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Early Days of Online Gambling in The US
At BestUSCasinos.org, our team will stop at nothing to provide you with the most up to date and factual information regarding the online casino industry in the US. Not only has our team taken part in the online casino industry by playing casino games, we have also been keeping a watchful eye on the ever-changing industry for years. All of this experience and expertise has culminated in a site that is equipped with everything you need to know about online casinos in the United States. What’s more, we are constantly adding new information to keep up to date with the times.
When you talk about real money online gambling in the United States, the history does not extend too far before 2002.
It was in this year that the US Federal government passed the Federal Wire Act, which made it illegal to participate in the monetary dealings with any funds that are at all related to gambling on sports. By the letter of the law, the Federal Wire Act does not make it illegal to bet on anything other than sports.
In fact, the law does not even prohibit betting on sports, it merely says that it is illegal for financial institutions or anyone else to handle, transfer, or otherwise deal with any funds that will go towards or have been won from online sports betting.
In effect, this law makes it nearly impossible for people to deposit at online casinos, because people nowadays can do almost nothing with money that does not involve their bank.
So, now that the Federal Wire Act passed in the US, the real money gambling atmosphere was immediately shaken to its core. Though there were still plenty of online casino options in the wake of the Federal Wire Act’s passing, the general attitude people held towards online gambling was that participating in such activities was now considered to be illegal.
In some extremes, people were quite literally afraid that playing a hand of blackjack online would see the police come knocking at their door. In reality, this never has happened and is not likely to happen anytime in the foreseeable future. Adding to the general fear people have of playing real money online casino games in the United States was a Department of Justice that has consistently alluded that all types of internet gambling are illegal.
Though the Federal Wire Act has no verbage stating this, the DoJ has scared an entire population into thinking twice about doing something that they are well within their right to do.
Despite the mounting fear, the industry in the United States managed to mostly stay out of the headlines for the next 4 years. Then, in 2006, a few online casino executives were arrested and prosecuted in the United States for violations in relation to the Federal Wire Act.
Jay Cohen, and others, were charged under the presumption that facilitating online sports betting for players in the US is, in fact, a violation of the newly instituted Federal Wire Act. As you could have probably guessed, this sent another massive shockwave across the population of people who play casino games online.
US Online Casino Deposit Methods
The world of online casinos has grown in such a way that there are more than just one or two ways by which you can fund an online player account. Depositing money into an US online casino was once a headache, but more recently the process could not have been made any simpler. Unfortunately, with more deposit options comes more for the average player to understand.
In the following few sections we will walk you through the different methods by which you can fund an online casino player account and what benefits and pitfalls each method presents. When it comes down to it, the best way to deposit at an online casino is something that you must decide for yourself. There is no single surefire method that is always better than the rest and, depending on where you live, not every method discussed in this piece will be available to you.
Utilizing a credit/debit card is by far the most popular way by which players fund accounts at online casinos. If you have ever utilized your card to make any sort of online purchase, utilizing it to deposit at an online casino is a procedure that is no more difficult or elongated. By simply typing in your credit card number as well as a few other pieces of information you are just moments away from real money gambling online.
As is the case with every method of deposit, you must be sure that your preferred banking institution will facilitate deposits with online casinos. For players in the United States in particular, this is a method that can cause issues.
Direct Money Transfer/Bank Wire
Another extremely popular method by which you can fund a player account is by way of a direct bank or wire transfer. As its name implies, this method of deposit allows the player to deposit to an online casino by linking the casino account directly with their bank account. Just like it is with a credit card deposit, bank wires only need you to offer up a small amount of personal financial information in order to be executed. Also like credit card deposits, these methods of funding an account allow players to play with real money almost instantaneously.
The reason people are sometimes concerned about the aforementioned methods of deposit is that, once executed, it is very difficult to get your money back if you ever happen to deal with unscrupulous criminals online. Nowadays, fortunately, there is significantly fewer shady online casinos, and most are reputable operators who have no goal other than to provide a top-notch gaming experience for you. Still, the risks persist and it is imperative that you do your research before playing to ensure that you are only dealing with the most reputable online casinos.
Another method of deposit that is gaining popularity at every turn is Bitcoin deposits. This new cryptocurrency offers protections that none of the aforementioned deposits methods can. Bitcoin transactions are always 100% anonymous, so players do not have to disclose any personal information to make a deposit. What’s more, Bitcoin deposits are instantaneous such that you can begin playing shortly after making the deposit.
Though it may sound a bit antiquated, you are still able to mail a check as a form of deposit at most casinos. This is a fine way to deposit, however by the time the online casino receives and processes your check such that funds will be available to play with, you may have been forced to wait days or even weeks.
As modern day technology continues to advance rapidly, mailed checks are going to become a thing of the past. Cashier’s checks, money orders, and other, more instant forms of this same method, however, are likely to remain in use for some time to come. As you might have gathered, you need to be especially careful when it comes to check deposits due to the fact that not every site accepts them, and even further, not every site accepts them in all of their forms (cashier’s, money order, etc.).
