USA Gambling Laws - U.S. Laws For Online Gambling

As someone who is interested in gambling in the U.S., or has a prospective interest about gambling in the U.S., this is an important page to pay attention to. It relates to the gambling laws in place at both the federal and state levels. There are a number of laws that specifically affect gambling in this country, and if you do have want to know your options, then it is important to understand what is out there, and what the law says.

That is exactly the information you will find on this page here at Detailed below are the major laws affecting gambling in the U.S., with information about how the legislation is put to use and why they were created. Laws are tackled from both the land-based and online perspectives. And actually in fact, the federal laws discussed pertain more to online gambling than anything else, though both sides of the issue are addressed.

Is Online Gambling Against The Law?

The federal laws enacted by U.S. government do not specifically make the act of gambling online illegal. In fact, the laws don't make the gambling sites themselves illegal. What the laws ban are the ways in which gambling businesses can process transactions made specifically for a bet that is made. Because of this, online gambling sites cannot operate, so they are effectively banned under these laws. However, there is specific mention about intermediaries (meaning the third-party computers, the gamblers) being excluded from the law. As a result, bettors can still legally gamble online provided that they meet the minimum age requirements in their state at the legal sites.

But, these legal gambling sites that USA players visit are based offshore for the most part. That is because the offshore sites are not subject to the federal laws in place. As a result, they can legally operate, and U.S. bettors can legally sign up and wager.

There are some recent developments in 2013 with state-regulated online casinos within the state of New Jersey that are scheduled to be up and running by the end of the year. We will get into that further down the page in the 'State Laws' section. But, it is important to know that there are some states where online gambling can be legal, and will soon have regulated casinos.

American Online Gambling Laws You Should Know...

Ok, we've mentioned several times about these 'federal laws' and what a lot of them represent. But now it's time to get into the specifics of what they are called, and which ones affect which types of gambling. There are three specific federal laws we are going to talk about, plus information on general state gambling laws, and gambling ages.

Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006

The UIGEA was formulated and passed back in 2006 as a provision to the Safe Port Act. It's a bit ironic that this bill was an attachment to another Act that did not relate to gambling, but advocates of the UIGEA wanted to ensure that it would be passed by attaching it to something popular.

The UIGEA says that gambling businesses can no longer knowingly accept and process transactions made to receive a bet or a payout made through the Internet. In other words, the UIGEA takes away the options for the gambling sites to accept payments for bets. With the lifeblood of an online gambling site now banned, the operation of such sites can no longer take place. That being said, it's important to note that the language in this law states that individual players and gamblers are not subject to this law. So the act of an individual making an online wager is still not specifically outlawed.

Federal Wire Act of 1961

The Federal Wire Act dates all the way back to 1961 when John F. Kennedy was President. And actually, this law's original intent was to curtail organized crime, and prevent gambling from playing a part in funding their operations. The use of the law today is a bit different. Actually in fact there was a ruling in 2011 by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals stipulating that the Wire Act now only applies to sports betting, and not other forms of gambling.

Similar to the UIGEA, the Wire Act cuts off the ways in which bets can be processed. Gambling businesses cannot use forms of wire communication to process a wager or accept a payment. This obviously now applies specific to a sports bet or wager.

Professional And Amateur Sports Protection Act

The Professional And Amateur Sports Protection Act came about in 1992. It was the result of growing concern among some that gambling and sports should have no relationship with each other to preserve the integrity of the game. This law outlawed the practice of sports betting across the country. However, there was a 1-year window provided where those states with at least a 10-year history of licensed gaming could apply to receive immunity and be grandfathered in under the law. Only a few states took this opportunity to do so. They were Nevada, Montana, Delaware, and Oregon.

Be Aware Of The Gambling Laws In Your State!

There are many gambling laws in the United States enforced at the state level. The biggest is the legal age to gamble. However, because of the fact that many believe states should have the right to decide about gambling on their own, it has brought forth the issue of the federal laws, and how long they will hold up under the pressure.

If you want to know more about the gambling laws in your state, we suggest you consult your local government or an attorney. Either one should be able to provide you with the information you seek.

States like New Jersey seem to be the state leading the push for legalized online gambling in the United States. Governor Chris Christie signed into law a bill that will give a 10-year provisional period to try online gambling that is regulated by the states. Any game available in one of New Jersey's 11 licensed casinos will be available to be played online. The success of this will likely have a large effect on the future of online gambling across the U.S.

Other states such as Nevada, the Mecca of gambling in the United States, have also been making their own push towards regulation of the industry. In fact, Nevada has already gone as far to grant licensure to a few online poker sites to operate within their state... a great sign that the times are changing!

Legal Gambling Age - Gambling Underage Is Forbidden!

The legal age to gamble depends on the state that you live in. The ages really come down to just two different ones, 18 or 21. But it is very important to know the gambling age to ensure that you are not breaking the law. There are consequences that you need to be aware of should you be caught gambling underage.

The second part to this is that the online gambling sites operating offshore that are legal for U.S. players to create an account have a gambling age of their own. Both gambling ages need to be met. In essence, the higher of the two ages needs to be met if they are different.

What Should You Do If You Need More Help?

While we do know a lot about gambling online in the United States, we are not lawyers and recommend that if you have further questions to seek legal counsel and find out the answers to your questions. They will know the laws better in your state specific to you than we do. What we try to provide is a general understanding of the laws that are most important at the federal level and relevant to you.

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