When someone clicks on an article titled “Current USA Facing Real Money Casinos and Projected Regulation Impact,” it’s pretty obvious that they’re an American player who takes their gaming seriously. Unfortunately, playing online in the U.S. has been more difficult since the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006. Within a matter of months, the once fertile landscape of the American gaming community was reduced to a barren wasteland thanks to airport arrests of online executives, numerous casino turning their backs on U.S. players, and credit card companies refusing to process gambling-related transactions
While the situation is still far from perfect, there are a few rays of hope on the horizon. First off, the Bush administration is no longer around to wield the UIGEA like a blunt hammer to the skull of the online gambling industry. Many casinos are still reluctant to move back into the American market, but the panic following the passage of the law has gradually started to subside. An increasing number of operators are testing the waters, and the fact that they’re not being hunted down like common criminals is cause for optimism.
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The biggest piece of good news involves multiple U.S. states deciding to make online gambling legal within their borders. This could lead to a major resurgence in American Internet gaming, and the projected regulation impact is the subject of our next section.
Legal Online Gambling in America
Online gambling was never made illegal in the United States by the UIGEA, but it did put restrictions in place for financial transactions related in Internet gaming. The legality of the law was hotly debated at the time, but most weren’t willing to go head-to-head with federal agents to prove their point.
Now various states (including Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware) are entering the gambling arena by expressly making the process legal within their borders. As long as a player is physically located in the state, casinos can provide them with gaming services without fear of fines or prosecution. The federal government is likely to have something to say about this down the road, but for the time being it looks like a reality.
A number of banking institutions have already begun processing player transactions within these areas. This is especially true with MasterCard, although some Visa customers may also be able to find an issuing bank willing to accommodate them.
Online Casinos Serving U.S. Players
While the amount of USA facing real money casinos dipped significantly following the passage of the UIGEA, the numbers are slowly on the rise. Some casinos never stopped accepting U.S. clients, while others feel more comfortable doing so after a decent “cooling off” period to give the American authorities time to build up more pressing matters than hounding gambling websites. Of course, recent state legislation allowing online gambling is also a major reason, as it’s slowly getting operators back in the mindset that Internet gaming can be enjoyed without the fear of prosecution.
If you’re a resident of the United States who desires a real-money experience, you may want to give one of the following virtual establishments a try:
- Bovada – Formerly known as Bodog, this casino limits players to $3000 in quick withdrawals per week, and there are no cashouts over the weekend. Poker and sportsbetting are offered in addition to casino games, and the average cashout request is processed within 48 hours.
- Aladdin’s Gold Casino – Part of the Club World Group, this casino uses RTG software and specialize in slots and table games. Cashouts occur within 48 hours, and there’s a payout limit of $3000 per week. There’s also an unusual rule that prohibits full-time students under the age of 25 from taking part.
- Club World Casino – Considered one of the best US facing online casinos, this brand was established in 2005. Like other casinos from Club World, full-time students younger than 25 are prevented from playing. Payouts are limited to $3000 per week, although special arrangements can be made in the case of larger wins. The site is only available in English, although currencies include the US dollar, British pound, and Euro.
- 3Dice – This casino has been around since 2006, and in that time they received a number of industry awards including Best US Facing Casino, Best Customer Service, Best Casino Manager, and Best New Casino. While their licensing jurisdiction of Curacao isn’t the strongest, they do offer cashouts within 24 hours, excellent customer service, multiple currency options, flushes upon request, and slot machines that can’t be found anywhere else.
- Lucky Red Casino – Yet another property from the Club World Group, Lucky Red employs RTG software and is licensed in Curacao. They’ve received a number of accolades including Best Affiliate Program, Best US Friendly Casino Group, and Best Global Casino Group. Payouts are handled within 48 hours, and the payout limit is $3000 per week. As with other Club World sites, any full-time student under the age of 25 is barred from playing at the casino.
- Desert Nights – Licensed in Curacao and in operation since 2010, this casino is powered by RTG software. No cashouts are offered during the weekend, and the average time to process a withdrawal is 24 hours. There’s also a daily withdrawal limit of $2,000, with higher amounts paid out in installments.
- Ultimate Poker – In keeping with new state regulations, this online casino can only be played by individuals who are within the borders of Nevada (regardless of whether or not they’re a legal resident). It bills itself as “America’s first legal, online poker site” and offers players a $50 bonus if their first deposit is at least the same amount. One interesting twist is their partnership with Station Casinos, allowing you to deposit or cash out at any of the casino’s 16 Nevada locations.
I hope this examination of current USA facing brands has proven helpful. At the very least, you should come away with a better idea of which online establishments are willing to accept American players. And thanks to various states exerting their independence from the federal government, that number should be growing over the next few years.