5 Things to Know Before Joining an Online Casino
Legal online casino gambling is slowly but surely expanding throughout the United States. There’s still some confusion regarding regulated online casino gambling, including where you can play, and even whether online gambling earnings are taxable. Today we will take a look at five things you should know before signing up to play at legal US online casinos.
Online Gambling is Only Legal Intrastate
When people hear that online gambling or online poker is legal in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, and Nevada, they assume that means that they can go to sites based in those states and gamble online. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
For states that have regulated online gambling, that means that you are only allowed to gamble within those states, meaning you must physically be in a legal state to play. How do they determine this? The device you wish to gamble on must be verifiable via Wi-Fi. Your Wi-Fi connection determines your physical location, and if you’re determined to be within state border, you can play.
You Don’t Have to Be a Resident to Gamble in a Legalized State
Logically, one would assume that you must be a resident in a state offering online gambling in order to participate. Thankfully, that is not the case. You don’t have to be a resident of a state to gamble at a brick and mortar casino, and online casinos are just online extensions of brick and mortar casinos.
There are some extra hoops you may have to jump through in order to play at legal online casinos. In some states, you may be forced to go to the partnering casino and verify your identity before you can play. For some casinos, you may be forced to occasionally visit the casino to deposit or cash out from your account.
Online Gambling Earnings Are Taxed the Same as All Other Gambling Earnings
For those of you thinking about gambling online in order to avoid paying taxes on your winnings, you’re out of luck. Casinos track online activity closely, and in many cases even closer than live earnings.
For example, if you play at a live casino and win $200 playing slots, it will be hard to track your play unless you’re gambling with a player’s card. At online casinos, there is a log of every bet you’ll ever place. While you probably won receive tax forms on anything less than a big jackpot win, if the IRS ever wanted to audit you, there’s more of a paper trail at online casinos.
You Will Not Be Able to Play on VPN
If you want to get around georestrictions in other countries, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is usually the way to do so. Unfortunately, this is not going to work for online casinos. As mentioned earlier, your device must be verifiable via Wi-Fi, and that’s not something that’s likely with VPN.
For argument’s sake, let’s say a VPN has a way to be verified via Wi-Fi. Companies operating online casinos have lists of IP ranges operated by VPN providers and will block your attempts to play using a VPN.
You May Have Problems if More than One Person Plays from Your Location
One problem you may experience playing at online casinos comes from when multiple people try to play at a particular location. This is much more common at areas such as hotels as you will have people trying to connect from the same physical location or even using the same IP address or IP address range.
Players in Nevada hotels during the World Series of Poker have experienced this problem in the past. Also, if you happen to share a house with people who are likely to play games online at the same time, such as at online poker rooms, you may experience connection problems.