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Legal Issues For US Online Gambling

Mon 31 July 2017 Legal Issues For US Online Gambling

Why do so many casinos turn US players away? Everyday thousands of potential online casino players are turned away by the casinos themselves because the United States government has passed legislation that interferes with online gambling. Whether your a craps fan, a card shark, or you want to play roulette online, as an American you will have to contend with this law. On October 13th, 2006 President George W. Bush signed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act into law. This act was part of the SAFE Port Act which was primarily focused on improving security at US ports.

The gambling portion of the bill specifically hurt the online casino business because it forbids any American financial institution (banks) from transferring any funds to online gambling websites. Well actually not any gambling website. The bill created controversial exceptions for online lotteries, fantasy sport sites, and horse racing sites. When President Bush signed this act into law, the publicly traded companies that controlled some of the largest online casinos, saw their stock prices absolutely fall through the floor overnight. The day after the bill was passed, Party Gaming Plc (the company that backs PartyPoker.com) saw its stock price fall over 60%.

PartyPoker.com as well as most other major casinos such as 888.com, and PKRcasino.com agreed to stop serving American players in compliance with the law. The law does not differentiate between different casino games, and in no way limits the playing of these games. This bill is NOT directly targeting the players, but rather the banking institutions that the players may choose to use. Most Euroean Countries not only allow internet gambling, but are host to a flourishing industry built upon online casinos. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Act was pushed through the American government quickly and deceitfully. Because it was quickly attached to a national security bill right at the last moment, it never recieved the full attention it deserved. It never even recieved a typical full debate on the Senate floor, where a similar act (The Internet Gambling Prohibition Act) was shot down in 1999. If the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act was passed, how can any casinos continue to invite US players? First of all, some states (Nevada, Oregon, New York, and several more) have further restrictions, and players from these states can not legally play at any online casinos. For a more thorough list of restrictions by state visit this site. For players in the rest of the US though, there is technically no legal restriction for gambling online, they just can't use most of their bank accounts to deposit funds in any online casinos. Luckily many of the non-US based electronic banking options and even many popular credit cards can be used. Players should find the laws are no more than an inconvenience as long as there continue to be casinos that will cater to them.