Wisconsin Online Casinos and Gambling Laws

Written by: Jeremy Olson , Online Casino and Games Expert
Wisconsin Gambling Laws State Flag Icon

Wisconsin is known for its beer and brutal winters. So what is there to do during the long, cold months other than patronizing local watering holes?

Luckily, there are several ways to gamble in the Badger State, and when the roads are too icy, that includes playing at online casinos from home.

But is it legal? In this guide, we are going to answer that question and more. Our team of experts has thoroughly researched Wisconsin’s gambling legislation to give you a clear picture of precisely what is permitted, what is prohibited, and where you can play within the law.

Wisconsin Gambling Highlights

Want to gamble in Wisconsin? The following table provides a snapshot of what forms of gambling are legal in the state. From online casinos to land-based casinos and other forms of gambling such as state lottery.

Is Gambling Legal?

Yes

Legal Gambling Age

18-21

Land-Based Casinos

Yes

Online Casinos

Grey Area

Land-Based Sports Betting

Yes

Online Sportsbooks

Yes (Oneida Tribal Lands)

Legal State Lottery

Yes

Charitable Gambling

Yes

Online Gambling in Wisconsin

Everything You Need to Start Playing at Online Casinos

Key Takeaways

  • Wisconsin permits mobile sports betting on tribal lands and associated properties.
  • Local statutes do not specifically mention online gambling as being illegal.
  • State authorities have never prosecuted anybody for gambling online.
  • Many legit online casinos, poker rooms, and sportsbooks serve this state.

Wisconsin permits online sports betting in a limited capacity. Federally recognized tribes within the state can negotiate to offer mobile betting on their reservations and non-tribal properties.

The Badger State has not regulated any other type of online gambling. Therefore, you may wonder if it is safe to play at online casinos in Wisconsin.

The state’s statutes do not specifically mention anything related to online gaming.

No one has faced prosecution for playing at online casinos, poker rooms, and sportsbooks in this state. Online gambling sites have gone unchecked, freely serving Wisconsin since the mid-1990s.

Therefore, as with many US states laws, online gambling falls into a grey area here until further notice.

Best Wisconsin Online Casinos in 2024

We have reviewed many WI gaming sites to find the best available. You can check out our picks below.

RANK CASINO BONUS PAYOUT SPEED LICENSED TOTAL GAMES SLOTS OUR RATING CLICK TO PLAY
1 DuckyLuck Casino Logo DuckyLuck Casino BONUS 500% up to $7,500 PAYOUT SPEED 1-5 Days LICENSED Yes TOTAL GAMES 699 SLOTS 600 OUR RATING 4.8 / 5 Play Now
2 Bovada Casino Logo Bovada Casino BONUS 125% up to $3,750 PAYOUT SPEED 1-3 Days LICENSED Yes TOTAL GAMES 549 SLOTS 435 OUR RATING 4.7 / 5 Play Now
3 SlotsandCasino Logo SlotsandCasino BONUS 500% up to $7,500 PAYOUT SPEED 1-2 Days LICENSED Yes TOTAL GAMES 691 SLOTS 594 OUR RATING 4.8 / 5 Play Now
4 BetUS Logo BetUS BONUS 150% up to $3,000 PAYOUT SPEED 1-7 days LICENSED Yes TOTAL GAMES 491 SLOTS 367 OUR RATING 4.5 / 5 Play Now
5 Cafe Casino Logo Cafe Casino BONUS 350% up to $2,500 PAYOUT SPEED 1-3 Days LICENSED Yes TOTAL GAMES 273 SLOTS 176 OUR RATING 4.4 / 5 Play Now

*Last Updated: May, 2024

Top Wisconsin Online Casinos by Category

These are our top choices for the best Wisconsin gambling sites. Here is a closer look at what they do well.

Top WI Site for Casino Games

DuckyLuck Casino Logo Featured Image

DuckyLuck offers Cheeseheads the best all-around game selection with live dealer tables, slots, table games, video poker, and specialty games.

Their slots selection features many popular games like Mystic Wolf, Sugar Pop, and Blazin’ Buffalo.

