Can I gamble online in the US?

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Can I gamble online in the US?

Asked on June 21, 2012 under Business Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the state you are gambling from allows online gambling (e.g. actively authorizes it, or at least has not made it illegal) and, more generally, does not bar the type of gambling you are doing (for example, all sports betting is illegal in 46 of 50 states) and/or does not bar the gambling operator or provider in question (e.g. does not require that all gambling be with registered entities--and this one is not registered), then it *should* be legal, though that issue has not really been put to the test in a comprehensive way since last year's announcement by the Department of Justice that they would not enforce the Wire Act except vs. sports betting. Moreover, even if the gambling per se is legal, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) may prevent banks and payment processors (e.g. creditor card companies) from processing your transactions; or even if they are not actively barred, they may be disuaded from processing gambling payments. If this is the case, you will effectively be unable to gamble--in theory.

The short answer is that the legality of internet gambling  in the U.S. is in flux at present; most internet gambling is still illegal, or at least of questionable legality, in one way or another (e.g. sports betting, not a lawful provider), but clearly many people do gamble online despite legal issues and obstaces.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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