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US Offshore Online Casinos – Are They Legal?
New casinos open every day, especially those operating on the internet, which is why it is very difficult to determine which ones are secure and legitimate options for players from the US.
Perhaps the most important question that interests any US-based player is: “Can I play my favorite games in casinos outside the United States without being afraid that I’m breaking any laws?”
This question may be difficult to answer because the laws that apply to the US online casino gambling market differ from one state to the next one. Also, different people claim different things about offshore online casinos, which makes it hard to determine what the relevant and up-to-date information about these casinos is.
Keep on reading to find everything that interests you about offshore online casinos.
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Offshore Online Casinos Info
Offshore casinos are online gambling sites that are registered and operate in a country other than your own. When you type in “offshore” in a search box, you will be overwhelmed by the number of opinions about these casinos.
Still, it is obvious that as time passes, things are rapidly changing in offshore casinos’ favor. Since this industry is growing, offshore casinos must follow rules and ensure fair playing conditions. This is good news for players because they now have a wide selection of legal offshore casinos where they can play games and have fun.
Different countries have different laws regarding online casinos. It is very important for players to know the law of the country they live in so that they can join offshore casinos without any fear of legal prosecution.
In the US, no gambling law prohibits players from accessing online casinos, but some states can impose certain legal restrictions regarding payments or ban online casinos in their state.
Are Offshore Casinos Legal in the US?
US residents can legally access licensed offshore gaming platforms to play online casino games or place bets on sports in all states except Washington and Connecticut.
When it comes to the other 48 states in the US, no state laws specifically prohibit or allow offshore casinos. Unsurprisingly, these casinos are taking advantage of the gray area. Many American players are still wondering whether it is safe for them to play in casinos that are not licensed in the US but in another country.
The answer to that question is yes. Offshore casinos are legitimate casinos with clearly defined rules and guidelines that ensure a fair and secure online gaming environment. Also, in order to offer casino games to players and be able to do business around the world, offshore casinos have to be licensed by reputable gambling jurisdictions, which makes them trustworthy and safe.
Since there is no federal law that prevents US players from gambling in licensed offshore casinos located outside the US, players can enjoy playing their favorite games in these casinos.
Safe online casinos that accept US players possess valid licenses and certificates and are supervised by reputable governing bodies. They also offer enticing welcome bonuses, a range of interesting games, and a safe online gaming environment.
What about the two states that do not allow offshore online gambling on their territories? In Washington and Connecticut, online gambling is prohibited and that is clearly stated in their state gambling laws. The law says that it is a crime for their residents to play real-money casino games online.
Offshore Casino Banking and USA’s UIGEA Rules
The biggest threat and obstacle to a great relationship between American casino players and offshore online casinos come in the form of UIGEA. The UIGEA is an act that came as a part of the broader SAFE Port Act.
The UIGEA aims to prohibit payment processors from knowingly accepting illegal gambling transactions made to unlicensed gambling operators, namely, offshore gambling sites. The act is directed more toward gambling sites and payment processors, which means players are less likely to face any legal persecution.
It is worth noting that the UIGEA hasn’t wholly banned all transactions. Although it resulted in some major e-wallets and other operators like PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller stopping all gambling-related transactions between Americans and online offshore casinos, some financial institutions still process safe and fast casino deposits and withdrawals.
Namely, players can opt for cryptocurrency payments that most offshore online casinos support, like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. These cryptocurrencies are not controlled by any central banks or institutions, so the transactions can’t be stopped, making them a perfect choice for players from the USA.
Also, credit card institutions, like Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express, accept casino payments to offshore casinos, but more than half of them fall through due to the UIGEA.
Prepaid cards, gift cards, and vouchers are also reliable options for Americans. The majority of them are successful when it comes to conducting deposits and withdrawals to and from offshore online casinos, but only if they are available for international use, which is something USA players need to be aware of.
Another thing to be aware of is the fees. Some payment methods available to Americans, such as gift cards, vouchers, and prepaid cards, entail transaction fees that can be up to 10% of the total payment.
Advantages of Offshore Online Casinos
There are many advantages of playing casino games in renowned offshore casinos. Here are some of the reasons why playing in these casinos can be a good decision.
