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Finding an Online Gambling Site Has Never Been Easier

The Online Casino Gambling Directory has made it easier than ever to find exactly the type of online gambling site that you are looking for.

Just follow these three easy steps:

  1. Enter a search term like blackjack, backgammon, free, bingo, or tournament — whatever you’re looking for.
  2. Use the Narrow your search options to narrow your search by one or more of:
    • Site type
    • US policy
    • FREE chips
    • First deposit bonus
    • Minimum deposit to get bonus
    • Certifications
    • Site software

The search engine immediately returns your narrowed search results as soon as you click a radio button or checkbox — no need to waste an extra click on clicking a Search or Go button.

  1. Click on the name of the site that you like best in the search results list.

It’s just that easy!

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Online Gambling in the US — Is it Legal?

I have done a fair amount of research and thinking about this issue, and wanted to share my findings and thoughts on the topic.

1) Prior to the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, eleven states had laws on the books that specifically ban all forms of online gambling. These states are: IL, IN, LA, MI, NJ, NV, NY, OR, SD, WA, WI. Online gambling continues to be considered illegal in these states. As for the other 39 states, the question of whether online gambling is illegal continues to be unanswered.

It bears noting that I have seen no reports of any player in the United States being prosecuted under any anti-online gambling state laws.

2) The Act did nothing to alter, curtail, or extend state laws regarding online gambling. Thus, it did not make online gambling illegal in all states.

3) The Act does place restrictions on the financial transactions that occur in connection with online gambling; it restricts electronic fund transfers and the use of credit cards in connection with such wagering. This means that players will no longer be able to make wagers, or collect winnings using electronic fund transfers, credit or debit cards, or some other online payment systems — once the US Treasury Department publishes its regulations for enforcing the Act in the summer of 2007. As a law passed by Congress, this law will apply to all states.

In response to the Act, online gambling sites have done one of three things with respect to US-based real-money players:
1) Continue to accept US-based real-money players from all states
2) Accept US-based real-money players from states other than the states in which online gambling is specifically outlawed (meaning no players from the states listed above)
3) Closed their site to all US-based real-money players

Also in response to the Act, Firepay (an online payment system) stopped handling gambling-related transactions. NETeller (another online payment system) continues to handle gambling-related transactions, and has stated that they are monitoring the situation. Blog update: NETeller has also exited the US market.

So what has the Act really done? In and of itself, it certainly did not make online gambling illegal; the state laws on this issue continue to apply as they did before the Act was passed. It has reduced the number of sites where US players can gamble, and it forced US players to find creative ways of funding their online gambling accounts. It certainly raised awareness in the United States (and the world for that matter) about online gambling, but my sense is that it still has not yet had a major impact on behavior. Depending on the enforcement parameters that the US Treasury Department comes up with next year, the Act may have little long-term impact on online gambling in the United States.

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Gambling Do’s and Don’ts

Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when you’re gambling. Do:

  • Set a stop/loss strategy for your gambling session, and stick to it. A stop/loss strategy is where you set limits on how much you are willing to lose AND how much you are willing to win. For example, if you start with a bankroll of 200, one stop/loss strategy would be to (a) stop if you lose 200, (b) pocket 200 when you reach 400, and then continue to play with the remaining 200 until you (b1) lose it or (b2) win 200 more, at which point you would stop.
  • Know the rules of the games that you’re playing.
  • Tip the dealers and drink staff even if you are losing. You’re tipping for their service, not for your run of good or bad luck.

Don’t:

  • Drink to excess when gambling. Alcohol suppresses inhibitions and increases the chance that you will wager more than you’d planned.
  • Bet more than you can afford to lose. If you are betting money that you need for food, shelter, and clothing, then you’ll find yourself in a tough spot very quickly. (If anyone reading this finds themselves in this situation, please seek help at GA.)
  • Give unsolicited advice to other gamblers. It’s rude. For example, when playing at a blackjack table, don’t tell others how to play their hand (unless they ask you, of course).

