Gambling in the USA

Gambling has made a lot of progress in the last decade, especially with the addition of regulated legal online gambling  in a few states.  Online Poker is now 100% legal in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware.   Personally, I love playing games with a bit of strategy and calculated odds (like DDB video poker) and playing poker where I have a good chance of winning money from some other players. The point is I love the casinos and the chance of winning a big jackpot.

Online gambling in the USA has been a hot topic in 2014, with Nevada and New Jersey becoming the pioneers of running a regulated legal online gambling industry at the state level. Currently there are no federal laws for or against online gambling, as it is know up to each individual state. In the next year or so we are hoping to see interstate poker games, as of right now each state can only play against other players in that same state.

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Top 5 US Gambling Sites for 2014

bovada site
Bovada Sportsbook

Sign Up Bonus = $250 Free Bet

5 / 5

betonline site
BetOnline Sportsbook

Sign Up Bonus = 25% Bonus on EVERY Deposit

4.5 / 5

bovadapoker site
Bovada Poker

Sign Up Bonus = $1000 Free Bet

4.5 / 5

slots.lv site
Slots.lv Casino

Sign Up Bonus = $5000 in Free Spins

4 / 5

bookmaker site
Bookmaker Sportsbook

Sign Up Bonus = $2500 Extra

4 / 5

Current State of Gambling in the USA

Online gambling in the United States has gone through a pretty rough time period over the last 15 years. Recently, political opinion has reversed again, and states have begun taking measures to return online gambling to full legal status. These actions have gained the attention of federal lawmakers, who have recently introduced legislation to create a legal framework for online gambling at the federal level.  For now everything is at the state level and it is up to each individual state if they want to regulate and make online gambling legal.

he UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) was passed by the House and Senate in September 2006 and George Bush signed this act into a law in October 2006. The Safe Port Act was a bill to improve security of the United States Ports. The UIGEA was added to the Safe Port Act at the last minute. The UIGEA does not prohibit online gambling! It outlaws financial institutions from transacting with online gambling companies. The UIGEA did not ban online gambling, instead it banned gambling financial transactions and the problem is that the UIGEA is so vague that banks have found it impossible to enforce.

There are a select few of safe and legal gambling sites that still accept American players; be smart and select a popular gambling site approved by GamblingUSA.com and other reputable sites. We have researched all these gambling sites listed on this site - we have played at all of them and still play at our favorites.

Recent Online Gambling Law Changes

The current state of online gambling in the United States is different for each state.  Nothing has changed on the federal level, so it is up to each state to pass it’s own specific laws about legal/illegal gambling.  As with anything that involves government making a change, it is a slow process. The states seem to fit into 3 groups:

  1. Pro Online Gambling Group - All for regulated (taxed) online poker and/or gambling (For example: Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware) and ready to jump out in front and be a trendsetter.
  2. Wait and See Group – This is where the majority of the states are sitting.  They are not against online gambling, but want the other states and service providers to work out the kinks and to gather data.  These states will expect a smooth launch of online gambling.
  3. Anti Online Gambling Group – Conservative states that are absolutely against gambling and especially gambling online (For example: Utah & Hawaii).

Here are a few of the recent key dates and legislation that led to this point:

November, 2010: New Jersey passes the first bill to legalize certain forms of online gambling. This legislation allows in-state companies to take bets on poker games, casino games and slots. However, sports betting is not allowed. This was seen as a way to generate revenue for the state, and passed with a strong majority.

April, 2011: Otherwise known as Black Friday by poker players, this was the time when three major online poker suppliers were charged with the violation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which was the formal name of the addition to the SAFE Port Act in 2006. These companies asserted that the act did not apply to poker, but shut down for US players and settled out of court for substantial amounts of money.

April, 2013: Nevada wins a race between itself, New Jersey and Delaware and launches the first legal online US poker room – Ultimate Poker. Open only to residents or visitors of Nevada, this was a landmark move that opened the door for another online gambling boom like the one in the early 2000′s. Legislation has since been introduced that allows Nevada to negotiate deals with tribal organizations, other states and international groups to allow play on their site as well.  Check our Nevada Poker FAQ for more info.

November, 2013:  November 26th is the first day of legal online gambling in the state of New Jersey!  Governor Chris Christie has has high expectations for this revenue and taxes.  Estimates are too high at $300 million in revenue and $50 million in new taxes generated for the state.