It also has life-changing progressive jackpots, headlined by Good Girl Bad Girl and its 7-figure prize.

The table section features titles not available everywhere, like Dragon Roulette, Ride ’em Poker, and Rolling Stack Blackjack

You can also try crash games here through Triple Cash or Crash, which are a genre not available at Wisconsin land-based casinos.

Top Features

  • Great all-around game selection with unique offerings
  • Progressive jackpot slots worth over $1 million
  • Play demo modes without an account
  • VIP program & 10% cashback rewards for crypto players

Best WI Site for Sports Betting

Bovada Casino Logo

Online sports betting is legal but still pretty restricted, as it’s only available at tribal lands.

For Cheeseheads looking for a comprehensive betting experience, we recommend Bovada.

With two decades in the industry, this gambling site stands out for their user-friendly platform and variety of banking options.

Wisconsin bettors can indulge in a multiple sports, from the ever-popular football to the burgeoning field of esports.

This diversity ensures that there’s something for every type of sports enthusiast.

Top Features

  • Fast payouts – one of the fastest in the industry
  • Easy-to-navigate website
  • Reliable banking methods

How We Choose the Best Online Casinos in Wisconsin

Our review process highlights five key areas of each online casino.

  1. Reputation

    Our team only considers online casinos with a history of serving players well. Specifically, we want gaming sites that offer quality customer support, fair games, and a scandal-free past.
  2. Fast & Reliable Payments

    The best Wisconsin casinos approve withdrawal requests within at least 48 hours. A gaming site gains bonus points if it approves cash outs in 24 hours or less.
  3. Security & Safety

    Legitimate real-money casinos protect their websites with Secure Socket Layers (SSL) technology. SSL encrypts user information so hackers cannot steal your banking and personal details.
  4. Games Variety

    A few dozen casino games get old after a while—we like online casinos with at least 200 games.
  5. Quality Bonuses

    Huge bonuses are great, but only if they have fair terms and conditions. We look for low rollover, little-to-no restricted games, and a large max win.

Top Online Casino Games for Real Money in Wisconsin

You will find no shortage of online casino games in Wisconsin, with everything from scratch cards to arcade crash games available.

However, you may want to head straight to the most popular options.

Slots Reel Big Icon

Online Slots

Real money slots are the most abundant online casino games in the Badger State. The average gaming site features 150-200 online slots.

Stack of Poker Chips Icon

Online Poker

Gaming sites offer online poker games and tournaments.
They typically feature no-limit hold ’em and Omaha cash tables with stakes ranging from $0.02 to $5.

big icon blackjack

Online Blackjack

Real money online blackjack is easily the most popular game in WI. Online casinos let you play free hands after completing registration. You can also deposit and enjoy this game for just $1 a hand.

Live Dealer Casino Icon

Live Dealer Games

Live dealer casinos offer an alternative to experience the land-based atmosphere without going anywhere. Sites stream action from a studio, where a real dealer handles the game and chats with you.

Other Online Casino Games for Wisconsin

You can see the best of the rest in the WI online gaming market below. These games provide a breather when you have played enough slots, blackjack, and live dealer games.

Wisconsin Online Casino Bonuses

The DuckyLuck and Red Dog bonuses reign supreme. Let’s discuss the details behind these offers and what makes them shine versus hundreds of competing welcome promos.

Welcome Bonuses

Large introductory offers that nearly every online gambling site provides to new players.

Free Spin Offers

Promotional deals that give you a set number of free rounds on specific games.

Reload Deals

Get additional bonus cash when you deposit additional funds or top off your account.

Our Favorite Casino Bonuses at WI Sites

RedDog Bonus 8000 banner

Up to $8,000 Welcome Bonus

This offer provides Wisconsin players with a $8,000 Welcome Package. A match bonus of this size usually has high rollover, but this one matches the industry average at 40x.

You can meet the wagering requirements through slots, scratchcards, board games, and keno.

You must use the code PATIO and deposit at least $10 (Neosurf), $20 (crypto), or $30 (credit card) to qualify.

