U.S. Gambling Laws
For avid and novice casino players, you may ask, "Why are there certain casino sites that allow U.S. players and others don't?" Why are there limits? This is because of the gambling laws that are currently being implemented by most of the states.
What are these laws?
There are actually a lot. First, it's impossible for online casino operators to accept betting funds from any U.S. players. It doesn't matter how this money is being given. It can be through credit card, check, drafts, electronic fund transfer, or any instrument. As long as there's money, then it's definitely not allowed. This is to ensure that the government will be able to curb the money laundering in the country.
Now you may hear of some people who will tell you that it's actually possible, and you can circumvent that law by using your e-wallets, such as FirePay. These types of websites are not found in the United States and are not subject to the rules and regulations of the Federal Reserve Board or any other government agency. However, if you can read through the act, you will realize that anything that has been used for electronic fund transfer, including these e-wallets, is definitely not allowed.
Online casinos therefore usually ban U.S. players from betting for the sole reason that they don't want to be up against the government of the country or even by the state. It will save them the hassle. Besides, there are still thousands of players who are coming in other parts of the world, including the United Kingdom.
What are the laws of the state?
Most of the states have their own gambling law, and sad to say, majority of them have already ruled any form of gambling to be a crime. Nevertheless, there are still certain factors that can help you determine if you're bound for jail time and/or penalties for playing or not.
One is the dominant factor test. It's all about the nature of the game. Usually, if it's considered to be a game of chance or more of it, then you could already be violating the statutes on anti-gambling. You just need to identify which of these states are following this kind of rule. Examples are Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, and Idaho, to name a few. Maryland, Florida, and Iowa are quite lenient about it.
Then we have the social gambling element of the game. For example, if you play blackjack in a party, and the host or the "dealer" doesn't earn anything on every game-there's no tip involved too-then you can consider the game to be for social purposes only. Players, on the other hand, should also not earn anything out of the game. Fortunately, most of the states do recognize social gambling, though there are still others that don't. We are talking about Indiana, Mississippi, and New Hampshire. Iowa is fine with it; however, the player should not lose or win over $50 in any of the game within the 24-hour period.
There are also states that have already passed laws on Internet gambling. These are Washington, Wisconsin, and Indiana. If you happen to live in this area, and you have been found out to be playing and betting online, you can be subject to criminal offense. Most of the states don't have Internet gambling laws yet, but it doesn't mean that you're still allowed to play the games online. Besides the state laws, there are also federal regulations that you should be mindful of. Moreover, most of these are already bills or ordinances, waiting for them to be approved by the right committee.
What are the possible penalties for gambling?
Before we go to penalties, there is something you need to know. The punishment will actually depend on the crime committed: is it simple or an aggravated form? What does this mean? It just implies that if you're a habitual gambler, chances are that you will be charged with a felony case. If your crime is considered to be simple gambling, you can be facing a misdemeanor charge.
Both can get you incarcerated, but they differ as to where and how long. If you're imprisoned because of a misdemeanor, you could be staying in the county jail for a short period of time. The longest can already be a year-enough for you to really make amends. However, with the felony, you can spend your time in the state penitentiary and should spend a very long time in the jail.