USA real money online casinos

There are few jurisdictions in the world with as complex and confusing a set of gambling laws as the United States. Due to Hollywood and the Americanisation of the Western world, many people believe the USA is a haven for gambling and casinos, but the reality is a little more complicated than that.

Aside from the gambling hubs of Las Vegas and Atlantic City, most US cities and states have rather strict and restrictive gambling laws, although these are loosening by the year. There is no federal restriction on casino gambling, and states are free to regulate or prohibit as they will.

Generally, states and sovereign tribes designate large areas of land to gambling hubs, meaning most US residents have to travel significant distances in order to place a wager. Another, more convenient option is online gambling, even if the laws surrounding online casinos are similarly vague.

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Available to residents of United States
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Available to residents of United States
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Available to residents of United States

Overview of gambling in the USA

There is one form of widely accepted gambling in the USA, and that is the lottery. State-run lotteries run in every state except Hawaii and Utah, both of which fully prohibit any and all forms of gambling. Many typically conservative states are looking to embrace all forms of gambling, with total revenue having exploded with the increasing popularity of online poker and other forms of casino gambling.

Gambling played a very important role in the United States’ independence, and as such is often seen by patriots as an important component of the country’s claim to being the “land of the free”. British American colonies introduced games of chance into American society, even hosting lotteries to help raise revenues for communities. Many of the world’s best universities were partly funded by lotteries held in the 18th and 19th centuries. However, the British crown didn’t take gambling lightly, and attempted to restrict the holding of lotteries in 1760. This increased tensions between the colonies and Britain, and was part of a snowballed offensive for independence ahead of the American Revolution.

New Orleans was once a hotbed of gambling activity, while the Prohibition era led to an increase in illegal gambling venues that helped fund organised crime. Underground gambling was prevalent for decades, even at one point dominating the Las Vegas landscape. Eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes invested in the city alongside many others, helping shape it into the gambling mecca that it is today.

Fast forward to the 21st century. The internet is now a woven into everyday life and online gambling is a booming industry worldwide. Still, the legality of interactive casino gaming in the US is vague, despite a number of recent amendments and improvements to the legislation. The USA is seen as the world’s hotbed of online gambling activity, generating billions in revenue every year, despite the fractured legality across the states.

Online casino and gambling laws in the USA

Thousands of American gamblers play their favourite casino and card games online every day. However, as gaming laws are complex and fragmented, most of the best online casinos are located overseas and regulated by foreign gambling regulators.

For domestic providers, the laws have proven to be particularly ruthless. Initially, online casinos and poker rooms openly accepted US players, and sometimes even operated within the nation’s borders. The Federal Wire Act 1961, which was obviously outdated, was used by courts in the US to eventually criminalise the hosting of online gambling on American soil.

Eventually, the Unlawful Internet Gambling and Enforcement Act was passed, which allowed the US government to take down three major poker sites in PokerStars, Fill Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker. These laws were respected and applied for about a year, before the government eventually allowed states to start licensing online and mobile casinos.

Until recently, only three states had actually moved to embrace online gambling: Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. Nevada jumped on the opportunity to offer poker and sports betting, while both Delaware and New Jersey now run a wider range of online gambling options.

Many international casinos are blocked from users in the United States, making it difficult for US players to visit a large majority of foreign-based gaming sites. This makes it even tougher to bet and gamble online as only a limited few US states allow online gambling.

Things started to look up as of May 2018, when the US Supreme Court overturned a nationwide ban on sports betting. With several states following New Jersey’s lead and building fully regulated gambling industries, it seemed that licensed online casinos would soon be available to gamblers all over the USA.

Those hopes of progress were dampened in early 2019 when the US Department of Justice published a revised opinion on the Federal Wire Act. Previous interpretations had restricted the legislation’s scope to sports betting, but that was changed under the Trump administration to include most forms of remote gambling – including online casinos. It remains to be seen how that will affect the USA’s gaming and wagering industries in the long run.

Can you gamble online from United States?

There are some online casinos that accept US players, but such casinos come with a word of warning: they are generally unregulated, unreliable, and work under no reputable regulatory authority. All of the best, safest casinos will likely reject US-based players due to laws within the country. “Rogue casinos”, as they are called, are online real money casinos that don’t abide by any local or international jurisdiction, and therefore you will have little recourse should you find yourself in trouble with depositing or withdrawing funds. Even if you make use of a VPN, most US bank cards will be rejected as the banks are obliged to halt transactions used for gambling at non-US regulated gambling providers.

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