Navigating Online Casinos from your RV

RV Park

You’ve leveled the RV, unfurled the awning, set up the outside chairs, and opened a cold bottle of something satisfying after a long drive.

A quick look at the stunning view in front and then, maybe, time for a quick game of blackjack?

If you were touring around the Scottish Glens of the United Kingdom in a “moho” then that wouldn’t be a problem.

In the UK’s regulated market, as long as you’re over 18 and betting on a UK Gambling Commission licenced online casino, you can bet from anywhere, including the top of a mountain. It is as simple as that!

Sadly, it isn’t as straightforward in the USA when it comes to betting at an online casino. Navigating around the online casino legislation in America is tricky, to say the least.

For instance, your RV trip may have taken you across state lines – from one where you live – where online casinos are legal – to one where they aren’t. The number one rule when looking to play at an online casino from your RV is to 100% research the gambling laws for the state you are in before playing or signing up for an online casino.

But even then, it’s not that simple. Let’s say you live in Connecticut and have signed up for their licenced online casinos but you’re now in Nebraska taking a break. Like any good casino online these days, they should have a geo block feature to restrict access based on your location. You could try a VPN (Virtual Private Network), but there’s no guarantee it won’t be spotted which could result in restrictions and funds being frozen.

All of this interstate gambling disconnection dates back to the Wire Act of 1961. A law that was introduced two decades before the internet was born in 1983. It was introduced to combat organized crime by preventing the transmission of information across state lines, via phone, to place bets or wagers on sporting events. 

What that means, essentially, is that states that have legalized online gambling can’t accept players joining from other states. To complicate matters further, some states that have legalized online casinos have secured interstate compacts, such as the Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey poker pact of 2017.

And to confuse matters even more, not all states that have legalized online casinos offer the same types of online experience. Nevada, for instance, allows online sports and poker betting but not casino.

Whilst online sports betting can be accessed in 20+ states, only six US states have legalized full-ranging online casinos, including Michigan, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and West Virginia.

So some people can, and some people can’t, and some people can in multiple states but only on certain things. Confusing ain’t it!

Then, of course, there’s the offshore casino conundrum and whether you should sign up for one. In 2006 the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act prohibited online gambling sites from allowing money originating from players in the USA.

If you’ve signed up for one, and they’ve accepted you, then they are doing so against the law.And the question then is: “how safe do you feel betting in a casino that would do that?”.

If all this legal chat is leaving you lost, you may be thinking, ‘it’s a lot easier to just go to a real casino,’ and that’s kinda the point. Land-based casinos see the online world as a threat, and rightly so. The global online version is a business that is ever expanding with fewer overheads and less money needed to run a land-based one.

Online casinos have innumerable benefits over land-based casinos because they aren’t restricted by space, which means access to thousands of your favorite slots and table games. They’re also frequently filled with great ongoing offers and promotions, are open 24/7 and not limited to set times like land-based casinos are.

Plus, there’s no fee to enter or a need to pay for drinks or food. You can simply pop to the refrigerator for that.

Having said that, land-based casinos are destination venues. A place to go and socialize, maybe get dressed up, watch a concert or enjoy a free glass of wine on arrival. They are an experience night, not a night in.

Great land-based casinos have a joie-de-vivre – or sense of excitement – that few online casinos can replicate fully. Although, newer Live Casino games do give you the ability to interact with the dealer and others.

However, the biggest disparity between online and real-life casinos lies in their Return To Player (RTP) percentages.

Online slots, for instance, have an average Return To Player of 95%-97%. And in most online casinos, you can check this before spinning. They actually promote these figures as a benefit of joining.

This is the opposite approach taken in land-based casinos where RTPs aren’t visible and are generally much lower. Slots in Las Vegas, for instance, must have a minimum RTP of just 75% and while there isn’t a global figure for the average RTP of land-based slots, reviewers the world over place them anywhere between 80% and 92%.

One thing we would always suggest before playing a land-based slot is to Google the company and slot machine name before playing and find out the RTP for that particular offline slot.

Of course, in the long run, the house always wins. That’s why it’s called the house edge.

So, if you want to continue to live the RV lifestyle, then we’d recommend always viewing gambling as a way to have fun, only to bet as much as you can afford to lose and never see it as a way to guarantee making money.