Is there something illegal for players from the US to play at an online casino?

Within the U.S., there has been an unreasonable amount of debate over the legal gray area. Some of those who believe online gambling should be legal claim that many of the laws regarding the subject were under less-than-professional circumstances, and they’ve got some pretty solid evidence backing these statements. Therefore, many of the participants of these casino games simply disregard the “ban” as basically non-existent.

Although there have not been a ton of arrests in relation to the restrictions on online and offshore gambling, there have been some. That’s not all, either; the politicians are not the only ones who are taking steps to eliminate online casino services. Gambling industry veterans agree: If you operate an offshore gaming Web site, stay out of the U.S. What does the ban do exactly? How does the government prosecute people who break the laws in affect under the ban?

Palace of Chance Online Casino
Palace of Chance Online Casino

What does the ban hope to accomplish 

According to the head of the Cyber Crime Fraud unit at FBI headquarters, Leslie Byrant, it is perfectly legal to go Las Vegas or Atlantic City and play these financially risky games, it is just fine to head down to the racetrack and bet an entire paycheck on one horse. It is just not okay if one gambles with real money online; that is when it becomes illegal.

So what exactly does that include? Is it illegal to play flash games or solitaire on the internet? Well, not exactly. Here’s what constitutes an online game as illegal:

  • Placing cyber bets on sporting events or in virtual card games are prohibited
  • No transferring money electronically for gambling.
  • Even if the offender lives in the US, wagers placed using offshore online casinos are strictly barred.

So what is allowed? What about those free games on the web or fantasy football leagues?

  • Most free online games are okay.
  • Fantasy leagues are allowed.
  • Indian gaming sites that have a purpose besides gambling are allowed.

Even if a company gets busted and the users of the service do not, the gamblers will lose all the money they have invested in the site in any way.

What is Law Enforcement doing to Control the Online Casinos?

The strategy for law enforcement agencies who handle this kind of crime, such as the FBI is to start at the top of the chain: the companies providing the illegal services. Bryant says the FBI is going after the money-makers, the owners of the virtual betting parlors.

What have they gotten done about it? This is what:

  • October, 2015-Queens, New York-17 people operating an internet casino ring allegedly used an offshore website and toll-free numbers to help book $32 million in legal wagers. If convicted, they’ll serve up to 25 years in federalprison.
  • The famous United States v Scheinberg: April 15, 2015, two of the largest online casinos, PokerStars, and Full Tilt Poker, were forced to stop allowing US customers to play with real money.