Good Selection of Games
When you play online, you have a wide range of available games at your disposal. Online casinos have thousands of slots, table games, and other game types on offer. You can play brand new games and games that are impossible to find in any land-based casinos.
Also, many online casinos allow users to play for free, which can be very convenient for newcomers but also useful for experienced players who want to try a new game without spending any money.
In order to attract players, online casinos are constantly offering promotions. They have welcome bonuses for new players, as well as daily and monthly promotions and VIP loyalty schemes to keep their regular players satisfied.
Play Anytime and Anywhere
Being able to play their favorite casino games on the go has become very important for casino players. Thanks to online casinos, you can play anywhere using your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
Also, if you want to play casino games late at night but you don’t want to drive to a land-based casino, online casinos provide a perfect alternative.
Mobile versions of casino websites and mobile apps offer a unique gaming experience and are available for both Android and iOS devices.
Thanks to modern technology, online casinos have become very easy to use, which makes the whole experience much more enjoyable. Players can count on fantastic graphics and audio effects that make every game they want to play exciting.
Nowadays, many online casinos include Live Casino sections that allow players to feel like they are in a brick-and-mortar casino where they can communicate with the dealer and other players.
You need to be at least 21 to play games in most land-based casinos. On the other hand, in many online casinos, you can start playing games as soon as you turn 18.
No Taxes on Winnings
Another significant advantage of offshore casinos is that the money you win is not taxable. This means you are not required to report the profit to the IRS because the casino in which you played is not located in your country.
Disadvantages of Offshore Online Casinos
Even though the gambling industry is regulated in countries from which offshore casinos operate and they need to obey the law in order to offer their services around the world, some problems may arise nevertheless.
There are many online casinos out there — don’t play in the first one you come across. Before you decide to join a casino, always check if it is licensed. By doing that, you will make sure you are playing in a safe and trustworthy casino.
No Possibility to Complain to Local Authorities
Offshore casinos are registered outside the US, which means that, if any problems arise, you won’t be able to complain to local authorities.
Offshore casinos can have different terms and conditions from US-based casinos. Some of them may refuse to pay out your winnings for a number of reasons you weren’t aware of. If that happens, you won’t be able to complain to local authorities since offshore casinos are beyond their jurisdiction.
To prevent this, always go through the Terms and Conditions page of the casino you’re playing in.
When it comes to offshore casinos, most players worry about safety. Fortunately, a great number of these casinos use reliable software and modern technology to create a safe gaming environment and protect their players.
However, some casinos don’t have adequate licenses and they haven’t been verified by independent software testing agencies, so players can’t know if the games they offer are fair.
Are offshore casinos that accept US players legitimate?
Yes, they are. Offshore casinos are located outside the US and are regulated by their own governments. However, in order to offer their services in the US, these casinos need to be properly licensed and safe.
In which US states are offshore casinos forbidden?
Offshore casinos are forbidden in Washington and Connecticut.
Are offshore casino games fair?
Reputable offshore casinos use RNG algorithms that are regularly tested by gambling authorities and independent agencies to ensure fair gaming conditions.
What kinds of games do offshore casinos offer?
Legal offshore casinos offer a variety of different games, including slots, table games like blackjack, roulette and poker, live games, specialty games, etc. Before joining a casino, check the available games to make sure your favorite titles are there.
Do offshore online casinos offer bonuses?
Most offshore online casinos offer welcome bonuses to new players, as well regular promotions to their loyal customers.
Which offshore casinos are considered the safest?
Casinos licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) or the Malta Gambling Authority are considered the safest. There are also other respectable authorities like the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, Curacao eGaming, or the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission.
If an offshore casino is located outside the US how do I deposit and withdraw money?
Casinos operating in the US offer several payment methods US players can use to make deposits and withdrawals, such as credit/debit cards, wire transfers, e-wallets, cryptocurrencies, etc.
Are there any currency conversion rates in offshore casinos?
In most offshore casinos, players can use American dollars, so there’s no need to worry about conversion rates.
Can I play casino games for free in offshore casinos?
Yes, you can. Many offshore casinos allow players to play games in free mode so that they can see whether they like a particular game or not.
Do offshore casinos offer mobile casino apps?
Yes, they do. Most modern online casinos offer mobile versions of their games, thus allowing players to enjoy gambling wherever they are and play their favorite games on the go.