The state of legislation is flowing back and forth in the US and making it hard for their citizens to know what is and isn’t legal. Although the government states that it is illegal to gamble online, still there are online casinos that let players from the US create an account, fund it and play at their casinos. So what is up with that? The short of it is that some casinos have acquired licenses from the old native areas that are exempt from the UIGEA. This allows them to serve the US public with online gambling.
And that is not all! Lately there has been heavy lobbying in the different states to try to legalize online gambling, and there are good chances of that happening in the near future because of the crisis that the country is facing. The tax revenue that it would bring would be a great boost to a shaky budget. I would be surprised if we do not see legalization within the next couple of years. For now, if you live in the USA, you have to play at some of the few that serve the US public. No worries though – while there are only a few casinos that you can play at, the ones that do allow US players are quite good.
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Quick History of Online Gambling Legality in the US
For the longest time has it been legal to gamble online in the country of the United States, but in 2006 the UIGEA was put into place, making it illegal for online gambling operations to knowingly take money and bets from citizens in the US. Many operators abided this rule, but many ignored it and continued to serve the players of the USA.
Time went by and everything seemed to be like it used to, most of the businesses carrying on as usual and people were living happily. Suddenly, in April 2011, did the government in the US decide to strike, and this friday has been known as black friday ever since. It was the big lawsuit where the United States sued the three largest poker operators serving the public. This in effect blocked out all US customers from these sites and in effect blocking the livelihood of many.
Since there have been very quiet on the online gambling front in the US, but the past year there have been stirred up some commotion where several people are trying to pass laws that would make online gambling legal again. As noted, this would be very fortunate for the government who are in dire need of revenue, and the tax income from online gambling would be sorely needed. The last page is not written in this saga about online gambling in the US, so stay tuned and hopefully you can help petition for a law in your jurisdiction.
Is it Legal to Gamble Online in the US?
They have different laws in place at national level and at the state level, some are more strictly enforced while others can for the most part be ignored. Given that there are different sets of laws all around makes it hard to make out which should be adhered to and which are merely there for show. In practice, it is the gambling operators that the government are out to get, not the players that are gambling. There would have been a lot of indictments going out if they were to catch everyone that gambles online. Even though it is illegal, it is still about $4 billion spent on online gambling in the US alone.
So if you want to play slots for real money online hailing from the US, I would say that it is about as safe as it could get. At max you will receive a fine for doing it, or maybe losing the money that you have in your online gambling wallet, but hey, this is gambling anyways so you have to account for the worst. Remember the cardinal rule for gamblers: never gamble with money you cannot afford to lose!