Legal US Poker Sites struggling to process Transactions due to UIGEA

by Jeremy Olson

Many American online poker players are happy to see that two sites in and are operating legally within the state of Nevada. But just because they’ve obtained legal status doesn’t mean these poker rooms are recognized as legitimate entities by everybody. This is especially the case with credit card companies, which have been rejecting player transactions from both poker sites.

The problem is that credit card companies are still following the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which was signed into effect in 2006. This bill states that financial institutions aren’t supposed to accept transactions from online poker and casino sites. So many credit card institutions are out of the loop regarding the newly legalized poker rooms in Nevada. addressed this problem on TwoPlusTwo, where players were inquiring about the credit card rejections. Here’s a look at a short conversation between and a player:

“weirdchess1″: - Having trouble depositing by credit card. I’ve submitted my Visa credit card asking for a $100 deposit, but each time it says my deposit was declined by my bank. I called my bank (BOA) and they assure me that me credit card is authorized and they can’t see any $100 purchases or attempt to purchase in the card history. Thoughts? I can PM account info if you need to look up something.

I could use bank transfer but would like to get credit card deposit set up, would be easier for me in the future. - Some credit card companies may block gaming transactions. Contact your credit card issuer to find out if this charge was blocked intentionally. Let them know that this is something you want and that online poker is fully regulated and legal in the state of Nevada. If the credit card issuer will still not let you make this transaction, you may want to try a different card.

The current alternative is an ACH transfer.

At the moment, it appears as if even legal poker sites are having payment processing issues in the US. But as time goes on, financial institutions will likely start realizing that there are some legal US poker rooms out there now.