Wisconsin Online Casinos

Wisconsin may be “America’s Dairyland,” but it’s no Disneyland for online gambling options. Wisconsin does have a selection of gambling options for residents and visitors to the state, but gambling online is not part of the equation. There are tribal casinos, a state lottery, and charitable bingo games. Horse betting is also legal in the state, although oddly, the state has no racetracks and no off-track betting facilities.

For now, Wisconsin online gambling is not part of the overall gambling market. Check back here to see how the curds eventually get made as Wisconsin attempts to legalize online casinos.

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Is online gambling legal in Wisconsin?

No, there is no legal real money online gambling in Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s gambling laws are like those in many states, in that the law is slow to adapt to new technologies. Wisconsin’s gambling statutes offer a very meat-and-potatoes approach to the subject, so to speak. The fact that commercial casinos are not available makes venturing online to gamble a low priority.

Are online casinos legal in Wisconsin?

No. However, legal alternative options like sweepstakes and social casinos do exist in Wisconsin. You can play online social casino games in Wisconsin at Chumba Casino and LuckyLand Slots. Players seeking a top sweepstakes site would appreciate Funzpoints. These sites mirror the traditional legal online casinos from brands like BetMGM and Golden Nugget. Sweepstakes and social casinos include slots like Stampede Fury, Lightning Nudge and Dancing Gold, table games, and video poker.

Can you play online poker in Wisconsin?

Nope, real money online poker is not legal in Wisconsin. Much like Wisconsin online casinos, there are no legal online poker rooms for play in the state. However, players can play on-site at the poker rooms inside tribal casinos or try a sweepstakes site like Global Poker. Global Poker operates much like Chumba, but while it does have a few online slots, its main purpose is online poker games such as Texas Hold’em or a unique game called Crazy Pineapple.

Who regulates gambling in Wisconsin?

The Wisconsin Lottery Board regulates what non-tribal gambling there is in the state. The Wisconsin Office of Indian Gaming and Regulatory Compliance regulates tribal casinos. The Native American tribes are considered sovereign nations.

What is the legal gambling age in Wisconsin?

The legal gambling age in Wisconsin is 18 for bingo and other legal games, but 21 for all forms of gambling inside tribal casinos.

Will Wisconsin regulate online gambling in the future?

Wisconsin state Rep. Tyler Vorpagel is trying. He has proposed legal online fantasy sports and sports betting on a couple of occasions, most recently in 2018, but nothing has passed. His 2017 bill would have established a regulatory framework for sportsbooks to exist in Wisconsin. Overall, this represents movement, at least from a portion of the electorate in Wisconsin, toward a legal framework for online gambling. So there is hope for the future.

Wisconsin’s path to legal sports betting and expanded gambling, in general, is complicated. Why? The measure would not only require passage in the House and Senate in consecutive sessions, but it would also require changing the state constitution and a voter referendum. That’s a lot of hoops to jump through.

Legal online gambling vs. offshore sites

Now, some sites will proclaim that online casinos are available in Wisconsin. This is deceptive, however. No matter the sites’ promises of legality and shiny appearance, offshore gambling sites in Wisconsin are illegal, and they’re risky. Here are some of the potential issues:

  • No oversight of sites where US laws can’t reach.
  • Offshore sites resort to dubious payment methods including cryptocurrency. This is not safe.
  • Payment of winnings may take six to eight weeks or longer, if ever. There’s no guarantee that you will receive your winnings or even deposits back.
  • There’s also no guarantee that the games are fair. If something should go wrong, your support options are limited.

Bottom line: A site that offers online casino games in Wisconsin is based offshore, is not safe and you are better off not taking the risk. Be safe, and play on one of the sweepstakes casinos mentioned above.

Responsible gambling resources

According to information from the American Gaming Association, “There are no statutory funding requirements outlined in the tribal-state compacts or tribal gaming ordinances,” including self-exclusion, to deal with problem gambling in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Department of Administration notes that “information and assistance regarding problem gambling may be obtained from the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling, www.wi-problemgamblers.org, or 1-800-426-2535, 24 hours a day.

Patrons may also request a self-ban at most Wisconsin tribal gambling facilities to prevent them from gambling at that location in the future. Complimentary alcoholic drinks are not available at tribal casinos in Wisconsin, and gambling ordinances mandate that the visibly intoxicated shall not be allowed to gamble.

Are there retail casinos in Wisconsin?