DuckyLuck 500 Percent Up to 2500 Dollars Welcome Bonus Banner

$7,500 Sign-Up Bonus + 150 Spins

The DuckyLuck Casino bonus nearly equals Red Dog’s offer, delivering a 500% Up to $7,500 + 150 Free Spins welcome offer on your first three deposits.

The first deposit bonus also includes 150 free spins! Wagering requirements are only 30x, with all games contributing to rollover except progressives, live dealer tables, and craps.

You must deposit at least $25 to claim each segment of this offer.

Wisconsin Casino Apps

Real Money Mobile Video Poker on Phone and Tablet

You will not find Wisconsin casino apps available because this state does not regulate online casinos.

The App Store (iOS) and Google Play Store (Android) do not host unregulated gambling apps. However, you can still play at mobile casinos through an iOS or Android device in this state.

All our recommended gaming sites offer in-browser play, which lets you enjoy casino games through Safari, Chrome, or another browser. You will not notice a difference regarding game speed and graphics when playing via a browser versus an app.

Therefore, Wisconsin mobile casinos are the perfect substitutes for regulated gaming apps.

Facts About Online Casinos for Wisconsin Players

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Wisconsin’s gambling stance raises legal questions, and you can find the answers here.

  • Sports betting is the only legal form of Wisconsin gambling, and it is limited to tribal lands and non-reservation properties.
  • Wisconsin residents can play at offshore online casinos and poker sites without any problem.
  • Most offshore gambling sites do hold licensing in jurisdictions like Curaçao and Panama.
  • Wisconsin has never taken action against online gamblers or offshore operators.
  • You cannot use ACH/e-check for deposits and withdrawals at offshore casinos because US banks will not allow it.
  • You can use cryptocurrencies (e.g., Bitcoin, Ethereum) to deposit and cash out at online casinos in Wisconsin.

The Badger State allows most forms of gambling, although some options are limited. You can see what is legal, limited, or excluded below.

Wisconsin GamblingWhat You Need to Know
Land-based casinos in WisconsinNative-American tribes have a monopoly on brick-and-mortar casinos in Wisconsin.

11 tribes signed their original gaming compact with the state between 1991 and 1992. They extended and revised the pacts in 1999 and have continued doing so when necessary.
Online GamblingOnline casinos and poker rooms are abundant in the Badger State. They lie in a grey area and have never experienced trouble with state authorities.

Section 1 of Chapter 945 broadly describes an unlawful bet as “dependent upon chance even though accompanied by some skill, one stands to win or lose something of value specified in the agreement.”

Wisconsin makes multiple exceptions for Section 1, including tribal casinos, lotteries, pari-mutuel wagering, and sports betting. It doesn’t mention online gambling at all.
Online Sports Betting and Land-basedLocal tribes can negotiate with the state government to add sports betting to their compacts.

The Forest County Potawatomi, Oneida Indian Nation, and St. Croix Chippewa have all successfully negotiated for land-based sportsbooks on their reservations. The Oneida can also offer mobile betting to people on their reservation and non-tribal businesses.
State LotteryWI voters approved lotteries through Question 2 on the 1987 ballot.

The Wisconsin Lottery launched the following year and now offers scratch cards, in-state drawings, and multi-jurisdictional draw tickets.
Charitable GamblingQualified charities can hold fundraisers through bingo and raffles. Unlike some states, they cannot run casino nights or poker tournaments.
PokerWisconsin poker rooms are only legal on tribal reservations. Poker is part of the gaming compacts that tribes renew with the government every several years.
Horse & Dog RacingThe Badger State legalized pari-mutuel betting in 1987 by a narrow 52-48 margin.

This legislation allows for dog racing, horse racing, and snowmobile races. Greyhound racing was the only one of these three sports that featured live races. However, the last dog track closed in 2009.
Fantasy SportsDaily fantasy sports (DFS) are in a grey area in Wisconsin, much like offshore casinos. The biggest daily fantasy operators accept Cheeseheads despite lawmakers never passing DFS legislation.
Social GamblingWisconsin does not mention social gaming or private poker games in its statutes.

We assume that home poker games are acceptable, provided nobody collects rake or sells anything (e.g., liquor) to the players.
Taxes on Gambling WinningsGambling winnings are subject to Wisconsin state income tax (3.60% to 7.65%) and federal holdings (24%).

