Online gambling has grown increasingly popular in the US, with both lawmakers and voters becoming more open to legalizing sports betting, casino games and poker. Before making a decision to gamble for real money or not, it’s crucial that one understands what legal implications there may be before making their choice. Many state laws as well as several major federal statutes regulate this area – it is therefore essential to do your homework prior to participating.
UIGEA, or the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, should be an essential consideration when considering online gambling. It prohibits financial institutions from processing transactions to and from unlicensed gambling websites that accept American players; however, this law isn’t as comprehensive; for instance it doesn’t regulate sports betting sites offering wagers on domestic sporting events, matches and tournaments.
The Wire Act, which prohibits using wire communications to facilitate wagers on sporting events or other forms of gambling, also plays an influential role. Unfortunately, recent interpretations by the Department of Justice have created confusion for some gambling operators.
State-level gambling laws tend to be more accommodating, allowing legislators to modify existing regulations or introduce entirely new ones with relative ease. Many state gambling commissions, for example, mandate some level of transparency from licensed operators and publicize which companies have contracts for various services.
These regulatory bodies may also be charged with testing the fairness and security of online gaming, with some testing themselves while others entrust third-party companies with this task. Furthermore, regulators in some states must ensure that gambling platforms meet state statutory gambling requirements before testing fairness and security of these platforms.
Under United States law, it is illegal for anyone under 21 years old to engage in real money gambling activities including real-money online casinos, slot machines and poker – this applies across all forms of gambling except lottery tickets or horse race betting which are available for those over 18.
State-by-state regulations on online gambling in the US has created an intricate web that differs significantly. While a few states have passed legislation legalizing this activity, most still ban it despite efforts underway to pass a nationwide bill that would ease some restrictions.