Depending on where you reside, depositing at an online casino via an e-wallet such as PayPal or Skrill is a convenient way to begin playing quickly. One advantage that e-wallets hold over depositing with a credit or debit card is the fact that they require you to give the online casino almost no personal information whatsoever. Because you have the protection of the e-wallet, not only is it easy to get your money back in the event of unforeseen problems, it is also much safer in that you do not have to give out any personal information at all. Unfortunately, e-wallet deposits are not available everywhere.
Are there fees associated with online casino deposit methods?
Yes, in almost every instance an online casino will attempt to make money off of you for having facilitated your deposit. Most often the fee incurred will be less than 5% of the amount deposited, but this is where you have to be careful. Some online casinos do well to hide how much they charge you per deposit, so it would behoove you to discover this information before ever trying to fund an online player account.
Still, like was stated earlier, most sites nowadays do their best to be as transparent as possible, so they will often make it very clear how much the fee associated with a given method of deposit is.
The UIGEA and Online Casinos Today
Even worse, and also in 2006, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed as part of a larger bill and signed into law. This particular act made it increasingly difficult for players to play real money casino games online.
Though the UIGEA was brand new in 2006, it was really a more expanded upon version of 2002’s Federal Wire Act. Now, the Federal government made it wholly illegal for banking institutions to deal with internet gambling monies. In the immediate wake of the passing of UIGEA, many online casinos that previously offered their services to people in the US announced that they would be suspending these services.
Now, an industry that consisted of a seemingly endless quantity of online casinos was whittled down to its bare bones. Despite the UIGEA, real money casinos for US players still existed and still existed in such a way that players never had to worry about criminal prosecution for having gambled online.
Though it seems like the US has done nothing but prosecute the online casino industry, the online casino industry has persevered time and time again. With every new piece of legislation that passes, online casinos are thinking of new ways to make their operations legal. As it stands now, there are hundreds of online casinos that people everywhere in the United States can play at. In addition, a handful of states have made it legal to gamble online within their specific borders. This is a trend that is just beginning to pick up momentum.
Statistical Analysis of Online Gambling Revenue in US
The relatively new online gambling market in the United States completed its third full year of operations in 2016. The US regulated iGaming market is comprised of three state jurisdictions where online gambling is legal at the present time (Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware). Nevada’s online gaming is restricted to online poker. Of the 3 states, New Jersey has accounted for more than 90 percent of iGaming revenue in the United States. Although online casino gaming is also permitted in Delaware, it is a considerably smaller state.
Online Gambling Revenue Forecast in US
As you can see from the bar chart below, online gaming revenues in the United States has experienced tremendous growth since the introduction of a regulated market in 2013, reaching an all-time high of $200 million in revenue in 2016 even though it’s still shared between 3 states. For the year as a whole, iGaming revenue in 2015 was up 19.3 percent on 2014.
In 2016, the organic growth witnessed in 2015 continued and online gambling revenue increased by 24.4 percent. In contrast land-based gambling revenue in the US during the same period has been flat.
The US online gambling market is expected to exceed $9 billion in revenue by 2020, growing at an impressive rate of more than 50% according to Technavio’s latest market research study. That forecast includes all online casino and online betting activity within the United States.
The fact that these online casino websites appeal to a younger demographic is the main reason why the online gambling market in the US is predicted to get bigger, and real-money gambling transactions in regulated iGaming markets are expected to be processed more efficiently.
Additionally, other states including Pennsylvania are considering legalizing online gambling in 2017. As more states soften online gaming laws since it’s a source of tax revenue, it will further increase growth and states will partner together to improve liquidity.
Real Money Online Casinos FAQ
Are more states going to regulate online casinos?
At any given point in time, there are a few measures in state governments who have the goal of establishing an online casino industry. So far, these efforts have been met with limited success. To aptly answer this question, we cannot give a solid answer. While there is a good chance more online casinos will be legalized and regulated, the process to make this happen is a slow and arduous one.
Will I get in trouble for making deposits at an online casino?
It is always important to check your local laws before ever playing at an online casino, but the fact of the matter is that no one has ever been arrested nor prosecuted for depositing real money at an online casino.
Are cashouts processed slowly?
Because cashouts from online casinos in the US are a bit different than they are in other parts of the world, you might have a few questions. With regard to speed, online casino withdrawals are processed at different speeds at different online casinos. Being that mailed check is still the best option for a withdrawal, it is safe to say that most withdrawal will take at least a week in order to process and be put in the mail.
What are the fees associated with online casino deposits?
The fee you are charged for having executed an online casino deposit or withdrawal varies from site to site and from payment method to payment method. To make a long story short, you will almost always be charged a fee for any deposit or withdrawal from an online casino, it is your goal to find the method and site offering the lowest fees around.
Do I have to download anything?
This is something that depends on the casino in question, but more often than not you will either have to download an online casino client or play flash games, which is nothing more than a fancy way of saying you are playing real money casino games within your web browser.