The Truth About Online Wagering Laws In America

While there is still some debate as to the legality of USA gambling in an online setting, it is important to note that there are still plenty of venues out there catering to American players. While the government never came out and stated that it viewed this pastime positively or negatively, it did pass the UIGEA of 2006, or the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which posed some problems for venues catering to Americans.

What is the UIGEA?

The UIGEA is an Act that was passed by the United States government in 2006 that was designed to thwart online gambling in USA. While it did not exactly criminalize the act (no one has been prosecuted for this pastime since the Act was passed), it did make it much more difficult for banks is to do business with online casinos. For this reason, many casinos simply stopped accepting American players for fear that they would be prosecuted under the law.

Individual State Laws

In recent months, there have been three states which have passed jurisdiction that overrides the UIGEA. Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have all legalized online gaming, but these individuals can only wager in venues that are headquartered in these states. There is also some speculation that there are 10 or more other states who are considering passing similar legislation within the next year or so, thereby legalizing USA online gambling in a vast part of the country.

What about Federal Law?

Whether or not federal legislators will work to pass a ban on online wagering is still unknown, but it is thought that they will wait to see how individual states fare before making the choice. The worst possible outcome is that online gambling USA will be criminalized at the player level, but the best possible outcome is that the federal government will overturn the UIGEA and make the practice legal - within limits.

What to Expect if Legalization Occurs

In the event that USA gambling is legalized in online venues, there are some things that players should be prepared to expect. First, all of the dollars that are spent (or earned) with these wagers will invariably be taxed although the amount of taxes that consumers will be asked to pay is completely unknown. Of course, these tax dollars will likely go to the same great things that lottery dollars do today - schools, roads, hospitals and other things that benefit communities and the country as a whole.

About Gambling Addiction

Addiction is a serious problem in the country even though online gaming is not widely available. Those who live close to casinos or bookmakers regularly spend money they don't have playing the slots, betting on cards, rolling the dice or even hoping their horses will win. Online casinos do much to prevent and treat these addictions, though, and most offer plenty of resources that can be accessed directly from their websites.