The current US legislation in regards to online gambling is not a
black and white issue. The unlawful internet gambling enforcement act
which passed in 2006 sent a whirl wind of hysteria among media outlets
stating that there was in fact a full fledged ban on gambling online.
This is 100% false.
The passing of bill UIGEA required that all banks
and financial institutions stop processing payments
to gambling companies. This meant that not only would
you not be able to process checks from withdrawals
you would also not be able to deposit to a poker or
casino site using your credit card. It also forced
many of the old 3rd party payment processors to leave
the US market such as Firepay, Neteller and others
This is why you will find when you do use your credit
card at most poker sites the transaction will not
be approved. It’s not because you are not allowed
to play, it’s because the bank required by law to
block the payment. That’s not to say that all poker
and casino sites have stopped accepting them. There
are still a few such as SportsBook Poker that do process
credit card transactions.
Is it illegal to play online poker or online casinos?
The UIGEA did not make online gambling illegal however
players do need to check their local laws within their
state as some jurisdictions do have state laws regarding
this. Some states outlaw all forms of online gambling
while others have placed restrictions based on games.
Furthermore, there has not been a single case where
a player has been charged for online gambling. Not
one. There have been reports of some payment processors
and online gambling companies who were indicted on
charges, but that is because they took bets from US
players and accepted wagers which goes against the
1961 Federal Wire Act. It had nothing to do with poker
or playing roulette for that matter.
Is it illegal to play poker for real money?
No the law has to do with the financial companies
not the players. In fact there are so many unanswered
questions to this law that the financial institutions
themselves have come forward and said that it would
be next to near impossible for them to monitor transactions
as the government would like them to.
Another question we have been asked is, why some
companies have closed their doors to US players if
online gambling wasn’t illegal. Well simply put the
majority of those companies where publicly traded,
like Party Gaming which means they have stockholders.
To protect the interest of the company and their bank
accounts they needed to remove themselves from the
US market to make sure that the investors were not
in jeopardy. Basically it would be very risky for
the traded companies to remain in the market and because
it is such a grey area the investors didn’t want anything
to do with it. These companies were not forced to
leave the market based on the laws, however chose
to do so to protect themselves.
I you are interested in finding USA accepted casinos,
have a look at out Casinos
For US Players page and our Poker
Sites For US Players page, as we only
review the best usa accepted sites online.
Our site provides a guide for US players on where
they can play poker or slots online. As we said as
of right now gambling online at either a casino or
poker site is not illegal and you can play for money if you choose to do so. If or when the current laws
change we will update this page accordingly.
Please note that while we are reporting the current
situation as it is we are not attorneys. If you have
any questions we suggest that you seek legal advice
within your jurisdiction and make yourself aware of
the laws within your state.