Gambling in the US has gone a long way and has been influenced by many factors. One of the latter is the history of gambling. The very first gambling forms appeared when the first settlers came to the US. At first, gambling was considered to be an effective way of increasing the country’s revenues. Since the attitudes to gambling were different in each state and community, there were no strict gambling regulations.
When the California Gold Rush began, San Francisco became the gambling center for many people. The situation went out of control so that the government took measures to restrict gambling throughout all the United States. Since those times, gambling has been outlawed and restricted in many states. However, the times are changing and gambling is becoming more and more demanded. As of now, you can place some kind of bets online legally in 44 states, while online casinos are legalized only in New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. Over 25 states are currently considering bills related to gambling and its legalization.
Legal Aspects of Gambling in the US
Nowadays, online gambling in the US is regulated by the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act). It was adopted in 2006 and became one of the most controversial gambling act in the world, not because of its provisions but because of the way it was adopted. To cut a long story short, it passed as a part of the SAFE Port Act – a different bill related to counter-terrorism. The point is, this bill was unanimously adopted, but the lawmakers didn’t even know anything about the provisions of the UIGEA.
Most people think that the UIGEA totally restricts online gambling at a federal level, but it doesn’t. In fact, it prohibits online businesses from receiving money from people who are involved in online betting that is prohibited at a federal or state level. In other words, if an online casino can’t receive your money, you can’t make a deposit, therefore you can’t gamble.
Results of New Regulations for the US Gambling Market
The adoption of the UIGEA resulted in a massive panic among the online casinos that were accepting US players. Some casinos simply quit the US gambling market, but many of them decided to continue operating in the states where gambling was legalized. The adoption of the bill caused misunderstanding among many poker companies since the bill did not explain what “unlawful gambling” is. Most poker operators continued operating until 2011 when the Court of New York decided that poker operators are breaking the gambling laws of New York where poker is considered to be the game of chance. That was the so-called “Black Friday” for all poker companies.
Though the UIGEA restricts online gambling, it also protects the established companies. Despite the adoption of this bill, the US remains one of the biggest gambling markets in the world. That’s why many operators strive to work harder, to improve their security systems, and to become legal in the US.
Government VS Gambling Industry: What’s Next?
Trends of recent years have shown that more and more states try to make online casinos and other gambling forms legal, and more and more casino operators want to operate legally. However, the gambling regulations are still becoming stricter due to a huge number of scammers operating online. It refers not only to the casino operators but to regular players as well. For example, there are many players who use various casino banking options for money laundering. In order to stop it, the government decided to cut down on the payment methods and to apply stricter deposit and withdrawal limitations.
There are also many scammers among the game developers that are seeking profit from new players who simply want to enjoy gambling. That’s why the government decided to decrease the number of games that can be played in the top United States online casinos for real money.
The US government is also sure that only coordinated actions among jurisdictions will help to eliminate illegal betting and scammers. It plans to set new taxes and fees at a federal level, which will help to tie the industry and to take control over it.