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 2015, 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.
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.
The 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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Anti Online Gambling Group – Conservative states that are absolutely against gambling and especially gambling online (For example: Utah & Hawaii).
Ok, But is it Legal?
In the state of Nevada, residents have a few choices to legally gamble online. One of the legal sites is called WSOP.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.