That is a question that many online blackjack players are asking themselves. With three major US-facing online poker sites being seized by the FBI and Department of Justice this past Friday, many who play their favorite casino games online are concerned if they will be next.
Unfortunately, my little blackjack players, there is no way of knowing if an online casino is going to be targeted by the FBI and DoJ next. The online poker sites were taken down, I think, as a scare tactic. Conservatives are very against online gambling of any kind, and with DC becoming the first jurisdiction to pass a bill to regulate online poker, those conservatives are bound to be up in arms. Think it is a coincidence that it was online poker that DC passed their bill on and online poker only sites that were seized? I think not. This is the vulture-esque conservatives trying to scare Americans away from playing their favorite online casino games in their own homes.
That being said, is online blackjack legal or illegal?
Yes, back in 2006 the UIGEA was signed into law; and, yes, it went into effect last June. But the UIGEA is a way for the federal government to bar financial institutions from knowingly making transactions to and from online casinos. Naturally online gambling operators and players found a way around it. But the UIGEA is not a player-based ban. Nowhere in it does it say that US citizens cannot play blackjack online. So, on an individual to individual basis, no, online blackjack is not technically illegal.
But does that mean that where you play online blackjack could be targeted next? There is no way of knowing. And with the legal loop-de-loops that the New York branch of the FBI will doing to round up and prosecute the eleven people indicted with the three online poker sites, I think their attention will be occupied for the next little while. But to be on the safe side, be very mindful of how much money you are keeping in your player accounts; if a site is seized there is little chance that you will get your money back. Play smart.
I know. Yesterday I said I would be comparing mobile blackjack apps
Whether the United States should legalize and regulate online gambling or not is a part of the lame duck session happening on Capitol Hill. Both Representative Barney Frank and Senator Harry Reid are putting forth bills that would repeal the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. This could potentially see online blackjack open up and be completely legal to play.
But online blackjack was never illegal for US citizens in the first place. UIGEA was to be enforced on the level of financial institutions, such as banks and credit card companies, who were not to allow transactions between US players and online casinos.
UIGEA, over all, was put in place for two main reasons: 1. To save us from ourselves, and 2. To protect US citizens from foreign companies.
While I cannot get on board with the first reason, I can understand the second. And it is a good reason.
When we play online blackjack in online casinos we are not protected by our own government
Now that blackjack tables have been straightened out between the state and the Seminoles, the state of Florida is now turning its attention to online gambling and the possibility of regulating it. This would mean that online blackjack would be available to those in Florida.
There are two aspects of this online gambling regulation that fit together. One, there are one million residents in Florida who gambling online be they online blackjack players or online poker players or a fan of some other online casino game.
Two, despite the Seminole compact and the $1 billion in revenue it will generate, Florida is still around $2 billion short of its budget after considering the compact revenue.
So what can Florida do with its one million residents who gamble online and its budget shortfall?
They can regulate online gambling, thus allowing revenue to be generated from the online gambling.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) allows for each individual state to choose whether or not to regulate online gambling within their borders. This compliments the enforcement of UIGEA by the financial institutions. See, US citizens are not banned from gambling online, but financial institutions are banned from knowingly processing transactions between citizens and online casinos.
But if a state were to regulate online gambling, residents of that state would be able to gamble online legally, and financial institutions would not be prohibited from processing those transactions going to online casinos licensed by the regulating state.
In short, if Florida were to regulate online gambling, those of you who are in Florida and play blackjack online would be able to do so. So you would get your online blackjack and Florida would get its revenue.
How much revenue? It is estimated that Florida could make $200 million in the first year and $100 million in subsequent years. While it will not entirely cover the budget shortfall, the revenue would certainly help Florida
We owe it all to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Ace (UIGEA). When we used to log on to our favorite online casinos there was never a problem. Now our cards are being declined and we are being deprived of a form of entertainment that we enjoy. All because the U.S. government knows what is best for online blackjack players.
This is the prohibition of online gambling.
This is not just about what UIGEA has done to online blackjack players
Yesterday Florida hosted their primary elections for the upcoming November general election. Up for grabs in the general election will be a seat in the Senate and the governor
What needs to be done for the good of this country
It finally seems that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UICEA) is upon U.S. players. In light of the upcoming implementation, Mastercard and Visa have both stop processing payments to and from online gambling sites.
So it seems that they are trying to stop us from playing blackjack online. But where there is a will to play there is a way to play. U.S. players will now have to turn to other payments options. And, yes, they do exist.
Other payment options include eChecks, eWalletexpress and Usemywallet. Electronic checks are also an option. They can be deposited directly with the online casino. Then you