Why Aren’t NetEnt Slots Available in Most of the US?

Casino Slot Machine, NetEnt Logo
Net Entertainment (NetEnt) is considered one of the elite online gaming providers. They’ve produced hundreds of popular slots along with dozens of live and virtual table games.

Some consider NetEnt to be the best developer in internet gaming. That said, anybody who has access to these games is definitely in for a treat.

Unfortunately, Americans aren’t allowed to play NetEnt’s slots and table games. Why is this the case? I’m going to cover why this provider doesn’t offer its services the US along with more on the company itself.

What Does NetEnt Do?

NetEnt is mostly known for producing online casino games. They make slots, virtual table games, and live dealer games.

Of these categories, NetEnt has become especially famous for their slots. Their games typically offer high-quality graphics, great features, and high return to player (RTP).

Here are some of the biggest hits from NetEnt:

  • Aloha! Cluster Pays
  • Arabian Nights
  • Blood Suckers
  • Dead or Alive (I & II)
  • Divine Fortune
  • Drive Multiplier Mayhem
  • Gonzo’s Quest
  • Hall of Gods
  • Jack Hammer (I & II)
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Mega Fortune
  • Starburst

In addition to producing great all-around slots, NetEnt also offers huge progressive jackpots. Arabian Nights, Hall of Gods, and Mega Fortune sometimes feature jackpots worth millions of dollars.

NetEnt even offers other solutions to those who want to run online casinos. They provide customer service, banking options, account management, and more to aspiring gaming sites.

An individual or company that wants to start a casino can use these solutions to quickly launch. This is why some internet casinos exclusively feature NetEnt games.

Why Has NetEnt Stayed Out of the US?

Americans who are looking to enjoy games from one of the world’s best providers have been disappointed up to this point. That’s because NetEnt has largely stayed out of the United States for decades (I’ll discuss the “largely” aspect later).

In fact, NetEnt is one of the few gaming providers that’s never made a widescale foray into the US. They want to avoid tricky legal situations, because the US is mostly a gray area regarding online gaming.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is the main thing keeping many gaming companies out of the country. This law restricts gambling businesses from accepting payments related to unlawful gaming.

American Flag, Row of Casino Slot Machines

The legal language of the UIGEA doesn’t offer a lot of clarification. But it undoubtedly criminalizes serving states that specifically outlaw internet gambling, such as Washington.

This law also gives certain government branches the ability to block suspicious transactions that may be related to online gaming. For example, relevant government agencies could block Visa or Mastercard transactions related to illegal offshore gambling.

Due to this element of the UIGEA, credit card processors make an effort to block unlawful gambling transactions themselves. Meanwhile, certain e-wallets like Neteller and Skrill avoid the US entirely to avoid such hassles.

Taking all this into account, NetEnt has decided to simply avoid serving Americans rather than deal with the convoluted legal situation. They’re on good standing with US federal and state governments as a result.

Where Does NetEnt Operate?

Net Entertainment may not serve the world’s most lucrative internet gambling market. However, they do operate in a large number of other countries.

NetEnt games are commonly found in online casinos that serve Europe, which has many regulated online gambling jurisdictions.

This developer has always preferred operating in licensed jurisdictions. In doing so, they avoid legal clashes with governments. They currently serve the following jurisdictions:

  • Alderney Gambling Control Commission
  • Belgian Gaming Commission
  • Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner
  • Malta Gaming Authority
  • New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement
  • Oficiul Național pentru Jocuri de Noroc (Romania)
  • La Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (Spain)
  • UK Gambling Commission (GC)

NetEnt Is Now in the US

As mentioned before, NetEnt has largely avoided serving the US. However, they recently gained a foothold in America by serving New Jersey.

They obtained a license with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) in 2015. Such licensing wouldn’t have been possible had this developer violated the UIGEA.

New Jersey Highway Sign

Through a partnership with Gamesys US LLC, NetEnt now provides games to multiple New Jersey online casinos. This company has already obtained licensing in Pennsylvania as well. The Keystone State legalized online gaming in 2017 and is still laying the foundation for their market.

Once the market is up and running, NetEnt will finally be able to offer their games to another place. This is exciting when considering that PA is the country’s sixth-largest state with 12.75 million residents.

What About NetEnt in Other States?

Again, this provider isn’t going to suddenly risk violating a law that they’ve so carefully tiptoed around for two decades. On the other hand, they’re obviously interested in serving Americans.

The question then becomes, what other states will they serve beyond New Jersey and Pennsylvania? The problem with predicting this is that states have been slow to regulate online gaming. Only three states have done so, including Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

NetEnt is already in two of these states. Chances are that they won’t serve Delaware, which currently favors 888 Holdings.

Other states, like Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Ohio, have floated the possibility of legal online casinos. But they’ve yet to approve any legislation to date.

As for the rest, NetEnt won’t provide games to any state that hasn’t regulated online gaming. This cuts out over 40 states, which have either outlawed internet gaming or treat it as a gray area.

What Are the Rest of Americans Missing With NetEnt?

NetEntertainment has plenty of good qualities. But their biggest attribute is their collection of well-designed online slots.

They’ve produced some of the industry’s biggest hits within the past decade. NetEnt is also one of the most innovative companies in the space.

Side View of a Casino Gambling Machine

For example, Gonzo’s Quest, which launched in 2009, is largely regarded as online gaming’s first 3D slot. It’s also quite possibly the first game to offer the cascading reels effect. NetEnt was also a pioneer in offering high-quality mobile gaming. Their NetEnt Touch series helped take Android and iPhone slots to a new level.

Another great thing about this provider is their slots return to player (RTP). They consistently push the bar in this category, with their games often featuring between 96.5% and 98.0% RTP.

Here are some of the top NetEnt slots regarding payback:

  • Blood Suckers = 98.0% RTP
  • Kings of Chicago = 97.8% RTP
  • Devil’s Delight = 97.6% RTP
  • Simsalabim = 97.5% RTP
  • Zombies = 97.2% RTP

Keep in mind that many online slots offer around 96% RTP. Therefore, NetEnt games give you a better chance to win on average.

I’m not trying to sell you on these games; they’re just that good in a variety of aspects. Unfortunately, only New Jersey and (soon) Pennsylvania have the ability to play them.

The only way to enjoy NetEnt slots is to either visit one of these states or another country where such games are available.

Conclusion

NetEnt continues to stay out of the majority of the United States. They don’t want to risk violating any laws and jeopardize their chances of serving regulated markets.

The UIGEA is the main deterrent from entering the broader US market. This law creates the possibility that the federal government could come down on illegal gaming providers and online casinos.

However, NetEnt has begun serving New Jersey residents in recent years. They’re definitely one of the most popular gaming providers in the Garden State.

They’ve also obtained licensing in Pennsylvania. Once PA launches their market, NetEnt will likely be one of the state’s premier providers.

They could possibly spread to other places that regulate internet gaming. The only problem is that internet gaming regulation is moving at a snail’s pace in America. Just three states currently offer legal online casino gambling. Of these, Delaware is fairly exclusive with 888.