Regulated vs. Offshore Online Casinos

Written by: Joe Falchetti, Online Casinos, Sports Betting, & Poker Expert
5 minute read
Regulated vs Offshore Online Casinos

Online gambling has exploded in the past decade at both regulated and offshore online casinos. If you’re a gambler, but just sticking to land-based casinos, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities.

The basics of online casino gambling do not change whether you’re playing at a regulated or an offshore site. However, their offerings to players, along with differences in legal environments, are aspects all gamblers should know.

The doors are open at both regulated and offshore casinos if you’re an online player. While legal codes vary depending on your jurisdiction, one fact remains: online casino gambling is legal under US federal law. 

Regulated and Offshore Online Casinos

There are some notable differences between regulated and offshore online casinos. It is not only when it comes to location, but regarding legal jurisdictions and their availability to players, depending on where they’re playing. 

US Regulated Online Casinos in the USA

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Regulated online casinos are those that are licensed inside the United States. There is no federal licensing of online gambling sites at this point, whether it be casinos, poker rooms, or sportsbooks. 

All regulated casinos are licensed on the state level. Casino sites, for now, also operate on the intrastate level. For instance, regulated online casinos in New Jersey can only offer their services to those living in the Garden State or players who are physically located there.

Offshore Online Casinos for US Players

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What is an offshore casino? These sites are based in island nations known for gambling licensing, such as Antigua, Curacao, and Central American countries, like Panama and Costa Rica.

Most of these countries issue a license for casino sites and have their regulatory bodies. Online casinos that located offshore provide their services to an extensive list of American states, with very few exceptions. 

It is perfectly legal to deposit and play at an offshore online casino as a citizen or resident in the United States. 

Is it Safe to Play at Offshore Online Casinos?

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Yes, it is safe to play at offshore casinos. These sites accept players from most US states and many countries from around the world. However, we recommend our readers to always research the casino site before making a deposit. You can visit our OUSC online casino reviews page to read more about our top-rated sites.

Regulated vs. Offshore Online Casinos

Both regulated and offshore casinos have their pros and cons. We break down the positives and negatives of both options for players in the table below.


  • The backing of the US legal system for disputes
  • Rewards tied to brick n’ mortar casinos
  • Not available to all states in the USA
  • Bonuses offered are usually lower


  • Welcome bonuses are much higher
  • Cryptocurrency payments available
  • Available in almost every US state
  • Not all sites are regulated

Are Offshore Casinos Better Than Regulated Gambling Sites?

The OUSC team has created the following video to help US players compare regulated casinos and online casinos located offshore.

Best Offshore Online Casinos for US Players

Now that you know the differences between these two types of online casinos, check out some of our recommendations for the best offshore casino sites to play for real money.

Wild Casino

Wild Casino Online Home

Wild Casino is another solid option for players. They have the same ownership group as BetOnline, so casino gamblers know it is a brand they can trust. The welcome bonuses are also a bit better, with a welcome package of up to $5,000.

They feature six live dealer games and a seamless mobile betting platform that is available on Android and iOS devices. Their cashier has plenty of choices, including several different types of cryptocurrencies, and some of the best payout times.

Wild Casino
Wild Casino
Register Today and Get $5,000 Welcome Bonus



BetOnline has a long history in the offshore gambling industry, which has been vital in their growth. They have earned the trust of players due to their fast payouts and longstanding track record. Apart from their online casino, they also have poker rooms and sportsbooks.

Features include 3D slots from BetSoft and live dealer options, with larger than normal wagering limits. They have over 300 games available on both desktop and mobile devices. New players receive a deposit bonus of 100% up to $3,000 on their first deposit. 

BetOnline Casino
BetOnline Casino
Sign Up and Receive 100% up to $3,000

El Royale

El Royale Online Casino Home Page

El Royale is one of the best offshore online casinos. They have over 250 games available and accept players from the United States. A fan-favorite by many gamblers, they feature an excellent mobile casino.

The casino site offers players a massive welcome bonus of 250% up to $12,500! They have 196 slots provided by RealTime Gaming and live dealer options. There are many cashier options, and payouts are among the fastest in the industry.

El Royale Casino
El Royale Casino
New Players Can Claim 250% up to $12,500

When it comes to regulated vs. offshore online casinos, it’s a natural choice. Offshore online casinos win by a landslide. Here’s a quick recap of why offshore sites win this round.

Larger Bonuses

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Offshore online casinos offer far more in bonuses and promotions than their regulated counterparts. These casino sites provide bonuses of several thousand or more.


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Offshore casinos are more widely available. As of now, only five US states have licensed online casinos. Even if you want to play at a regulated site, it’s unlikely that one will be available. 

Game Software

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Regulated sites have a slight edge when it comes to software and game availability, but offshore casinos offer better live dealer games.

Joe Falchetti

Joe Falchetti Online Casinos, Sports Betting, & Poker Expert

Joseph Falchetti, also known as Smokey Joe, is an expert online gambler. We've teamed up with him for exclusive OUSC content relevant to USA online casino players. Joe is a former professional poker player and a full-time online betting expert who has been featured in major publications, such as CBS Sports and, and linked to by the New York Times.

Learn More About Joe