Casino Tribal Owner Location
Ho-Chunk Gaming Black River Falls Ho-Chunk Nation Black River Falls
Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison Ho-Chunk Nation Madison
Ho-Chunk Gaming Nekoosa Ho-Chunk Nation Nekoosa
Ho-Chunk Gaming Tomah Ho-Chunk Nation Tomah
Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells Ho-Chunk Nation Wisconsin Dells
Ho-Chunk Gaming Wittenberg Ho-Chunk Nation Wittenberg
Grindstone Creek Casino Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin Hayward
Sevenwinds Casino, Lodge & Convention Center Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin Hayward
Potawatomi Carter Casino Hotel Forest County Potawatomi Indian Tribe Wabeno
Potawatomi Bingo Casino Forest County Potawatomi Indian Tribe Milwaukee
Bad River Lodge and Casino Bad River Band of Chippewa Indians Ashland
Lake of the Torches Resort Casino Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Lac Du Flambeau
Menominee Casino-Bingo-Hotel Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin Keshena
Oneida Main Casino Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin Green Bay
Oneida Mason Street Casino Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin Green Bay
IMAC Casino/Bingo/OTB Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin Green Bay
Oneida Casino Travel Center Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin Pulaski
Oneida One-Stop Packerland Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin Green Bay
Legendary Waters Resort and Casino Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin Bayfield
Mole Lake Casino Sokaogon Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Crandon
St. Croix Casino Danbury St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin Danbury
St. Croix Casino Hertel St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin Webster
St. Croix Casino Turtle Lake St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin Turtle Lake
North Star Mohican Casino Resort Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohican Tribe Bowler

Yes, but there are only tribal casinos in Wisconsin. Eleven tribes have entered into compacts with the state to operate 27 gambling facilities. The tribes began signing these deals in 1991.

Tribal gambling commissions and the Wisconsin Office of Indian Gaming and Regulatory Compliance regulate the casinos. The Menominee, Ho-Chunk, Potawatomi and Lac du Flambeau tribes renegotiated 25-year extensions in 2003 after the state Supreme Court ruled that the limitless compacts they’d just renegotiated were unconstitutional. The Stockbridge-Munsee, Oneida and St. Croix tribes now have 99-year terms.

The Ho-Chunk Nation has the most gambling facilities in Wisconsin. And the Potawatomi Nation has the largest casino in the state; its bingo casino in Milwaukee features more than 3,100 slot machines, 100 table games, a large poker room, and all the comforts of a typical resort property.

Horse betting in Wisconsin

Yes, Wisconsin horse betting is legal … with a caveat. Licensed horse racing and pari-mutuel betting are legal in Wisconsin, but there are no racetracks. Making matters more frustrating, off-track betting is illegal and Wisconsin is one of 18 jurisdictions where TVG is not legal. TwinSpires, however, is available for those who wish to bet the ponies.

History of gambling in Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s history with regard to gambling is a conventional one. Its reluctance to implement gambling seems to have been a decidedly literal interpretation of early laws.

The state’s path to legalization mirrors the path of many other states. Like many states, its first foray into gambling was racing. Racing of any type has always been legal in Wisconsin, but wagering on the races, be they horse, dog or car, was made illegal by a law dating back to 1897.

Before 1965, the Wisconsin Constitution held that “the legislature shall never authorize any lottery…” This was taken to mean any type of gambling for years, but between 1965 and 1987, four constitutional amendments altered the landscape.

From Tribal Gaming in Wisconsin: “The first, ratified in 1965, allowed the Legislature to create an exception to permit state residents to participate in various promotional contests. In 1973 and 1977, amendments were passed authorizing the Legislature to allow charitable bingo games and raffles, respectively. In 1987, two amendments were adopted authorizing: (a) the creation of a state-operated lottery, with proceeds to be used for property tax relief; and (b) privately operated pari-mutuel on-track betting as provided by law.”

However, the lure of tax revenue led to the introduction of numerous bills over the years to legalize wagering on races. Due to opponents of gambling, however, the bills failed for 90 years. But supporters of gambling never gave up. They were finally rewarded with a constitutional amendment in 1987 that legalized gambling in the state.

Normally, this would be a happy ending — but even though five dog racing tracks eventually opened, all have now closed. Currently, the only news about racing in Wisconsin is questions about h
ow to redevelop the former sites.

Around the same time as racing legalization, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act became federal law. This act allowed federally recognized Native American tribes to negotiate compacts with their states to build and operate full Vegas-style casinos on reservation lands. Wisconsin is home to 11 such tribes, and the state government began to negotiate with the tribes soon after the bill’s passage.

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Brant James

Brant James is a veteran journalist who has twice been recognized in the Associated Press Sports Editors Awards, most recently in 2020. He’s covered motorsports, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball among a myriad of others beats and written enterprise and sports business for publications including USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com.

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