Disclaimer: The information on this page does not, nor does it intend to, constitute legal advice. This page is for learning purposes and may not have the most up-to-date information year-round. Readers should contact their attorney and/or accountant for advice concerning any particular legal matter. Do not take any action without first contacting a lawyer in your state.

Wisconsin Gambling Laws: A Deep Dive

This state has historically been one of the latest to regulate different types of gambling. It did not legalize a major form of gambling until 1973 when voters approved charity bingo.

It also waited until 1987 before legalizing lotteries and pari-mutuel betting. The latter stands out because many states approved pari-mutuel wagering in the 1930s.

Nevertheless, Wisconsin is progressing towards a gambler-friendly state. It allows the most common games of chance and recently permitted sports betting. You can see more details on each type of gambling in this state below.

Land-Based Casinos

Wisconsin was one of the earlier states to approve tribal casinos. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) of 1988 blazed a path for the state and tribes to form gaming compacts. 11 tribes have signed compacts with the state since the IGRA took effect.

They collectively run 25 casinos and amend their deals when necessary to expand gaming operations.

Tribal casinos can offer Class III games like slot machines, blackjack, craps, and roulette. The ability to offer traditional casino games puts Wisconsin tribes on par with commercial casinos in other states.

By comparison, tribes in certain states can only offer Class II gaming, which includes bingo, non-banked table games, and bingo-style slot machines.

The Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is Wisconsin’s biggest gaming venue, offering 2,500 slot machines and 100 table games. Ho-Chunk Gaming has the second and third largest casinos (Wisconsin Dells & Beloit), which both offer 2,220 slots and 50 tables.

Horse & Dog Tracks

Most states legalized pari-mutuel wagering in the 1930s to generate more revenue during the Great Depression.

The Badger State waited five decades before finally approving dog and horse racing betting. Wisconsin is also an oddball because it only featured live dog races and not horse races. Most states are the other way around. 

No races run today because all WI dog tracks have closed, with Dairyland Greyhound Park shuttering in 2009. Dog and horse racing are legal in Wisconsin—they’re just not active.

Gamblers can still place pari-mutuel bets at local simulcast facilities and offshore online racebooks.

Bingo, Lottery and Charitable Gambling

Wisconsin charity gambling became legal in 1973 when voters approved charitable bingo.

Raffles followed soon afterward by passing a vote in 1977. The Office of Charitable Gambling handles this sector, licensing over 9,400 organizations.

It also conducts onsite inspections of some charity gambling events to ensure that all rules are being followed. Interested charities can find rules and other info on the Office of Charitable Gambling’s page.

Social Gaming at Home

State laws do not offer clarity on social gambling. The general rule in most states is that private games are legal, provided nobody collects rake or sells alcohol/food to participants.

We believe the same applies to Wisconsin, given that we cannot find any instances of police raiding social gambling functions.

Poker Rooms and Clubs

Only tribes are allowed to run poker rooms in this state.

Potawatomi Casino features the biggest Wisconsin poker room with 20 tables. It opens 24/7 and offers a mixture of hold ’em, Omaha, and seven-card stud casino games. 

St. Croix Turtle Lake has the second-biggest room with 10 tables. It runs regular tournaments and offers a bad-beat jackpot.

Online Sports Betting

Wisconsin has an interesting legal situation regarding sports gambling. It did not pass legislation to approve sports betting but rather amended tribal compacts. The Chippewa, Oneida, and Potawatomi tribes have all negotiated for sports wagering.

The Oneida took negotiations further by also requesting mobile sports betting. This tribe worked out a deal whereby it could accept mobile sports bets on its reservation and non-reservation properties.

The latter consists of nine one-stop convenience stores in the Green Bay area. This setup of reservation/convenience store betting is unique for the US sports gambling market.

Casinos in Wisconsin

The Badger State features one of the biggest gaming markets with over two dozen tribal casinos. You can plot your course to visit one or more gambling establishments.

