Rules and Strategy

Is Online Gambling Legal in the USA and UK?

Is Online Gambling Legal in the USA and UK?

Gambling online is regulated in different ways all over the world. As a result of this it can be a real nightmare checking the different rules and regulations for each country, state or even province where you want to play from. We get a lot of correspondence here at Casino Bonuses Index.com regarding the legalities of using online casinos from within English speaking territories, mostly along the lines of “Is it illegal in my country”? Where can I go to check? One thing we always advise our player base is to check with the online casino that you intend to play at as a first point of action. If it’s not laid out plainly in their terms and conditions then you can also check with their customer support. A more time consuming method would be to check with the gambling regulatory board in your own country if you’re still unsure.

The legal difference between the USA and the UK

Two of the most popular questions we get asked is regarding the legality of playing at an online casino when you live in the USA and also in the UK. This question is a veritable minefield on one side and the equivalent of a walk in the park on the other. Why so? Well simply put for UK residents it’s completely legal to gamble online, literally everywhere and anywhere. While most UK residents might prefer playing at home grown online casino sites or with UK brands that have a well established reputation, the reality is they can play at whichever online casino they like as long as it’s regulated by the UK Gambling Commission or any of its white listed jurisdictions.

For residents from the USA however things can become really tricky because across most of the United States, the legality of online gambling is in a perpetual state of limbo. In all states aside of just three in America it is illegal to gamble online and also illegal to operate an online casino. The only three states where online gambling is legal are Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. If you happen to live in any of these three states then it’s perfectly legal to play both online casino games and online poker because they are approved jurisdictions.

US law and how it affects online gambling

The problem with online gambling restrictions in the USA centres around two pieces of legislation, The Interstate Wire Act of 1961 and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006. Both laws prohibit transmission via telecommunications and/or the internet of bets or payments to a terrestrial or online gambling site and vice versa. This means even overseas operations would be breaking the law by accepting US players at their online casino. The most interesting part of all of this is that technically the United States does not have the authority to prosecute someone in another country and also so far has not prosecuted any players from the United States so the law exists but is almost never enforced.

What this led to was many online casinos putting outright bans on US players, while others continued to allow US citizens to play at their sites stating that it was legal because they themselves are licensed in a jurisdiction where online gambling is regulated. It’s worth noting that these laws do not cover state lotteries or certain fantasy sports that meet legal requirements, nor do they clarify whether betting on horse racing is legal or not.

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