Facts About Online Gambling For U.S. Players

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Players from the United States have found themselves in a very unique position when it comes to the world of online gambling.  While on one hand they are able to enjoy many freedoms that other areas of the world are not privy to, one of the things that is constantly facing players from the US is the inability, or increasing inability, to be able to play in their favorite online casino.  It’s a fact that before 2006 there was some ambiguity as far as what the laws exactly where and how far the federal government was willing to go for a prosecution in the US.  There were laws on the books prohibiting online gambling, if that’s the way they were interpreted, but those laws were rarely enforced and never really prosecuted.  This led to a large breeding ground of players that were willing to test the waters and play in casinos all over the world.  This world soon changed for US players, however, and in 2006 the rules were changed with new legislation defining specifically where the federal government stood on Internet gambling.

On September 30, 2006 the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed making it illegal for financial institutions to transfer funds to online gambling sites.  While maybe not specifically ruling online gambling illegal, at least the mere act of gambling, and the effect is very much the same.  If players from the US are unable to transfer funds into their player’s accounts legally they are essentially forced not to play.  There are several ways around these provisions but players from the US have found is that many online ambling sites are not willing to cater to their needs because they themselves fear sanctions.  This has made it increasingly difficult for US players seeking to simply play.

There is still some ambiguity as to what these laws were intended to accomplish and just who they were meant to apply to.  Whenever there is ambiguity in the law there are those players that are willing to take their chances and for these players there are still a great many off coast online casinos that do accept players from the US with alternative means of money transfer. 

Of course, if you are a player that simply wants to play for the love of your chosen game there is nothing in the federal laws that say that you can’t play these games simply for the love of the game.  It just regulates gambling.  Also, local and regional laws might apply and specifically prohibit such acts of gaming so it is up to the individual player to be wholly conversant with their local laws too ensure they are not in violation.

Ultimately, it will fall upon the players and player’s organizations to petition the government to clarify what the intent and scope of the laws are.  The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was tacked on to the Safe Port Act at the last minute and it’s argued that it was never intended to ban online gambling in the first place.

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