Gamble Online For Real Money In The USA

November 8th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

What’s legal and what’s not when you gamble online for real money as a USA resident

gamble online for real money usaUnited States gambling laws are simple when it comes to land-based casinos. The only state that allows them is Nevada, and all the others are either on Native American sovereign land or on boats.

When it comes to gambling online for real money in the USA, things get a lot more complicated. The Department of Justice has always officially taken the position that the Federal Wire Act renders online gambling illegal in the United States. However, with most of the major online casinos based outside of the U.S., and with prosecution of individual players playing at home being legally difficult and politically unpopular, it has been rare for them to actually enforce that position.

Certain states have taken positions either for or against online gambling. Nevada actually opposed online poker for a long time due to competition with their brick-and-mortar casinos, but finally relented in April of this year with the launch of, an online poker site with real wagers meant exclusively for Nevada residents. Along with Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey have legalized “games of chance” online. To make things more confusing, 37 of the 50 states have laws on the books that legalize “games of skill” for wagers online, which may or may not apply to poker and blackjack.

The long and short of it is that if you are not in Nevada, Delaware or New Jersey, you are likely breaking the law by playing at an online casino. Yet as long as you report taxable winnings, likely no one in the government will ever punish you or even care. Online casinos based outside of the United States like Sun Palace, Bodog, Bovada and Golden Palace sign up and host players from the United States every day.

Bovada Casino

Where the government tries to clamp down on online casino play is in financial transactions rather than criminal prosecution. United States credit card companies will generally not allow charges to sites that appear to be a casino. Banks will also generally not allow transactions to or from a known casino site. Players who wish to fund their accounts at foreign casinos from inside the U.S. must use a number of other methods – opening an offshore bank account to use for transfers to and from casinos, sending an international money order directly to an online casino, or using an online money service based outside the U.S. to transfer funds such as EcoCard. Of course, all of these charge fees for their services.

The best way to gamble online for real money in the USA is to simply be in one of the three states that have legalized it – Nevada, New Jersey or Delaware. It can be done from elsewhere, but you will pay a premium in fees to fund your account at the casino. And while the Department of Justice has been lax on online approximations of table games like poker and blackjack, they’ve taken a much harder line against online sports betting.


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