Update (1/15/13) – New Jersey online gambling earned $7.4 million in December 2013 which created $1.1M in tax dollars. With the timeline of events firmly in place, the question remains: What is currently legal and available to US players? While the actual laws vary from state to state, here is a list of providers that still accept US players. Remember, these lists will likely grow as state-based legislation continues to pave the way for legal online gambling..

US Gambling Laws by State

Top 5 most popular online casino games

Online casino games are very popular these days (especially playing on phones) and there are millions of fans from all over the world that are playing them for real money on a daily basis. The games available online are very similar to the ones that are available at the land based casinos. Most of the time the online casino games are based mostly on luck and there are only a few of them where you will be required to have skills in order to be able to beat the casino odds.

Slots – The slots are by far one of the most popular games at any online casino. The thing that manages to captivate people is that you are given the opportunity to win some life changing jackpots with a rather small bet. Even if the probability of winning is pretty darn small – it’s something.  Another thing that helped the slots become so successful is that they are very simple to play – select the size of the bets and pull the lever and watch for winning combinations.  I prefer the video bonus slots, where you can collect different bonuses and even free spins.

Roulette – The roulette is a game that originates from France and it’s always a popular table game at any casino. Compared to the other games at first sight the rules are a little bit more difficult, but you can easily learn them and you can start by placing the most basic bets. Roulette is fun, exciting and always unpredictable.

Blackjack – Blackjack (aka 21) is the most popular online casino game. This game can be found at every online casino out there and there are quite a few different variations. Beginners need to make sure they are getting the best odds and stick with the classic version of blackjack – Get as close to 21 as possible by not going over, while having a higher total than the dealer.  There are many other versions with side bets that are usually going to take more of your money than they are able to give and only reduce your odds of winning. The Blackjack is a game where it will take you a few minutes to understand the rules and how to play and it can take months or years to master it.

Video Poker – Video poker is my favorite casino game that is very easy to learn yet still has strategy involved to make sure each hand is played with the best odds. The game is based on 5 card draw poker – players are given the chance to drop any of their cards and receive new ones. The best thing about video poker is that the house edge is one of the smallest that is available at a casino game. In order to play the video poker game you must be familiar with the poker hands ranking (just look at the payouts) and you MUST also know the basic video poker strategy to have a good chance of a winning session. Start with Jacks or Better and then try others like deuces wild and bonus poker.

Poker – Poker is by far the most popular card game that you can play at an online gaming sites. The online casinos may offer some poker games against the dealer but to really play poker against other real players, you need to play at an online poker rooms like the Bovada poker site.  Playing against other real players will increase your chances of winning, since you don’t have to beat the house odds that are most of the time fixed at the poker games available.

Why the United States Government Refuses to Legalize Online Gambling

In the state of Nevada, residents have a few choices to legally gamble online. One of the legal sites is called UltimatePoker.com. It’s a small poker site run through Nevada’s Station Casinos, but any poker player will tell you there isn’t enough action on that site to make a living. The United States government isn’t trying to prevent professional gamblers from earning a living. They just want you to wager at local casinos.

Why do they care where you gamble? There are two reasons. The first reason is because they are too clueless to realize the revenue potential online gambling would bring in. In fact, it’s somewhat silly given the current state of our economy that gambling online isn’t legalized. If the US government were smart they would regulate online gambling and force online gamblers to give Uncle Sam a percentage of their earnings.

Instead, they allow us American citizens to ship our money overseas in order to gamble online. The second reason gambling online is illegal – okay, mostly illegal – is due to the local casinos crying foul. State governments force local casinos to pay a hefty sum in taxes each year. Because of that, the state governments will bend over for them. Local casinos are opposed to online gambling because they feel it kills their revenue. If you can legally gamble online you’re less likely to drive to a nearby casino to gamble, or so they think.

I’m not saying legalizing online gambling wouldn’t hurt local casinos. I really don’t know. I’d have to see an extensive study to prove one way or another. But I can guarantee they wouldn’t lose out on as much revenue as they think. Online gambling may not be legal right now, but that does not stop us from gambling online. If the government allowed us to gamble online legally, would revenues decrease much at local casinos? I don’t think so.