While Americans once enjoyed online gambling, this all changed in 2006 when George Bush passed the UIGEA--or the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. This changed the way Americans would gamble from 2006 onward.
What the Act Does
Though it is technically considered illegal for Americans to gamble in online casinos, there has not been a single case of someone being prosecuted for doing so. This is because the UIGEA does not seek to prosecute individuals; it was developed to prohibit US banks and financial institutions from doing business with online casinos. Those businesses that ignore the act and put the payments through anyway face strict penalties.
Barred Payment Methods
In the majority of countries in which online gambling remains legal, credit cards, debit cards, eWallet systems and even electronic checks are accepted. This is not the case in the United States, however. In order for American players to enjoy online gambling for real money, they must find a loophole that allows them to make a deposit and also allows them to safely withdraw their winnings. There are several options.
Americans who want to gamble for real money need to find alternatives to the world's most popular payment methods. In a nutshell, these payment methods cannot be tied to a credit card provider or financial institution in any way. This means that payments sent via Western Union can be accepted as this is an international money transfer service. Also, some players have reported being able to make payments with money orders.
Though gambling in the US was restricted in 2006, savvy players who know how to get around these restrictions still enjoy the hobby. This only involves finding alternative payment methods that are not directly tied to financial institutions and credit card companies.