Best United States Online Casinos

More About US Accepting Online Casinos

While it’s long been illegal for companies based in the United States to host online casinos that offer real money gaming, the popularity of online poker that resulted from Chris Moneymaker’s victory in the 2003 World Series of Poker led to casinos based in other countries more likely to allow Americans to play on their sites. This willingness was aided by a 2002 ruling by a US Circuit Court that no law on the books specifically applied to online gambling, even though the federal government continued to maintain that such gaming was illegal.

Instead of going after players, the US government pursued cases against key individuals in companies that provided online sports betting, leaving poker and casino sites mostly undisturbed. That changed in 2006 with the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which defined harsher penalties for banks or companies that enabled customers in the US to deposit or withdraw funds from online casinos and poker sites. Several prominent payment processors ceased to provide services to Americans after the Act became law, dramatically reducing online gaming options for US citizens.

A further blow came in early 2011 on a day known to online poker players as “Black Friday.” The principals from several popular poker sites, including Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker, were charged by the US government with attempting to circumvent the law by disguising deposits and withdrawals as other types of transactions. Though the companies eventually settled by agreeing to pay large fines, the picture for online casino gaming was muddied even further as a result of the case.

Further developments look promising for the future of real money gaming over the internet in the US. In the meantime, it’s important to remember that there is little risk to players who choose to frequent online casinos. There are risks involved with tax questions that may arise from big wins and the loosely regulates status of certain sites, but the US government has shown no interest in going after players. The biggest obstacle for US players is finding a way to get money in and out of online casinos, as most of the reputable online payment processors still won’t accept American business. Depending on the site, credit cards, PayPal or eChecks may be viable payment options.