UNITED STATES—Officially, there is no U.S. federal law against online gambling. Even Catherine Hanaway, a U.S. Attorney admits that no one actually violates federal law by placing online wagers. Even in more conservative states there have been extremely rare cases of prosecution.
There has been no precedent where an American citizen has been prosecuted, indicted or arrested by the federal government because he gambled online. Furthermore, there are many Americans that run their own gambling portals that offer useful information and tips on American friendly online casinos licensed overseas. One example in many is the CasinoShorts.com US casino list with such casinos. The great thing about American friendly online casinos is that they are known to offer many no deposit bonuses. Find more here about these bonuses or just ask Google.
So, all of this may be confusing because of the UIGEA law with which the Congress banned online gambling in 2006. Well, you have been hearing wrong. The Congress didn’t ban online gambling with the UIGEA, but it made illegal for banks to move money that are supposed to go to and from online casinos. This doesn’t make online betting illegal, it simply means that your transaction can be blocked or seized. Luckily for casino enthusiasts, online casinos that accept Americans provide ways to avoid that.
Simply put, the law does not extend any ban or create it on the gambling process itself. In fact, the law clearly says that gambling within the United States will not be prohibited (see (b) Rule of Construction). So, what will happen if you gamble online? Nothing in 99.99% of cases.
But, it’s against federal law for a sports betting website to accept bets from players. However, it’s not illegal for you to place them. Moreover, no federal law specifically prohibits poker and casino sites to accept bets. Only sports betting sites are prohibited. The Department of Justice falsely interpreted the Wire Act saying that poker and casino sites are prohibited from taking bets. Legal observers disagreed and the Department agreed in 2011 that the Wire Act doesn’t prohibit online casino sites and online poker sites to accept bets.
Even advertising online casinos is not specifically illegal. Small publishers with casino portals have never been prohibited or punished for their websites. The only publishers that were ever punished were big names like Microsoft, Yahoo or Google, which happened in 2007. They just decided to pay the fine so that the matter could be settled quickly even though they could have contested the charges since legal observers have confirmed that no laws were broken. Google’s fine was something less than a day’s profit for the company.
What’s even better is that the USA is at a crossroad where online gambling has good chances of not being frowned upon as states seek ways to make online gambling legal officially. Laws are constantly changing and what may be today may not be tomorrow. If you doubt any of this, then it’s better to seek legal counsel for a piece of mind. The only problem towards legalizing online gambling officially in the USA are those that have interests in the land-based gambling industry in the United States, the same people that have ties to the Congress.