USA Poker Deposit Workarounds – Solutions to Get Around Gambling Block
If I see one more major media outlet say that online gambling is illegal in the Untied States I’m going to scream. There is actually not a single piece of legislation written by the US government that even uses the word poker; much less bans online gambling all together. This article will clear up some of the lies spread by media outlets who do not want you to enjoy playing poker online for real money.
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The Safe Port Act of 2006 was signed by President George Bush to protect our shores from contraband being smuggled into the country. It was a very big piece of legislation containing several hundred pages, but only a fraction of it actually dealt with protecting us from terrorism. The rest of it was things that you find in any bill…incentives for different congressmen in order to convince them to pass the bill.
In case you didn’t already know, that’s how our government works. If one congressman wants to pass a law about one thing, his opponents ask him to include their proposals inside the bill in exchange for a favorable vote. So by the time that a single piece of legislation makes it to the president’s desk, a fifteen page outline may by 300 to 500 pages with all the special interests covered. This was the case in the Safe Port Act where someone slipped in the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act).
The UIGEA prohibited financial institutions inside the United States from transferring money to or from an online casino. It did not ban people from playing online poker or even mention people who play online; it was simply a banking restriction that makes it harder for people to play. In fact, most of Congress is actually in favor of online gambling…which is why they are currently trying to pass a law so that it will be 100% legal for online casinos to exist inside the United States. The only reason that they passed the UIGEA in the first place was because they could not figure out how to tax US citizens that were gambling with foreign business.
So I’ll say it again…online gambling is 100% legal in the United States.
With that out of the way, there are many options available to US players when it comes to making poker deposits. Here are a few of the easier methods.
An eCheck is an electronic check that is sent from your checking account directly to a casino. Since the money is transferred over the internet it does not break the rules set forth by the UIGEA, and since online poker rooms receive notice instantly they are able to place chips in a player’s account within a few minutes.
Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet all accept eChecks as a valid form of payment. This is easily the quickest, most efficient way for US poker players to make deposits at their favorite casino.
A eWallet website is basically an online money transferring website and they work as a middleman between US banks and the casinos. These types of businesses normally accept checks, credit cards, bank transfers, and dozens of other options in order to transfer money, and they are usually set up to receive the funds and transfer them back out in mere seconds. Some of the more popular online eWallets that accept US clients are MoneyBookers, Click2Pay, and NetTeller.
The use of credit and debit card inside online poker rooms is a little bit tricky because of the UIGEA. On one hand, the Visa or MasterCard logo makes it an international option that can often bypass US laws. In many cases, however, those cards are drawn against US banks…so there could be a long delay or even a flat out rejection.
Sportsbook Poker, Players Only, Ultimate Bet, Absolute Poker, and Bet365 will all try to get an approval on Visa and MasterCard, but there is never a guarantee that it will work. Players can easily use a eWallet solution with their credit card though to bypass the US restrictions on financial institutions.
Services like PayPal and UKash are essentially online banks that do not fall under the US regulations that were introduced inside the Safe Port Act. They make it easy to transfer money to and from online poker rooms since the money can be moved instantly. Most casinos accept various deposits from online banking institutions, so be sure to check your options before deciding on where to play.
Even though it would probably not be in your best interest to use any of these methods, we are listing them here for the sake of being thorough. Players can use a money wire service like Western Union to transfer money, but there is usually a fee associated with the transaction. In some instances a traditional bank transfer can also be completed, and then there’s always using the postal service to mail a check, money order, or other forms of payment. None of these methods are very practical since there is a delay in processing plus fees involved.
It is also important to note that even if you do not have a checking account or a credit card, almost every convenience store in the US sells pre-paid debit cards that can be used for online deposits. These cards are often drawn off foreign banks so they can be used directly with online poker rooms like Sportsbook and Ultimate Bet, but if they do not work then there’s always the eWallet method as backup.