USA Gambling Laws

This is an interesting time in the online casino landscape, not just in the US but around the world. Many jurisdictions are struggling with how to regulate an industry that is reported worth $15 billion worldwide annually. There are many questions that come into play such as consumer safety, views on whether gambling should be legalized, taxation structures and other complicated issues. We are in no way lawyers, nor do we pretend to be. One could literally write a novel on the different regulations (and its history) of online gambling. Our advice is always that you should consult the laws of your local area prior to gambling online, this is especially important for US residents. With that said, we are able to give a high level overview of the major legal events in the US and the implications on residents who want to play at an online casino.

UIGEA

In the fall of 2006, the US Congress passed the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Act) in the wee hours of the morning by attaching it to the Safe Port Act. What does gambling have to do with the security of the US Ports? Not much, but few would vote against the Safe Port Act making this an easy way to get the law through the system. Some in Congress have even come out publicly saying that they did not know that the UIGEA was included in the Act. Regardless it passed and has created challenges for many online casinos to accept US residents. The law was designed to target the banks and make them responsible for blocking illegal gambling transactions. Many banks argued that the definition of what constituted an illegal transaction was unclear as certain horse racing companies will exempt from the law.

UIGEA Ramifications

Immediately following the passing of the UIGEA, many European companies such as Party Poker, Bwin and other publicly traded companies immediately left the US market. This resulted in a great opportunity for those that were willing to take the risk and accept US casino players. Many of the online casinos that accept US players today were created in response to the new opportunity of the UIGEA. These online casinos have thrived over the years and have become very successful and exciting casinos to play.

Payment Processing

Since the UIGEA targeted the actual monetary transactions it is no wonder that it can be challenging for many online casinos to process payments. Some casinos are better than others, and you many find that these casinos have good and bad months. The top rated casinos will find reliable payment processes and ensure that your money is safe. You may notice when attempting to use a credit card that it gets rejected; we always recommend that you contact the online casino by phone to discuss your deposit options. On the withdraw side of things it can be just as challenging to receive your funds. That’s why it’s imperative to select a top rated casino that has a solid history of paying players. There may be instances where you have to wait a week or 2 for the funds, so ensure that you don’t need the money to buy groceries.

The Verdict

The demand for online casinos in the US will always be there, and someone will serve the casino players needs. Regulation of the US market is a possibility in the future, but we aren’t holding our breathe that it will be a smooth transition. Make sure you pick a top rated online casino and you will have a great online gambling experience.

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