Online play has become hazardous for those of us in the U.S. It's not that most of the site operators didn't come into the business with honest intentions. The problem is that the U.S. government, with no actual legal basis, has been actively working to prevent gambling sites from being able to remit payments to players. If you get a payment, either directly from a casino or from an ewallet service to which the casino transfers your funds, it will probably be by a check in the name of some generic-sounding company, having no obvious connection to any gambling business. The government has been making considerable efforts to identify these shell accounts, and to pressure banks not to do business with them.
At this point, if a casino or an ewallet service pays you, it risks U.S. government prosecution for some imagined crime. If it doesn't bother trying to pay you, and just steals your money, it's very unlikely that anyone will prosecute. Some people have stronger principles than others. Principles can crumble in the face of threats of loss of freedom or money. These kinds of incentives can cause honest people to stop behaving honestly. You can thank Washington. Yes, it may still be possible for U.S. residents to make money from certain online casinos or poker rooms, but personally I don't know how to evaluate the risk reliably, and for now I'm not taking the chance. Once burned twice shy, and I've been burned more than once.
If you can set up an overseas bank account, and are in a position to play outside the U.S., you can probably manage it. However, for a U.S. citizen to open a bank account in Europe or most foreign nations has become very challenging. Details of how you might be able to do it are beyond my qualifications to write about. Be aware that if you have control of a foreign financial account over a certain size (and this includes ewallet services and the like!), U.S. law requires you to file annual reports with the government. The penalties for not complying are draconian. Big Brother is watching.
Last edited by WRX; September 7th, 2011 at 10:00 PM.