Your Primer to Legal Online Gambling in the US

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  • With people mostly staying indoors due to the closing of establishments, entertainment centers, and professional sports leagues, an increase in internet gambling has been observed across the United States. This is true for online casino and poker operations, which has seen an increase in new membership and games played. In some areas, the technology has made it possible so that players can control from home slot machines in a casino.

    Is it legal?

    The short answer is yes because gambling is not illegal in the US. There are nuances to this question best discussed based on state-specific laws. For online gambling, it is slightly trickier. According to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, it is illegal for an online gambling site to operate in the US. However, this does not prohibit the placing of wagers on an online gambling site. There are websites on online casino games, poker, sports, and horse racing betting that are authorized in the US, with legal online gambling organized according to state.

    Why gamble online?

    Traditional casinos have always been appealing as a form of entertainment, with the glitz, games of chance, and possibly a way to make money. But what else makes online gambling popular? Here are some reasons:

    1. Convenience – People can play at home and with other people virtually, even if some friends are available.
    2. Accessibility – All you need is an Internet connection, and some games even download as an app. Also, new players can take advantage of tutorials and learn without embarrassment.
    3. Anonymity – This allows players to engage and enjoy gaming without revealing their identity. The use of cryptocurrency also enables anonymity.
    4. Affordability – It is less expensive to play online than in in-person casinos because there are no cover charges nor other costs, e.g. beverages. Also, online platforms allow for sign-up bonuses, loyalty programs, and more options for free play. Finally, there is the possibility of using play money, instead of real money, for practice runs.
    5. Excitement- The thrill of possibly winning money, the celebrity status of champions who have participated in online poker tournaments, and the dazzling interface of lights and sounds appeal especially to the younger generation.

    Responsible gambling

    While online gambling can be enjoyable, care must be taken to do so responsibly. Here are some tips to avoid having a gambling problem and debt.

    1. Online gambling should not be your only hobby. Take breaks by going for a walk and talking to friends to clear your mind. Also, do not gamble when stressed or in the midst of problems.
    2. Remember that gambling is a game of chance, not skill.
    3. Allocate a time limit for your gaming session, ideally a maximum of one hour. Stop afterwards, no matter how much you have won or lost.
    4. Decide in advance how much you are willing to spend, lose, and when to stop after winning. Stop after reaching that limit.

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    How do I start?

    The world of online gambling, like the bright lights of a casino, may be intimidating to you. Do not worry! Below is a quick guide to start playing.

    1. Choose a reputable online casino site, based on reviews and the Terms and Conditions. Sign up and register. Note that you may be required to submit identification cards.
    2. You will also need to link a bank account or payment card to be able to deposit or withdraw funds. Refer to the online casino’s website’s instructions for details.
    3. Most sites are set up for easy navigation. There will also be differences in style, themes, and layouts, as well as the type and number of games. You can find this in the game lobby. Standard games are slots, jackpots, and bingo.
    4. Make sure you know where to contact customer support for any questions. Online gambling sites, as in land casinos, like to ensure the comfort of their patrons, and so are usually helpful in sorting problematic situations.

    Now that you have read this primer on online gambling, it is time to roll the dice. Good luck!

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