One September 30, 2006, the U.S. Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. This surprised everyone in the online gambling industry. Since the signing of the act into law seems a give, many players are confused as to the status of USA online gambling, existing accounts they may have with sites that offer USA online gambling, and where they are able to play.
The important thing to understand about this new legislations is that it does not make online gambling in the USA illegal. The act is aimed at blocking financial transactions related to gambling.
USA online gambling operators including sportsbooks, online casino and online poker rooms are taking very different actions. Some have completely stopped taking bets, some are restricting certain states, and for others it is business as usual. This section of our site is designed to keep you informed of the latest developments, where you can play, and any information we are able to uncover.
Below is the latest news related to online gambling in the US, and some sites that still accept USA players. The left navigation on this page contains more extensive lists.
Since the UIGEA was passed in 2006 on the back of an unrelated law, huge efforts have been made to bring back online gambling, whether on an intrastate or national level. While nobody can give a definite answer about whether online gambling is coming back to the US or not, the general feeling is that certain states may soon be enjoying this pastime once more, while others will use the UIGEA to keep the ban firmly in place. What is certain, however, is that there is more than meets the eye in the efforts being made to overturn this very controversial law.
An example of the political and corporate considerations being made by those who are trying to do away with the UIGEA is seen in the efforts of the tireless pro-gambling crusader, Barney Frank. While Frank’s Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act looks excellent on the surface, especially the part about the federal Secretary of the Treasury being able to license and regulate online gaming, one provision makes interesting food for thought.
The provision essentially says that any state (or tribal) body may submit its willingness to the Secretary to review prospective applicants and the Secretary will need to reply within 60 days to determine whether it can rely on these regulators to issue licenses. Realistically, the Secretary will not have the time to provide an answer to the regulators within 60 days and bodies such as Nevada’s State Gaming Control board could thus be deemed competent to determine the license potential of an operator.
And here is where the political considerations come in. To get his bill passed, Barney Frank needs to get the bill through Senate where the Majority Leader just happens to be Harry Reed, representing Nevada State.
In recent years, it has been clear that Nevada casinos are going in the direction of supporting online gambling. This was most obviously showcased with Harrah Entertainment’s move into the online realm with the opening of its interactive gaming division. And it may not be by chance that the new division is headed by former Party Gaming head, Mitch Garber.
Other Nevadans who support Frank’s bill include Shelley Berkley, who heads the Hotel Association on the Vegas Strip.
Frank’s bill would also require the Secretary to deny licenses to operators who have not paid taxes to the US government, essentially blocking out foreign operators.
And one shouldn’t forget the power of the sports organizations that could easily stamp out any bill which they don’t agree with. This explains why sportsbetting is expressly forbidden in the proposed bill, except in states where it is already allowed.
There are many other considerations that Barney Frank and others that are trying to overturn the UIGEA need to take into account, bearing in mind the wildly differing policies that all states have towards gambling. But when all is said and done, there is definitely more optimism than ever before that winds of change are finally blowing through the Senate and US players will finally be able to enjoy their favorite pastime once more.