Legal Online Casinos in US in 2013?

30 Dec 2012 | 02:09 Author: Seth Shafer

2012 wasn't a great year for efforts to legalize online gambling in the US but there are some hopeful signs for 2013.

Hopes that federal laws would be changed to allow for legal online poker faded at the end of 2012 when proposed legislation from Harry Reid of Nevada stalled out when it couldn't gain enough support from Republicans.

Supporters of legalized gambling in the US had high hopes for 2012, with a ruling by the US Department of Justice in late 2011 on the Wire Act opening the door for legal poker and casino games, with the DoJ stating that the Wire Act only applied to sportsbetting.

Despite that glimmer of hope in the end there simply wasn't enough support or votes to change the existing UIGEA law that was passed in late 2006 which made it illegal for banks in the US to knowingly do business with online gambling sites.

Several US states did pass their own legislation in 2012 to allow them to offer online gambling, with Nevada poised to offer legal online poker to state residents as soon as January 2013 while Delaware passed legislation to allow it to offer both online casinos and poker sites.

New Jersey passed its own legislation for online gambling in late 2012 as well, with the new bill awaiting the final approval of governor Chris Christie, who in the past vetoed a similar bill that was passed by the state legislature.

California and Iowa are rumored to be close to passing their own laws, although both states are expected to stick to online poker. 

US residents still have access to several online gambling sites that accept US players but depositing money and cashing out can be a challenge, with cashout checks from some only sites taking months to receive.

A struggling US economy has helped the cause to legalize online gambling in some states but opposition still remains, with many politicians wary of being seen as pro-gambling and point to the numerous existing gambling options available in many states.

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