It is currently illegal to play casino games online in the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice states that all forms of gambling online are illegal under the Federal Wire Act, as well as numerous state laws. Additionally, the Senate passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA), which made transactions between banks and online gambling websites illegal.
However, there is a feeling among numerous businesspeople within the industry, as well as government officials, that online gambling might not be fully outlawed for long. Although, many state governments including California, Nevada, New Jersey, Florida, and Iowa have considered (but not enacted) bills that would legalize online poker for residents of their respective states. Washington D.C. has, however, become the first to allow online poker, which will be run by the city’s lottery system. With many states considering making online gambling legal, hopes are that the movement would spread across the country until it is adopted nationwide. Caesars Entertainment has been pushing for the federal government to legalize online poker for the entire country, rather than for just one state.
In May 2011 the American Gaming Association, which represents U.S. casinos, issued a report to Congress insisting that the government legalize and regulate online poker. The AGA estimates that online poker would generate 10,000 jobs and $2 billion in annual tax revenue for the country. Senator Jon Kyl, who helped write the UIGEA bill, said he would ‘carefully consider’legislature that would allow online poker. Also, Colorado casinos paid for a study on internet gambling, which determined that the current casino industry could be in danger if it doesn’t take advantage of this opportunity.