Online Slots in the USA have led a confusing life. At a federal level, it is legal to play online slot games across the United States, however this changes significantly at state level, and varies from state to state.
The Wire Act of 1961
For decades, many believed that the Wire Act of 1961 had the effect of prohibiting US online gambling at a federal level. However, further clarification in 2011 noted that this was not in fact the case. Rather, it only applied to interstate sport events. At a federal level then, online casinos are legal.
Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act
In 2006, the Federal Government passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which made online slots in the USA very confusing and complicated. There remains no illegality on playing the games themselves, however the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act makes it illegal for online casinos to process payments. This means that it is very difficult to withdraw money when playing online slots. In turn, withdrawals can take two forms.
One of the more popular ways to receive withdrawals is through cheques delivered in the post. These can be slow and take several weeks however, which means that they are not universally popular.
On some online casinos, a limited number of card withdrawal methods are available. Visa and Mastercard work well, with some casinos accepting American Express also. Usually, deposit methods are also available as withdrawal methods, but this varies significantly from casino to casino.
Casinos available to the USA
Whilst there are a lot of available casinos worldwide, up to 80% are not playable to the US Market as a result of gambling legislation and the issues which surround it. This means that just one in five online casinos are available to US players, and many of these can be unreliable regarding withdrawals.
State to State
A lot of state governments have banned online slots in the USA however. At present, only 10 of the 52 states across the USA explicitly allow online slots to be played legally. These are: California, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia. In future this list may well be expanded, however as of writing it is only legal to play online slots in these places, leaving much of the US unable to do so.
Advice to Prospective Players
The main piece of advice that can be offered to US players is to check the extent to which online slots are regulated in your own state. If you are lucky enough to live in one of the 10 states listed above that allow online gambling, or live in a state that do not explicitly criminalise it, then the next important step is to find a reliable casino. The best way to do this is to thoroughly read reviews of casinos before you deposit any money and make sure there are clear withdrawal paths for you to receive any wins you may be lucky enough to get.
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