Since the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006, several American companies have attempted to find ways to continue delivering high quality casino games to US citizens. However, several crackdowns on those companies have left in doubt the possibility of ever restoring the legality of online gambling in the United States. American citizens should be aware of the struggles they will face if they want to enjoy the offerings of online casinos.

What the Law Does

First of all, the UIGEA does not target American citizens directly. The law forbids the funding of online casino accounts and punishes only the financial companies and the casinos themselves. Recent crackdowns have focused on shutting down access to online casinos by using internet service providers to block certain domains. Players can lose their deposits if the casinos are shut down, but they will not be targeted under this federal law.

What Players Need to Watch For

While players are technically safe from the UIGEA, there are many other state and local laws that prohibit gambling at the individual level. Most of these laws target underage gambling, but a handful of them forbid wagers of all kinds outside of a state-sponsored or specifically exempt event. Players should always be aware of their local laws to avoid any fines or even jail time if they are engaged in illegal activities.

Currently, with the UIGEA in place, it is probably wise for most American players to avoid online casinos that require cash deposits. There are still some free options that are perfectly legal, but players should consult their local law enforcement to verify that such websites are legal for them to access.