Back in 1996, the explosion of online casino gambling swept the world. The United States had been a large part of this, and many gamblers had turned to online casinos for all of their gaming. For many years, these casinos continued to be played unabated. Unfortunately, back in 2006, legislation was passed that made it slightly difficult for online casinos to continue to operate. This legislation, sneaked in by piggyback through the Safe Port Act, would be named the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, and it became a thorn in the side of the online gambler, the online casino, and all payment processors there in.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, or the UIGEA, had, in a nutshell, prohibited banks and payment processors from processing transactions that would correlate to online gambling. This has not only complicated loading accounts, but also withdrawing. While USA online casinos have continued to operate, they have had to use payment processors that would circumvent these restrictions. Sadly, the UIGEA was not even set to go into effect until December of 2009, thought the implications of the legislation had fall out that would be nothing short of catastrophic for many online gambling companies, especially those that relied heavily on the United States market.
The UIGEA had hamstrung many of the operations around the world that utilized the American market in order to stay ahead in profits, all the while keeping losses to a low. The implications ran deep, damaging many companies operating these casinos. Not only had some of the larger, publicly traded online casinos taken a major hit to the price per share, which in turn hurt the shareholders of those companies, but also cost the companies profits from the United States Market. PartyGaming comes to mind specifically, though other large gambling firms had taken a hit. Additionally, many executives in charge of several of the online casinos, including Anurag Dikshit, one of the early founders of PartyGaming, had been indicted and fined for their involvement in online gambling – despite the fact that these companies had been based outside of the United States. Payment processors had also been significantly impacted, as many of these financial companies had taken a blow from federal persecution, which, in some cases, amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars in seizures. Sadly, the UIGEA had not even been invoked in many of these seizures. Rather, the Wire Act of 1961, a law that had been passed years before the Internet was even beginning to develop into what we see today.
Despite the laws that had begun to inhibit online casino gambling, many online casinos continued to accept USA players. While several of the larger brands of online casino had been stripped from the United States market, many others had remained steadfast in their dedication to delivering casino gaming to the American market. Though there are online casinos still operating in the USA, the choice has become limited. In order to focus on a marginal market, online casinos accepting American players had to provide a service of higher quality. That having been said, those online casinos have had to outclass the older forms of casino software that had removed themselves from the American market.
There are currently three major brands of casino software that have yet to cease operating within the United States. These brands have no intention on leaving the American market, and still out perform those that have already left USA players high and dry. Real Time Gaming, or RTG, Rival Gaming, or simply Rival, and Odds On, also known as Vegas Technology, are the three types of casino software still accepting Americans. Each carries its own unique features, though they universally out perform those who have left the United states behind, including Microgaming, Playtech, and others. While some of the individual casinos operating under these brands have decided not to content with the contention of the United States government, nearly all of them continue to supply USA players with high quality casino gaming.
Casinos powered by RTG are one of the superior three. Real Time gaming has brought high quality gaming to players throughout the United States. Their superiority comes through the digital eloquence of their games. Rather than delivering tired, bland tables games and slots, they have taken steps to ensure that each player will enjoy the smooth graphics and game play of their casino. Real Time Gaming casinos supply their players with enough diversity to remain entertaining, as well as huge bonuses for their players. Casinos outside of the United States, particularly Microgaming casinos, will almost always fall short in terms of bonuses. Through integrated security, these casinos under the RTG brand also remain the most secure.
The second brand of casino gaming comes through Rival Gaming. Rival Gaming has created and subsequently distributed a unique series of games. These games, the Interactive Slots, have brought a whole new level of entertainment to slot games. Rather than the standard spinning of the reels, Rival has raised the bar to the pinnacle of casino gaming. Their table games have also been a huge hit, bringing in players who seek simply to play cards, dice, or other table based casino games. Though players outside of the United States may enjoy the Interactive Slot, there is no international online casino that blocks American IP addresses that offers anything remotely similar to the power and variety of the I-Slot.
Finally we come to Odds On. With Odds On Casinos, players are entitled to use one of the original types of online casino software. Odds On has revolutionized the way games are played, particularly slots. The Odds On bonus slots have brought hundreds of thousands of dollars to their winners. Additionally, these bonus slots are backed by the large, multiplayer slot tournaments that have become a staple for many gamers around the world. The size and popularity of these tournaments are almost exclusive to Odds On. Slot tournaments provide players with the ability to enjoy slot gaming without an overwhelming financial risk, while providing easier access to large winnings. Though other types of casino software will periodically provide players with the chance to enjoy slot tournaments, none will be as versatile or commonplace as those found through Odds On – proving once again online casinos accepting USA players are superior to those found open only to European players.
Though casinos accepting Americans have had a bumpy road, particularly in 2009, hope lies on the horizon. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which held a deadline of December of 2009, has been delayed. This delay bought time, six months to be exact, that would enable legislators to reconsider the law’s passing. Several legislators, particularly Congressman Barney Frank, have been pushing for a change in legislation. In order to aid in the push for regulated Internet casino gambling, any individual may contact their senators and representatives in order to express their opinion. There are also political action committees, such as the Poker Player’s Alliance, that are trying to bring casino gaming into the homes of players throughout the United States. Despite these laws, the casinos still operating for American players are ranked far above those who have decided against continued operation Stateside.
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