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US Online Casinos and US Player Friendly Casinos

Below you'll find a table that features the top US friendly online casinos that we fature here on CasinoLaunchpad.com.

Currently we're not listing any US online casinos in this section as all of the US casinos we used to recommend to players are no longer in business. If you're an American player looking to play at a US player accepting casino we suggest visiting Best United States Casinos where you'll find such information.

Click on the following links for more information about US Online Casinos:

Introduction

America is clearly a nation that loves to gamble – every year citizens of the US travel to Nevada in their millions to play at one of the many world famous Las Vegas casinos, and the riverboat casinos of the South play an integral part in the history of the United States.

But to observe US gambling legislation from the outside, you might get the impression that the nation is schizophrenic. America is a democracy, and while gambling is not prohibited under Federal law, individual member states can make their own laws regulating it, provided none of those laws directly contradict the Constitution.

Gambling Legislation

Not every state feels as relaxed about gambling as you might think. In fact, at this time Nevada is the only state where it is completely legal. Quite a few states allow only certain state-run forms of gambling, or allow all gambling but only in limited areas. In most states it's actually completely illegal.

This situation gives rise to a gambling tourism industry – in America, where you find a casino, you'll also find a hotel.

But the advent of online gambling in the mid to late 1990s changed everything. For the first time players didn't need to fly thousands of miles and stay in tacky overpriced hotel rooms just to be able to play a few hands of poker or spin a few slots. Now they could log on from the comfort of their own homes and play – the payouts were in real money even if the casinos were virtual.

Specific legal reaction to online gambling took a few years to appear. There were various groups with interests in banning online gambling, from conservatives for whom gambling was simply wrong to the owners of land-based casinos who perceived a serious threat to their income.

Efforts to ban the practise were led by Congressman James Leach were not successful, and for several years the Bills he introduced to the House failed to gain sufficient support to get passed into law.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (2006)

Everything changed with the passing into law of the Safe Port act, a piece of maritime legislation designed to mandate security around the nation's harbours. This extremely controversial piece of legislation included an anti gambling bill called the The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which was somehow slipped into the Safe Port act at the last minute.

Many theorise that Congress may not have been aware that the legislation was part of the Safe Port act when they voted on it, as the gambling legislation has no apparent connection to port security.

Fallout

The language of the UIGEA has been widely criticised as being extremely vague. Despite the clarity of its name, at no point does the bill specifically state what “unlawful internet gambling” is, or even prohibit it. Rather, it makes it a crime for American banks to do business with companies known to run online gambling operations, effectively neutering the online gaming industry.

After all, how can a casino profitably welcome players who may not bring them money? And why would players play at casinos where they cannot collect their winnings?

The law has had a profound effect. A huge number of international casinos, who had already been operating offshore to avoid individual state gambling legislation, began turning away American players. As many of these are publicly traded companies, their stock price tumbled.

Current State of things

There have been a number of legal responses to the UIGEA. In April 2007, Congressman Barney Frank introduced a bill aimed at overturning it; this challenge is still underway. In 2008  the Internet Skill Game Licensing and Control Act was introduced, aimed at working around the UIGEA.

In the interim period as all major players await the outcome of these efforts, many online casinos have begun accepting US players again, although as many still do not. In fact, at the current time it is only completely illegal to gamble online in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Oregon, Michigan, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin.



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