Enjoying iGaming is becoming easier, with more regions taking steps to legitimize play on popular casino sites for residents.
Even so, there are still plenty of regulatory restrictions to be aware of, as well as a few hoops you will need to jump through to get the most out of this experience.
Here is a look at the steps you should take to boost your understanding of the ins and outs of these rules, so that you can play to your heart’s content without encountering issues further down the line.
Age restrictions vary from state to state
It is well known that gambling is an activity that has age restrictions imposed to prevent youngsters placing bets before they are mature enough to understand the implications. What is less commonly appreciated is that not every state has the same legal limits in place with regards to age.
Finding out what is the legal gambling age in your area is straightforward, and it is also worth checking to see whether you are legally allowed to play in the other parts of the world you visit, as similar rules will be imposed elsewhere.
Another thing to bear in mind is that there may be differences in age restrictions depending on the type of gambling activity you are hoping to participate in. For example, online iGaming services may carry a different minimum legal age to land-base sports betting and casino venues.
Winnings are taxable
If you are lucky enough to walk away with over $1200 in winnings, the casino operator is obliged to report this windfall to the IRS, which means you will need to declare this as additional income when you file your next tax return.
You can also declare losses on your return, but you cannot claim more losses as a deductible than the value of your winnings.
This is not necessarily something that is relevant to every player, especially if you only enjoy iGaming on a casual basis, but if you take this seriously and participate in things like poker and slots tournaments, it will become more significant.
Online casino regulation is complex
While a small but growing number of states have started to embrace iGaming as a legitimate industry, generating impressive tax revenues as a result, it is far from being universally accepted.
The main upshot of this relates to the businesses that operate these services themselves, rather than the people who want to play on them. In short, states where iGaming is legal such as New Jersey and Nevada offer operators the opportunity to run sites within their borders, but also usually require that these sites are tied to a specific land-based casino enterprise, meaning that they cannot exist as pure play online entities.
This differs from the rules in other parts of the world, such as the UK, where online-online casino brands are common and restrictions are less stringent, creating a larger market with more choice for the consumer.
It is also worth noting that in the US, it is not against the law to actually make a bet on an online casino, which means so long as you meet the age requirements, you will not be penalized for doing so. This technically means that you can play on sites that are based elsewhere worldwide, or in other states where online gambling is legal and regulated. Because of this loophole, lots of Americans already play on casino sites, regardless of whether local state regulators have given such operators the go-ahead to set up domestically.
The caveat to playing with overseas iGaming services is that if you encounter a problem, you will have little recourse to make a complaint or recoup any cash if there is an issue, because these businesses may not be beholden to US law. Once again this is a complex issue and so it is generally better to gamble only with legitimate, domestic operators in states where they are sanctioned by regulators.
Imposing your own restrictions
If you want to gamble responsibly, whether online or at land-based venues, it is also worth implementing a regimented approach to the way you play so that you can ensure you are able to have fun without putting yourself at risk.
Setting a budget and sticking to it is the best way to achieve this, as is aiming to avoid making decisions based on emotional feelings rather than logic.
Using a combination of an awareness of the official rules, as well as your own structured approach to iGaming, will put you in the best position to enjoy yourself with no strings attached.