To give you an idea of what the online gambling industry used to be like, we must take a trip back to the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
With the passage of SAFE Ports Act along with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, many online casinos have stopped their transactions with players hailing from all or some US states. The enactment of the law has changed the contours of the industry and the way operators transact with their players. Ultimately, it changed the way players enjoy online casino gaming.
What exactly "The Prohibition" means?
Safe Ports Act is a law signed by President Bush on October 13, 2006, that aims to protect the United States of America by providing measures to keep the nation's ports safe, as the name implies. What makes this act lethal among USA online casino players is somewhere within the bill are the provisions that ban institutions from transferring funds from US to organizations who may be engaged in gambling operations. These provisions make up the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
To keep it short and simple Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which is one part of the unrelated Safe Ports Act, orders the government and other non-government or private institutions the next thing. The task is to recognize and block or otherwise prevent or forbid the acceptance of transactions in onlibe gambling industry. How? The payment system and any person involved in the payment system is forced to identify transactions made with entities offering illegal gambling services. In other words, they must block financial transactions between them.
Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is deadly for casino industry because the law prohibits players from posting bets (wagers) in these restricted sites.
Because of this many casinos and third-party merchants are forced to leave the US gambling market. Without deposits allowed with third-party online merchants that knowingly acts as the middleman for banking institutions and off-shore casinos and with no funds coming in from the US soil, it was impossible to operate.
What pisses this industry off with UIGEA is the fact that its principles behind the law, which is morality, has been underserved.
The law dictates that UIGEA includes acts were placing, receiving, or otherwise knowingly transmitting an internet bet is unlawful only under applicable Federal or State law. It means that a bet (wager) made online is deemed unlawful only if it violates any State or Federal Law in a particular area where the bets are placed.
In the United States, there are only a small number of states that prohibit gambling on the internet. Millions of Americans can still play online casino games if they use their credit cards or offshore banking institutions to deposit real money. The policy has been skewed to choke the finances of these gambling sites instead of doing other things to curb player's habits.
It's a policy of economic and political proportions instead moral and ethical considerations.
Software developers such as Amaya own and operate all of their online casino properties and have more on the line as single entities. Providers such as Real Time Gaming license their software to individual operators, thus giving these properties the choice to cater to U.S. casino players. One of the largest and most active e-wallet processors of funds used to gamble online, Neteller, had no choice but to cease doing business with U.S. customers. It happened when legal authorities detained Neteller founders in a New York airport.
These days, certain U.S. anti-online gambling states focus less of their attention on online casinos than they do at keeping internet sports betting services and payment processors at bay. Nonetheless, this is precisely why many RTG licensed operators do not permit players residing in a some U.S. States to make wagers.
All the while, the UIGEA continues to prove quite ineffective in its enforcement stage. To be precise, the U.S. Treasury Department and Federal Reserve simply do not know how to enforce the UIGEA and all its contradictions, such as giving carve-outs to internet horse racing, lotteries, and fantasy football. The critical tongue of the powerful American Banking Association (representing 95% of U.S. financial institutions), countless gaming trade associations and an increasing number of Congressional members are not helping the cause of the UIGEA either.
In the meantime, multiple pieces of pro-online gambling legislation make the rounds in the U.S. Congress, and all of them gained widespread support.
This list of bills includes:
- An in-depth study of online gambling by the National Academy of Sciences (Congresswoman Shelley Berkeley's Internet Gambling Study Act).
- Legalization of online poker (Congressman Robert Wexler's Skill Game Protection Act)
- Protectionist legislation to keep betting companies from being unfairly persecuted (the UIGEA Clarification Act).
- Bill to paralyze the UIGEA (Congressman Barney Frank's aforementioned Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act).
- Bill to tax and regulate online casinos (Congressman Jim McDermott Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act).
One need only to look at the regulatory success in the UK, where online gambling is legally regulated under the 2005 Gambling Act (updated in November 2014). Anti-gambling activists would have people believe that legalizing online gambling only causes more activities. However, according to ICM Research (in partnership with the UK Gambling Commission) shows that there was no rise whatsoever in gambling activities. It showed that 8.8% of adults was gambled online - with over half this figure solely participating in online lotteries.
Even the majority of citizens who live in U.S. and do not play on the internet believe it is their right to decide. Approximately seventy percent of U.S. citizens are in support of online gaming regulation if we can trust to the last polls. The rest simply do not know the facts and how it can be more effective in preventing the gambling problem and underage playing than enforcing no regulation at all. The bottom line is that U.S. citizens are going to gamble online, whether a small minority of it or not. At Casinos Explorer, we know this all too well and pledge to do our part to keep players from being led astray by unscrupulous online operators.
How can US casino player deposit real money?
While UIGEA has blocked some financial intermediaries, there are still other ways for players hailing from US states that allow internet gambling, deposits and play for real money.
Credit cards are currently the best of deposit methods for transferring money to your favorite gaming venue. Many transnational credit card companies such as MasterCard and Visa lets you deposit money to your account without getting blocked. The bad thing is that they can't be used for payout so casinos provide alternative ways for withdrawals, but the most common are wire transfers and checks.
If you don't like the idea of sending credit card numbers, there are still a number of recommended deposit methods at disposal. Money transfer agencies like Western Union can be used to deposit money to the offshore company. Go to a store, fill out a form, send your money, and wait until the amount is credited to your account.
The wire transfer can also be used to deposit your money not only in online gaming but also for other concerns. With this sort of transfer, you just need to go to your bank and instruct it to wire money to your casino, and once it has been approved and credited to your account, you can start playing.
Some of the methods such as eChecks are beginning to gain popularity among players because they allow players to deposit money from their bank account with ease. Other financial intermediaries can also be used like eWalletXpress and ePassporte to make a deposit. You can also use your debit cards like EcoCard to make secure deposits.
Availability of these methods depends solely on the operator you choose. Some offer all sorts of deposit options while others simply limit their selection to one, two, or three, but all sites have integrated secure encryption technologies to make sure that your information and transaction will be kept secret and confidential. There are some who charge fees when you use particular deposit methods while some even give you exclusive bonuses when you deposit using the preferred options. Maximize the amount you deposit by making sure that your casino provides the bonus for your preferred banking options. It is smart to check the banking options available for US players as well as the terms and conditions that apply when depositing and playing your favorite casino games because it will save you from headaches and money loses.
Where can you find online casinos for U.S. players?
Because of the ban on the financial transactions with the gambling institutions, many casinos and online merchants have shunned away from the US market. When Playtech, a major producer of quality gaming platform, has announced that the casinos that will operate using its platform will no longer accept players hailing from the US, stocks of online merchants processing deposits and other financial transactions with gambling sites have dropped dramatically. For example, Neteller stock dropped by 61% during the first trading day the law was passed.
The members of casino community have varied reactions to the law. Some stopped their operations altogether. Some have stopped their operation only in those states that implicitly criminalize online gambling. Some continued as if no law has been enacted.
One thing's for certain, despite the introduction of the law into the US soil players can still play and wager in approved online casinos from our list.