While most people might tend to question the legality of online gambling in US, the truth of the matter is that there is no federal law in US that makes online gambling illegal. As such, as far as federal law is concerned or the lack of such laws, there would be no harm in saying that online gambling is perfectly legal in U.S. in a house hearing in 2007, a U.S attorney confirmed that the mere act of placing a wager online does not violate the federal law. And in any case, there is no any American that has been indicted, prosecuted or arrested on the grounds of gambling online so far.
Just in case online gambling was illegal in U.S, would the government be tolerating the many online gambling websites available today? Of course not! To make things clear, the federal law does not have specific regulations against online gambling. While a specific state can have its own state laws that prohibits online gambling, it is rare to find a player prosecuted for this and to be honest, none has been prosecuted so far. Occasionally, people engaged in online gambling in US can conflict with state laws but as noted above, this is rare. To be specific, Oklahoma specifically notes that gambling is illegal regardless of its nature. There are states with specific laws on anti online gambling including Illinois, Indiana, Montana, Louisiana, Oregon, Nevada, Washington and South Dakota.
The federal law puts it clear that it is unlawful for online websites to receive sports bets via the internet. To be more precise, a site can be unlawful for taking bet but this does not make it illegal for players to place the bets. Sites are not specifically allowed or prohibited to take poker or casino bets but the law precisely applies for sports bets alone. While the Federal Justice Department has been attempting to interpret the wire act in a way that sites are prohibited from taking poker or casino bets, legal observers totally disagreed with such a move. And in 2011, the court ruled that Wire Act simply does not prohibit websites from accepting the bets. This further adds more weight on the issue of legality of online gambling in US.
The federal law also makes it unlawful for financial institutions like banks to facilitate online gambling transactions. This largely involves the act of gamblers making withdrawals or deposits from or into an online based casino. So, the law touches on banks but not the players trying to make the transactions via the bank. Unfortunately, since the law finds it pretty hard to pin online casinos and players for breaking the law on online gambling in US, the authorities go after the processors of the payment. For this reason, getting money out or into a casino might seem impossible at times for the players. In the long run, the government ends up starving itself. Anyway, rather than focusing too much attention on the law, it is advisable that you make your decisions based on potential risk for you as a gambler.