Legal Online Gambling in the United States

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Legal Online Gambling in the United States

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Legal Online Gambling in the United States

Despite the federal government of the United States issuing a legal decision, there are still legal online available to Americans. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, passed in the U.S. In 2006. Despite contrary opinions, placing real-money bets on online slot games or blackjack is still legal for U.S. Citizens.

Take the time to research whether the online casino you play at is licensed. This article provides specific information on U.S. Online gambling laws as it pertains to casino betting.

Note: Remember that laws can change over time, much like how they are enforced. Additionally, understand that I am not a lawyer. I am a writer and an amateur gambler with some experience and a library card. I am not trained or inclined to practice gambling law. That means checking appropriate sources if you need legal advice.

Federal Gambling Laws in the United States

Here's a bold statement you might not expect – There is currently no federal law in the U.S. That explicitly states online gambling is illegal.

Following the passage of the UIGEA, legislators who opposed organized gambling held hearings on the issue of online betting. In those hearings, Congressman Bob Goodlatte (one of the strongest opponents of legal online gambling) admitted that the U.S. Government cannot prosecute citizens for playing online gambling. He said, "We haven't established specific laws on gambling."

>> See more: Summary of giving bonuses to new participants.

Have any U.S. Citizens ever been arrested or charged for playing cards at online casinos? If you find any laws, please let me know, and I'll provide more information here.

If all of that is true, consider the limitations of the U.S. Federal government on web gambling.

Clearly, it goes against federal law for websites accepting sports bets from U.S. Citizens. This stems from the 1961 Federal Wire Act, recently interpreted by the Department of Justice to have no relevance to casino gambling or direct online poker betting based on the web.

It also clearly opposes U.S. Federal law for a bank to knowingly process a transaction between a U.S.-based customer and a web-based gambling business. Your bank would be in violation if it processes deposits/withdrawals to or from your casino account. That's the purpose of the UIGEA. Note that it's not a crime when players request or perform transactions only for the bank to process.

Why does this focus on "payment processing"? Processing is an issue the government needs to pursue. Because the federal government has no laws to challenge citizens' gambling habits. The intended outcome of this attack on banks is to make life difficult for Americans gambling online, and the UIGEA has certainly accomplished that.

Gambling Laws in the States

The United States' federal system has delineated the legal scope of gambling with several laws. Each of these addresses a specific area of practice and can only apply to selected states within the union. However, any legal documents regulating the gambling industry include State Laws, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

These laws began to take effect in 2006...

When one of the three most recent laws was established and prevented online casinos and likes serving vast groups of players in the United States. More specifically, operators were prohibited from owning online gambling brands within the country's territory, while payment processors—U.S. Banks and financial institutions—couldn't facilitate payments.

This changed with the Supreme Court's announcement regarding PASPA, a decision allowing each state to regulate sports betting within its jurisdiction. Online casino gambling and poker room landscapes have also undergone a change, as Nevada began permitting their casinos to launch online gambling platforms.

If federal law is all that Americans must consider, the legality of online gambling will be much easier. Unfortunately for me (and for some U.S.-based gamblers), state laws in the U.S. Are more restrictive in some cases than federal law.

So, how do you apply state law to U.S. Online gambling enthusiasts? Some U.S. States have laws banning all forms of online gambling. Residents of Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin are prohibited by state law from placing any bets via the internet, regardless of federal law. Other states are less strict but still limited. For example, in , anyone in "gambling establishments" is prohibited from betting based on the web, which is a very peculiar law.

The long and short of it is that some U.S. Citizens have to tread a thin line if they want to play an online casino game while staying within the confines of the law. What could happen to an American for breaking one of these anti-gambling state rules?

The good news is that it's very difficult to find a prosecution case by a U.S. State against an online gambling player. I could only find two cases of an online gambler breaking current laws, and both came from politically conservative states. A man in North Dakota was charged with illegal online gambling in 2003 and fined $500. Another case involved a sports bettor in Oklahoma, who was subjected to long-term probation. Neither were jailed even though probation and fines were a hassle.

Take a longer look at the entire "state anti-gambling laws" thing. What are the odds that a citizen betting on online roulette in one of the U.S. States' anti-gambling states will be caught? Consider a search of legal records only revealing two related cases. How exactly does this work? Is the state monitoring citizens' online activities? Do online casinos and poker rooms report their customers to the state government?

Of course not. Both men in the examples were arrested in unique situations. One of them was heavily involved in an underground online betting network. The odds of being caught and prosecuted under these laws are much more likely to win the jackpot than for your friendly state police to come knocking at your door.

Online casino gambling in the United States has had a challenging journey in recent years. The passage of UIGEA in 2006 and the backlash on Black Friday 2011 have greatly damaged the reputation of legal online gambling businesses. With state governments (and the federal government) seeking new sources of tax revenue and some U.S. States loosening their current laws, it's clear that the legal status of web-based gambling in the U.S. Will be assured in the near future.