USA Casino Players - A Legal Guide

Online gambling was not regulated in the USA for a long while and depended greatly on individual state laws from those states that had legalized gambling to the states that didn't.
In 2006 President Bush has managed to sneak a law pass Congress that is called the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act) which was hidden in SAFE Port Act (that has nothing to do with gambling whatsoever) and was passed at midnight just before Congress went on to an election holiday.

This was a sly move but it worked and the UIGEA as part of the SAFE Port Act was passed without any major debate. It is important to mention this because the congress has previously assessed two forms of potential legislation to try and regulate online gambling and has failed in bringing either into fruition. 

After much pressure from lobbyists from various interests groups who had an agenda to keep gambling money on USA soil and help stop the decline of gambling empires such as Atlantic City and Las Vegas, who bound together with those who are completely opposed gambling of any kind (some might say it's an ironic partnership) and managed to get that law pass congress.

Let us make it very clear; there is no prohibition in the UIGEA on the activity of gambling or wagering online.  Players of online casinos are not criminalized by this law. The law refers to the operators of online casino and financial institutions that process payments to and from online casinos.

A person living in the USA and wanting to play at an online casino cannot be prosecuted under this law in any way.

Of course there are various implications that can affect individual players at online casinos but those refer to making gains from online gambling and various tax laws that can apply to money won by players at online casinos.

In 2007 another attempt to reverse the UIGEA was made by trying to introduce the IGREA which tries to regulate online casinos and online gambling as a whole in order to protect players and make such activity taxable for the benefit of the USA.  This is good news for USA players as when this or a similar law put forward by Congressman Jim McDermott in 2008 will be passed it will put a block on the UIGEA and will allow many online casino operators who backed out of accepting USA players to return to active and transparent activity in the USA.     

Until such time players should always be mindful of the specific local legislation and act in accordance with such laws. For further details about USA players and online casinos please refer to our Regulation section.

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