It’s very complicated when it comes to online gambling in the United States. Even though it’s legal under federal law, each state has the right to control and restrict it through the US gambling laws within their territory. In some of the states all forms of gambling are illegal, in others it’s the opposite. Despite that, in most of the stats it’s a balanced situation where some forms of gambling are illegal while other are not.
When we add the online part, things get even more confusing. Some states have already legalized it and others are willing to do so in the future, but that wasn’t the case for many years during the past. Even after all those years, in some states there are still discussions over what is legal and what is not.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was introduced in 2006 and made things even more confusing for punters in the US. It didn’t make online gambling illegal, but internet transactions considering online gambling were forbidden.
In this article you will find more information about the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and the effect it’s had on online betting. We will also provide information about the online gambling laws and the states where gambling is legal.
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About the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act
The purpose of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) which was passed in 2006 was to stop gambling businesses from knowingly accepting payments from another person in the form of a bet or wager through the internet.
That meant that gambling sites couldn’t accept payments from US customers, but the banks or other financial institutions were also forbidden to accept such transactions. Online gambling wasn’t made illegal, but many people became more cautious with their money. Here is how the US gambling laws were changed:
- The UIGEA had a huge effect on the biggest gambling operators because they stopped offering their services to the US punters.
- Before this act was introduced there were many websites who offered their services legally to US citizens. After it was introduced, many big companies listed on the stock exchanges like PartyGaming decided to stop their operations in America with smaller companies doing the same.
- Most of the operators still (read our top bookmakers reviews) accepted US customers because they thought that if the location of the company was outside of the United States and somewhere where online gambling was legal, no laws were being broken.
Criticisms of the UIGEA
Many criticized the UIGEA because they thought that the act wasn’t strict enough. Even though you could still bet online, the process of making a deposit/withdrawal became harder and punters had limited options when choosing their provider.
Of course, people who were favorable towards online gambling in the first place didn’t want this act to pass at all. It looked like the UIGEA discouraged many big names from doing business in the US and US citizens were left to bet with the not so trustworthy bookmakers.
Even though it was heavily criticized, the act is still valid at this point of time, but some states have introduced their own regulations regarding online gambling which we will show you later on in the article.
How US Gambling Laws Affect You
The main point of the UIGEA is not to stop people from gambling online, but to force out the organizations who provide services to them. We think that if you live in the US and want to wager or play casino and poker for real money online, you shouldn’t have any problems as long as you’re able to find a website that allows US punters.
If you are from a state where online gambling is legal, according to its US gambling laws, then you are going to have a much wider choice of licensed best betting sites. If that’s not the case, you’ll have to look for a website which is licensed abroad, just make sure that they are worthy of your trust.
There are websites who are specifically targeting the US betting market, so you still have good options, even though most of the big names pulled out a couple of years ago. It’s important for punters to choose the right website for them and they should really give this process some serious thought, because many punters rush and end up regretting it later in time. By picking out the right bookmaker you’re assuring yourself that you won’t have any major problems with them and making deposits and withdrawals will be an easy job for you. Bonuses and promotions are also important because they enhance the betting experience, plus you can get some extra cash for free which is always a good thing.
We always tell our readers that they shouldn’t settle for anything less than the best bookmakers, so it’s important for them to do some research before trusting anyone with their hard earned money. Here are some quick points on what you should look for when deciding on your preferred gambling website. First of all, make sure that they accept US punters, and then check out the deposit and withdrawal options that suit your needs. Customer Service is also important, you’ll want to solve problems quickly after they’ve appeared.
Gambling Regulation and Legislation at State Level
After the US gambling laws accepted UIGEA, many states decided to take matter into their own hands and now they have their own laws regarding legislation of online gambling. This led to the creation of betting sites specifically for the residents of those states. This seems as a popular choice, because many other states are also considering it as an alternative.
At TopBettingSite we provide our readers with the most recent information regarding legislation and regulation for online gambling in the United States. At the moment, the following states have legalized online gambling:
- New Jersey
…while in other it’s currently work in progress:
*We always try to give our readers the most up to date information on US legislation, so it’s important that we understand the laws ourselves. This article shouldn’t be considered as legal advice as we’re only stating our opinions and interpretations on the subject.*