Sports Interaction Casino
Sports Interaction Casino has been around since 1997 and moved into online gambling in 2004. The Kahnawake Gaming Authority and Jersey license this online casino, which only accepts players from Canada. As the name suggests, this online casino focuses on sports betting.
However, Sports Interaction also offers slots, video poker, tabletop games, baccarat, jackpot, and live dealer games. The welcome bonus is only $100 in free sports bets, and there is no withdrawal limit in Canadian dollars. You can deposit money by credit card, debit, e-check, and other methods.
30. BetNow Casino
The BetNow Casino was established in 2015. Curaçao licenses the casino, and it is open to players worldwide. However, New Jersey, Hawaii, France, and Australia gamblers cannot gamble on the site. This casino has sports betting and online casino games.
The games include slots, video poker, tabletop games, baccarat, jackpot, and live dealer games. The welcome bonus is small at only $500 for the sportsbook and up to $1,000 for the online casino. The withdrawal limit is decent at $20,000 monthly, but some methods have fees. You can deposit money by credit cards, bank wire, Bitcoin, and Zelle, and there are no deposit fees.
31. BitStarz Casino
The last casino on our list is the BitStarz casino, founded in 2014. Curaçao licenses this larger casino. BitStarz is popular in Europe. In addition, BitStarz has won gaming awards. The online casino has numerous games, including slots, video poker, tabletop games, baccarat, jackpot, and live dealer games.
Unfortunately, BitStarz does not have a sportsbook. The welcome bonus is doubling your deposit up to one Bitcoin plus 180 free spins. There is no withdrawal limit for US dollars. You can deposit your money by credit card, debit, Neosurf, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, and other methods.
Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.