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Top Wisconsin Casinos

  • Potawatomi Hotel & Casino
  • Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells
  • Ho-Chunk Gaming Beloit

WI Gambling Summary

  • Total Casinos: 25
  • Total Poker Rooms: 7

Wisconsin Gambling vs. Neighboring States

The western part of the Great Lakes region mostly shares the same stance on gambling. However, you will see some minor differences between some states in the following table.

The Badger State, Illinois, and Iowa have the same legal views on every category above. Michigan also largely falls in line, except that it has legalized and regulated online casinos.

Minnesota differs from the rest of the group because it has not legalized sports betting and lets 18-year-olds participate in all legal gambling.

A Brief History of Wisconsin Gambling

Since the 1970s, the state has experienced several milestones regarding gambling. Check them out below.

1858

The Minnesota Constitution goes into effect and bans highly popular lotteries.

Late 1800s

Faro and other card games become popular in this state.

1910

Milwaukee Mayor Emil Seidel busts many illegal gambling dens.

1965

Voters amend the state constitution to allow for sweepstakes.

1973

Charitable bingo becomes legal.

1977

Raffles join bingo as the other legal form of charity gambling.

1987

Wisconsin legalizes lottery games and pari-mutuel betting.

1990

The Wisconsin Dells Greyhound Park opens and becomes the state’s first race track.

1991

Following the passage of the IGRA in 1988, tribes negotiate with Wisconsin to open land-based casinos.

2009

Dairyland Greyhound Park closes, thus ending live racing in the state.

2022

The Oneida Nation becomes the state’s first tribe to negotiate for legal sports betting.

2023

The Forest County Potawatomi and St. Croix Chippewa also negotiate sports gambling pacts.

Wisconsin Responsible Gambling Initiatives

The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling leads the state’s efforts to promote responsible play. It provides resources on combating gambling addiction and holds events for recovering players. The Council on Problem Gambling also offers resources like Wisconsin Gamblers Anonymous and Gam-Anon.

Summary: Wisconsin’s Gambling Journey

The Badger State has warmed up to gambling over the past several decades. It started with charity gaming in the 1970s and now offers pari-mutuel betting, lotteries, casinos, poker rooms, and sportsbooks

Casino gaming, poker, and sports betting are all connected to tribes.

The tribal aspect has a limiting effect on betting apps, which are only legal on Native-American reservations and non-reservation businesses.

Should we expect the same if online casinos and poker sites become legal here? Nothing so far suggests any differently. The tribes have a monopoly on several key forms of the state’s gambling. They do not want commercial interests coming in and providing online gambling to the entire state—hence agreeing to compacts that limit mobile betting to tribal lands.

Wisconsin online casinos and poker sites would have a limited scope in a regulated environment. Therefore, offshore casinos and poker rooms will remain popular here for many years because they cover the entire state.

Wisconsin Gambling FAQ

How do tribal casinos differ from commercial casinos in Wisconsin?

Federally recognized tribes are the only entities that can run casinos in Wisconsin. But if commercial casinos were available in the Badger State, the two types of gaming establishments would be virtually identical. WI tribal casinos offer Class III gaming (e.g., slots, blackjack) and resort amenities like commercial casinos in other states.

Are there real money online casinos in Wisconsin with no-deposit bonuses?

Some online casinos offer no deposit bonuses to Wisconsinites. For example, they may give players a $25 free chip for signing up. The players can cash out winnings from Wisconsin no deposit bonuses after meeting terms and conditions.

Is there any risk of playing at online casinos regulated outside of Wisconsin?

The Badger State does not regulate online casinos, poker rooms, and sportsbooks. Therefore, you will not have a neutral party helping you in the case of disputes with operators. We suggest only choosing the best Wisconsin online casinos so that you get treated fairly.

Who regulates online casinos in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin has not legalized nor regulated gaming sites, and the online casinos operating here are offshore and regulated in jurisdictions like Curaçao and Antigua & Barbuda. We do not see online casino regulation coming to Wisconsin anytime soon.

Jeremy Olson

Jeremy Olson Online Casino and Games Expert

Jeremy Olson is a research writer in the gambling industry who has covered poker, casino games, and sports betting since 2004. He converted bad beats in blackjack and poker into a passion to learn and now specializes in several areas of the online casino market.

Learn More About Jeremy