A Complete Overview of Online Gambling in Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s experience with gambling has been a rough one over the centuries. While betting on horse races began in the 16th century, no other forms of gambling enjoyed the same privilege. On one side, this state is very conservative in its views, but on the other hand there are dozens of casinos in the Badger State offering ample entertainment.

Wisconsin laws first came into effect in 1848 and they instantly prohibited all forms of gambling. The first relaxation of these laws came in 1973, with bingo and raffles being legalized for charity. Next, in 1987 the state allowed pari-mutuel betting on dog and horse races, which worked until 2009, when the last racetrack shut down. Today, people can bet on horse races online through various betting sites completely legally.

In 1988, the Wisconsin state lottery was created, but only four years later, it was restricted to pull-tabs, raffles, and an online draw. At this point, the state still only played the intra-state lottery, but in 2009, they started selling Mega Millions and Powerball tickets as well.

As Wisconsin was reigning in its lottery system, it was also signing agreements with some of the Native American tribes who wished to build class 3 casinos on their land. This was granted and it began the boom of tribal casinos all over Wisconsin, the main source of gambling entertainment in this state today. There have been attempts to legalize commercial casinos as well, but all of these have failed before being accepted into law.

Online casinos and online gambling altogether aren’t mentioned in the Wisconsin legal code but are presumed to be illegal due to the state’s relationship towards all unregulated forms of gambling. Daily fantasy sports have failed to be legalized several times in this state but haven’t been banned so they are still free to play.

Wisconsin Gambling Overview:

  • Year Wisconsin regulated offline and online gambling: 1992 for offline gambling, online gambling remains unregulated but illegal.
  • Wisconsin gambling age: 21 for casinos, 18 for everything else.
  • Legal online casino games in Wisconsin: N/A
  • Number of commercial casinos: 0
  • Number of tribal casinos: 22
  • Top online casinos Wisconsin wide:

Gambling in Wisconsin: What’s Legal?

There’s actually quite a lot to do in Wisconsin. You can visit one of their 22 amazing tribal casinos, you can bet on horse races in other states, you can play daily fantasy sports, buy lottery tickets, scratch-offs, pull-tabs as well as bingo in charity purposes. However, Wisconsin highly disapproves of anything outside of these carved out areas. Online casinos and live online poker have been banned. Social gaming at home isn’t carved out of the ban, making it illegal. The state actually enforces this, but if your games aren’t regular and don’t have high stakes, you should be fine. The smoking laws exempt the tribal casinos so you will likely be able to smoke at their venues. Try these Wisconsin casinos:

Name Address Opening Hours Games Dress Code Phone Number Website
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino – Milwaukee 1721 W. Canal St. 24/7 Over 3000 Machines, table games No dress code 1-800-729-7244 www.paysbig.com
Ho-Chunk Gaming – Wisconsin Dells S3214 County Highway Blvd. 24/7 Over 2200 Machines, table games No dress code 1 (800)-746-2486 www.ho-chunkgaming.com
Mohican North Star Casino – Bowler W12180 Co Rd. A 24/7 Over 2200 Machines No Dress Code 800-952-0195 www.northstarcasinoresort.com

Online Casinos in Wisconsin: What You Should Know

The only legal form of online gambling in Wisconsin is pari-mutuel betting on horse races and daily fantasy games are tolerated, but definitely not online casinos.

Are Wisconsin Online Casinos Legal for Non-Wisconsin Residents?

  • Wisconsin has no licensed online casinos.

What types of games do Wisconsin online casinos have available?

  • N/A

Can I play online casino in Wisconsin if I don’t live there?

  • N/A

Do offshore online casinos operate in Wisconsin?

  • Yes, they do but they may get you in trouble with the state.

How to Choose the Best Online Casino in Wisconsin

If you want to gamble in Wisconsin, you have a lot of options. This state is holding a hard line stance against online gambling and will probably continue to do so for a very long time. If you want to gamble online you will have to travel to Delaware, Pennsylvania or New Jersey, where online casinos have been legalized.

The Bottom Line on Wisconsin Online Gambling

Wisconsin has had a rough ride with its gambling industry, but with the appearance of the tribal casinos, they have rejuvenated it beyond all imagination. Now, with online gambling knocking on the door, Wisconsin will have to make a choice – open its gates to new and untapped sources of tax revenue or take a conservative, unprofitable stance.