Online gambling has its own unique do’s and don’ts in addition to the ones listed above. Do:

Don’t:

  • Expect to be paid right away. When you withdraw, it usually takes several business days for the money to appear back in the account that you used to make the deposit.
  • Provide false information when registering at an online gambling site. Sites can use this fact to void your winnings!
  • Go anywhere other than The Online Casino Gambling Directory to find online gambling sites. The Online Casino Gambling Directory is listed as one of few Reputable Gaming Portals by eCOGRA, and is really the only site you need to find gambling sites and related information. (OK. That was a shameless plug — but it’s true!)
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Casino CEO sees chance for Internet gambling

A recent Reuter’s report quotes MGM CEO Terry Lanni as saying that the UIGEA “makes no sense whatsoever”. The article goes on to say that Lanni feels that the recent elections in the United States — in which the Democrats took control of Congress — may provide an opportunity to re-visit the question of regulation of online gaming in the United States.

Will anything come of this? I do not think so. Is it good that there is some ink on the idea that online gaming should be regulated in the United States? Sure… but it’ll take a lot more ink and many more land-based casino CEOs to pressure lawmakers before we see any movement on this issue.

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Video Posted : 6 minute intro to The Online Casino Gambling Directory

Check out this introduction to The Online Casino Gambling Directory. It covers all the key features of the site in about six minutes.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0S5lUgLPo3k

22 Dec 06 update: Here are the updated videos:

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The clock is ticking for NETeller

NETeller recently confirmed that they are staying in the US market, at least until the US implements the provisions of the UIGEA in July 2007. Realistically, there will need to be a major shift in the United States Congress to allow NETeller to continue operating under its current business model in the United States. By major shift, I mean something on the order of a repeal of the UIGEA, which is unlikely.

One possible scenario that I can see is that the regulations that are implemented will contain a loophole through which NETeller will attempt to squeeze through. History suggests that most regulations of this nature do contain loopholes that are exploited by interested parties, and there is little reason to think that the UIGEA regulations will be an exception. Once NETeller attempts to squeeze through the loophole, litigation may follow (although I can’t imagine what jurisdiction would hear the case).

We’ll all have to wait and see. In the meantime, game on!

By the way, if you are a US player and recently go kicked out of your casino or poker room (like I did), I got your back. Here is a list of online casino and online poker sites that continue to accept US-based real-money players. Fight the power.

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US Elections and the UIGEA

In light of the Democrats winning control of the United States Congress on Tuesday, I am more convinced than ever that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is here to stay.

The burden of the UIGEA is placed squarely on the shoulders of financial institutions (we’ll see to what extent in the next six moths or so as the actual regulations are crafted); since the Dems are less likely than Republicans to take steps to remove regulations that govern corporate behavior, I’m betting that we’ll be dealing with the UIGEA for at least the next two years.

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Update to Gaming Sites Policy on Wagers From US

Nearly two weeks have passed since the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) was signed, and here’s where the sites that are listed at The Online Casino Gambling Directory stand with respect to US-based real-money players:

  • 76% of all sites have published or otherwise verified their policy
  • Of those sites that have published or otherwise verified their policy, 32% have exited the US market
  • Of the remaining 68% that remain in the US market, a full 52% continue to accept US-based real-money players from all states, while the remaining 16% accept US-based real-money players that do not reside in states that have specific online gaming bans on the law books (IL, IN, LA, MI, NJ, NV, NY, OR, SD, WA, WI).

While the UIGEA has certainly limited the number of online gaming options available to US citizens, it has not even come close to eliminating all options. As of this writing, US-based real-money players from all states can still choose from:

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Gaming Sites Policy on Wagers From US

Immediately after the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (links to large PDF), I contacted the more than 550 gaming sites that are listed at The Online Casino Gambling Directory regarding their policy on US-based real-money wagering. Here are the results thus far:

  • 63% of the gaming sites have published an official policy.
  • Of those that have published an official policy, 27% have stated that they will no longer accept US-based real-money wagering, while the remaining 73% have stated that they will continue to accept US-based real-money wagering. (Some of the 73% accept US-based real-money wagering from only certain states — I’ll have a breakdown soon, so keep an eye here for that data).

Here are the lists if you are interested:

[Note: The links above are dynamically generated and will change over time, so keep that in mind if you click on them more than a day or two after I published this blog entry.]

I have published each gaming site’s policy at The Online Casino Gambling Directory; just click the US flag graphic to the right of each site’s name in the Search Results List.

The Act is due to be signed today. I have noticed that a number of sites have switched their policy from “business as usual” when the Act was passed to “no US-based real-money wagering” now that the Act is about to be signed into law. Kinda like they checked, were raised, and now folded.

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