Exploring United States Rules Regarding Online Casinos
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Exploring United States Rules Regarding Online Casinos

Gamblers in the United States, that wish to play online are often confused and wonder if it is actually legal. The laws are convoluted and rather confusing. Before you play, read online casino reviews, participate in online gambling forums and read and understand the odds. Knowing the odds, limiting your time online and prudently managing your wagers provides the best online gambling experience.

Is Online Gambling Legal in the United States?

Internationally, much to the shame of the thousands of legitimate and trustworthy casinos, hackers, tricksters and fraudsters, attracted to the huge sums of money to be made from games of chance, have attempted to infiltrated the gambling industry: cleverly stealing from the pockets of those that indulge in the pastime.

Within the last decade, literally thousands of online gaming sites launched on the worldwide web. Rest assured: the majority are duly registered and legally licensed. However, the industry remains vulnerable to crooks attempting to use online gambling for fraudulent gain. In an effort to control and curtail the illegal money-transferring activities of scam artists and confidence men and to inhibit the infiltration of organized crime, the United States Department of Justice strives to enforce the following legislation:

Signed into law in September 2006 by then President G.W. Bush, the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) regulates online gambling operators receiving monetary instruments to fund accounts for players. The law specifically regulates online casinos by prohibiting banks and other financial institutions from conducting transactions with online gambling companies. It does not restrict players from participating in online gambling; rather it vaguely attempts to ban gambling related financial transactions. The law, as it stands, remains ambiguous and virtually impossible to enforce.

Prior to 2011, all forms of online gambling were illegal. On December 23rd of 2011, the United States Department of Justice revised their interpretation of the Wire Act of 1961, stating that the Wire Act only applies to sports betting. This change in the law places online gambling, including online poker, back in the hands of the individual states. Although state law fails to supersede federal law, the U.S. Justice Department allows each individual state the flexibility to legislate and enforce their own laws. 

New Nevada Law Permits Online Poker 

For state legislators, online gambling as well as land-based casinos is a hot item in the political arena. Some states like Louisiana and Kentucky have completely banned online poker, while other states like California have passed measures that legalize online gambling within their state. Online players are excited about the latest news. In May of 2013, Nevada passed measures allowing online poker sites to operate within the state. At the present time, only Nevada residents are allowed to place a bet. Currently several states are evaluating their position towards online gambling. There is big money at stake and many states want their piece of the action.

" In a nutshell", what it all comes down to, federal law prohibits individuals and companies in the United States from owning and operating online casinos in the United States, it is perfectly legal for U.S. residents to go online and place a wager: persons living in the United States can spend their money at online gambling websites, however they cannot participate in the ownership of these online venues. Because of this regulation, online casinos catering to players located in the United States are based elsewhere: in countries were gambling is 100 percent legal. Online casinos are located in many different parts of the world. Tiny Barbuda, a small island in the Caribbean processes more than 25 percent of all online gambling transactions. Others are registered and licensed in Antiqua, Australia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, The West Indies, Gibraltar and The Netherlands Antilles. Players should be aware that a growing number of questionable or fraudulent casinos are licensed in Eastern Europe. Savvy players avoid these sites or proceed with great caution.

The proliferation of online gambling sites is unprecedented; as in all areas of commerce: "buyer beware". There are many hucksters and unscrupulous scams to part "suckers" from their dollars. It is wise to exhibit extreme caution when providing personal information, bank routing data for credit card numbers.

Within the online gambling industry, reputation is everything. An Internet search will provide hundreds of legally licensed reputable online casinos. Read online reviews from other players before you make a choice of where to play.

Players in the United States sometimes encounter difficulty in the transfer of funds to off shore casinos. While the majority of U.S. banks attempt to automatically block monetary transfers to online casino gambling sites, it is virtually impossible to do so. It is extremely difficult for banks to identify these types of transfers. Because of the shades of gray within the law, not all banks comply with the federal regulations. Transfers typically go through with no problem. Players encountering an issue transferring money, can call the casino's customer service department for transfer assistance. Normally they can quickly resolve the problem. Casinos have a diverse array of deposit methods. They will helpfully suggest one that will works for you. When you are ready to withdraw your funds, casinos accommodate the request via a wire transfer or certified check.

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