Legal Casino Sites

Since 2006, when the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) was passed into law in the United States, there has been much confusion as to what online casino sites are considered legal. Although the Act itself is not particularly clear, a number of the larger players in the online gambling industry pulled out of the United States in order not to affect their operations in the rest of the world. There are many US casino sites eager to serve the US market.

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The UIGEA was not a stand-alone act that was passed by Congress. With much doubt as to whether any kind of anti-gambling legislation would pass, the Republicans found a way to quietly slip the UIGEA through, as an attachment to the Homeland Security bill, only a relatively short time before the Republicans were due to leave office. Because the Homeland Security Bill was a very important bill, and because it was being debated close to the end of a session of Congress, and before the shift of power, no-one wanted to rock the boat and challenge the Homeland Security Bill because of what was essentially a minor attachment.

Legal Implications of the UIGEA

Because of the unclear legal implications of the UIGEA, it has been difficult for US citizens to find out which are the legal casino sites. After a brief explanation, it will be clearer to the reader what may or may not be considered as legal casino sites.

The actual action that is prohibited by the UIGEA is entitled ยง5363 – Prohibition on Acceptance of Any Financial Instrument for Unlawful Internet Gambling. Essentially, the act is prohibiting financial transactions only in cases where online gambling is already considered unlawful. Sports betting is considered illegal according to Federal law, which would mean that those processing any sports betting accounts would have committed an illegal act. This would also include any financial transactions connected to online gambling in those states that explicitly prohibit gambling or online gambling.

This implies that the UIGEA simply helps to enforce laws regarding online gambling that already exist inside specific jurisdictions. Of course, the laws regarding gambling and Internet gambling differ from state to state.

Foreign Online Gambling Jurisdictions

Legal casino sites in the US are regulated and licensed overseas, in legal online gambling jurisdictions. The UIGEA had hoped to get co-operation from foreign sources in order to enforce its laws in the United States. In practice, the US is only likely to get support from foreign countries or jurisdictions if actual illegal actions, such as money laundering, have been perpetrated.

Safe Online Casinos

Those wishing to play only in safe online casinos need to find legal casino sites that are licensed overseas. At this time, it is not a good idea to play in any site that claims to be legal in the US, and is operated from inside the US. Although the UIGEA, in theory, does not ban online gambling, it has certainly blurred the edges when it comes to making deposits and withdrawals to and from online casinos. Learn more about online casino deposits.

Since online casinos are not yet regulated in the United States, the online casino players, themselves, need to take responsibility to make sure that they play in safe online casinos.

Legal Casino Sites

There are a number of online casinos that accept US players, and have not been affected by the UIGEA. These online casinos are licensed and regulated from overseas, and are therefore legal casino sites. Perhaps if the UIGEA is abolished, or made clear, or if the Barney Frank online gambling bills are passed by Congress, many of the online casinos that are available to US players will move over to being regulated and licensed in the United States.

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