Over the past couple of decades, the online gambling scene in the US has been in a very peculiar state. With the lack of legal options, players wanting to try their luck with some casino games had no other option than to resort to offshore casinos. These operators continued providing their services in the states even after it was made perfectly clear it was not yet legal to do so.
Many players decided to go with the flow and accept the situation as the only alternative was not to play online at all. However, things are finally starting to change with iGaming laws being introduced on state levels across the US, finally giving players from the States some safe and reliable options.
The offshore casino sites have been operating in the US for decades. For a while, even some of the biggest online gambling casino brands were a part of the market, operating in a grey zone, where legal lines were quite unclear. Certain legislative changes have made it clear that these sites weren’t welcome, which caused a number of companies to give up and withdraw, waiting for an opportunity to do things the right way.
However, not everyone followed the same pattern. Certain smaller companies saw an opening here as they could now grab the market share that was left after big guys decided to leave. While they were aware of legal implications, they figured it was worth the risk as the US market is one of the biggest and most appealing ones out there.
This created a situation where many offshore casino operators with questionable business ethos remained in the mix. Governments have had hard time putting an end to these operations as they’re located abroad, in jurisdictions where they can’t touch them. So, even though these sites provide their services without required licenses or government authorizations, they continue to do their business in the States, pretty much without restrictions.
The biggest problem with offshore casinos online is that they aren’t licensed in the States and, in most cases, their general licenses are issued by the bodies that don’t enjoy a great amount of trust in the industry. Thus, these casinos are pretty much given a free rein to do what they like and there is hardly anyone who can put a stop to it.
In this environment, there are many operators who are out to make a quick buck before disappearing with players’ money. Of course, not all offshore casinos are a scam – some are just operating against the US laws as a matter of business decisions but actually try to treat their players right. The problem is, it is hard to say ones from the others.
Given the fact these sites do operate against the laws and are happy to do so, giving them a benefit of a doubt isn’t that easy. If they’re willing to bend or straight-up break the rules and laws, who is to say they won’t scam their players if this seems to be in their best interest? It is quite a slippery-slope and the one that most US players would be wise to avoid at all costs as risks involved usually aren’t worth it.
There are many risks and dangers that come into play when deciding to take your chances with an offshore site. Many players aren’t aware of many of these risks and act in good faith, hoping things will turn out for the best in the end. Some of the potential risks include:
All of these things are quite real and you can find these stories in many offshore casino reviews out there. Many of these sites are, as mentioned, in for some quick money and they will have no issues with selling your information to a third-party. The same goes for abusing your credit card or putting multiple charges on it even without your authorization. All of these things can create a lot of problems for you and it is something that would never happen with properly licensed casino sites.
We all play to try and get lucky and win some money. When and if we do, we want to get our real money out as fast as possible and use it as we see fit. However, with offshore casino gambling, things may not be as simple as that. It is quite common for players to be denied their winnings on various bases, such as breaking the bonus rules or acting against some other provisional term.
Sometimes, casinos are actually in the right, but in most cases, these are simply excuses for not paying and there is really very little you can do when this happens. Since these offshore casinos don’t have strong licenses in general and are completely unlicensed in the States, there is no one you can complain to.
Even when the casino wants to pay you, there could be other unforeseen circumstances, slowing down the withdrawal process and keeping you away from your money. It isn’t at all uncommon for US players to wait for their cashouts for weeks when dealing with offshore casino sites. It all comes with the territory.
All the things mentioned in the previous sections are something that just doesn’t happen with state-licensed casinos. These sites have to operate within very strict laws and rules if they are to keep their licenses, so they can’t afford to give their players a runaround. They have to conduct their business in a fair, transparent, and serious manner at all times.
Some of the advantages of playing with state-regulated sites include:
These are just some of the many reasons why US players should always stick to state-licensed casinos. By taking your money here, you are pretty much guaranteed a quality experience where you’re fully protected in all aspects. Your winnings will always be paid and paid promptly, and casinos won’t be able to get out of paying you using some unclear terms to screw you over. Everything is always transparent and easy to understand.
Although some offshore operators are better than the others and some of them do try to treat their customers right, you should pretty much avoid all offshore casino sites and stick to state-licensed casinos instead.
Legal particularities depend mostly on the state you live in. However, in many states in the US, playing at an offshore, unlicensed site might well be against the law and you could potentially face legal complications.
Like all other gambling winnings, any wins coming from an offshore site should be reported for taxes. Not doing so can get you in trouble.
The minimum age requirement varies from one operator to another. Some sites will require their US players to be at least 21 years old but some will let them play as soon as they turn 18.
Once again, this depends on the particular offshore operator. Some are better than the others in paying their players but, in general, you can expect to face certain complications along the way and you definitely can’t count with getting your winnings 100 percent.
Conclusion: Steer Clear of Offshore OperatorsOffshore casino sites have been a part of the US online gambling market for a long time. As such, players have grown accustomed to them and often fail to realize all the risks and dangers involved. However, given it is real money on the line and we all want to get paid when we do win, it is paramount to always stay smart and safe when choosing when to play.
While some offshore operators may be better than the others, US players should never give their business to these illicit sites. Instead, you’re much better off finding a trustworthy state-licensed casino and playing there. In the long run, this is a decision that will help you save a lot of money and protect you from a whole lot of unnecessary complications.
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
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