US Online Gambling Laws
The 1961 Federal Wire Act expressly prohibits US online gamblers from participating in sports and contest betting via interstate wire communication and has been interpreted by the 5th Circuit as well as by the Department of Justice to make sports betting online illegal. It does not apply to other types of online gambling, however, so online gambling by US players is not federally prohibited.
The 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) prohibits online casinos from accepting or processing restricted transactions, including those for illegal online gambling prohibited either federally or by individual state laws. Federally, this includes sports betting. Some individual states have laws expressly forbidding online gambling, including Washington, Indiana, Louisiana, Montana, South Dakota and Illinois, so residents of those states are not able to gamble online. Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada have all expressly legalized online gambling, while others are considering express legalization.
Recognizing and Avoiding Illegal Online Casinos
It is very important to make certain the online casino being considered is a legally operating one. Illegal online casinos do not have licenses and do not have proper protection for their players. It is fairly easy to determine sites that are operating illegally. These sites will not have licenses, terms and conditions and auditing certificates prominently displayed, all of which are required in the United States. Legal online casinos also have customer service contact information available, allowing customers to ask questions. Potential customers should contact customer service professionals to ask questions regarding any legal concerns they might have.
Checking with online gambling forums about a particular casino’s reputation is also a good idea, as users frequently post information related to any fraudulent activity. Even at legal online casinos, US players still must check whether the individual website accepts US players and what the available deposit and payment methods are for US players. When evaluating an online casino, US gamblers should compare reviews of the sites, payout percentages, deposit bonuses, minimum required deposits and charges for withdrawals. Legal online casinos all vary greatly in these areas and gamblers should make certain they are choosing the best site for them.
Top 5 Legal Online Casinos for US Gamblers
The best legal online casinos for US gamblers include three powered by RTG software and two powered by WGT software. Onbling, Grand Parker and Slotocash all utilize RTG, while Liberty Slots and Lincoln Casino use WGT. These software applications allow US players. These casinos have great reputations, are fully licensed and have strong encryption technologies in place to protect privacy and financial information.
Onbling offers minimum deposits of only $21 and accepts deposits via credit card or wire transfer. Grand Parker has no minimum deposit required and offers large deposit bonuses to US Players. Slotocash offers five bonuses matching up to $7,777 for deposits made and minimum deposits as little as $20. Liberty Slots offers more than 150 games. Lincoln is also a legal online casino that provides a free $5,000 deposit bonus to players.