Is Online Gambling Legal

Online gambling carries an unfairly negative stigma. Many people are under the misapprehension that it is against the law. This is not entirely true. While there are forms of gambling that are against the law, this only holds true in certain states and for certain activities. The laws are actually not nearly as harsh as you might think. This page will serve as a helpful guide to help you navigate through the quagmire of United States Gambling law. It will give you all you need to know on federal law, state law, and the legal betting age. Let’s start with the federal laws.

US Online Gambling laws

First, we need to make a distinction between online gambling and land-based gambling. This difference is important because online and land-based gambling are affected by different laws. There is a long history of gambling in America, which unfortunately takes us back to that negative stigma we mentioned earlier. Ruthless gangsters controlled a lot of the casinos in the early days of Las Vegas, Atlantic City, etc. Organized crime was the primary reason the government passed laws regulating gambling. This was all way before the internet changed the world forever. In the 1950s and 1960s, gambling options were much more limited. The advent of the internet created both new gambling opportunities and new laws. After first passing laws limiting the options for land-based gambling, the government passed new laws to try to limit online gambling. This resulted in the federal government controlling gambling for the entire US.

PASPA - The final law that you need to know about is the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which specifically restricts sports gambling in all but a few states. The only states that currently allow sports betting are Nevada and Delaware. These states were given the opportunity to regulate themselves because they allowed sports betting before PASPA was created.

UIGEA - The next important law is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which places regulations on how operators of internet gambling sites can transfer funds to players. This mostly affects credit card transactions. This is the reason why legal overseas sites are not allowed to make payouts to customers via credit or debit card. However, these legal overseas sites offer many other great payout methods.

The Wire Act - There are three major laws that affect gambling in America today. The first is the Wire Act. Signed into law in 1961, the law criminalized gambling organizations that transferred currency or gambling information from one state to another using a wire communications facility. The Wire Act has since been amended several times since 1961, so that now it only affects sports betting. There has been an attempt recently to restore the Wire Act back to its original language. This attempt to roll back the Wire Act is known as the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA).

State Laws For Online Gambling In The U.S.

Online gambling is much more restricted than land-based gambling because of federal laws. The only states that are allowed to host their own online gambling sites are Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey, and New Jersey only has online casinos and online poker rooms. They do not currently have sports betting of any kind. Because options for legal sites based inside the US are so limited, most American players use sites that are based outside of the US, because those sites are not subject to US law, and are therefore safe and legal for palyers from all 50 states.

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Legal Gambling Age For U.S. Players

Most states set their age laws around 21 and older, but in some states the age is as low as 18, and some states do not have any age laws at all. The sites usually set the age around 18. Although you most likely will not get in trouble as long as you are 18, it is wise to abide by your state age law if it says you need to be older than 18.

Can I bet online for real money?

Yes, gambling for US players is for cash, If you weren’t able to bet for real money, no one would go to these sites. The way it works is you make a deposit to your online casino account. You can use credit/debit cards, cash wire, bitcoin, and many others. Once the funds are in your account, it is not technically considered cash. It’s more like poker chips at a land-based casino. When you withdraw your “chips,” they come back to you in the form of real currency. You cannot make payouts using credit or debit cards, however, because of UIGEA regulations, but there are many other ways to make a payout, like a check or cash wire transfer. You can learn much more about all of these methods at the online cashier of the betting site you are using.

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Has Anyone Ever Been Arrested For Online Gambling?

No. Even in 2011 during Black Friday, when the Justice Department issued indictments against the three largest online poker websites, no player got arrested. This is because there is no law targeting individual players. The laws were never meant to go after Average Joe, but to target unscrupulous bookmakers and those who were involved in large money-making criminal activities. So, the bottom line is that you have nothing to worry about when it comes to US gambling law.

Online Gambling Is Legal For US Players

We’ve illustrated exactly why there is nothing unlawful about online gambling. We’ve talked about all three major laws that affect gambling in the United States. We’ve covered federal law versus state law, age requirements, and currency. If you are still not convinced of the legality of online gambling, consider this: if there were any major risk involved, no one would use online gambling sites. They would have millions of members who use the sites every day. The law exists to deter actual criminals, not regular folks who place $5 poker bets.

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