Casinos in Alabama
Casinos in Alabama have some of the most severe anti-gambling laws in the United States, and if that wasn’t bad enough the existing regulations aren’t very clear and can be interpreted in more than one way. Generally speaking, Alabama has no regulated online casinos and no legal brick and mortar gambling establishments that would allow you to play poker, blackjack, or other table games. However, several Alabama tribal casinos do offer various types of slot machines.
It should come as no surprise that Alabama state officials have argued that online gambling falls under the same regulations as land-based real money gaming, but there’s no denying the fact that the law simply does not cover online casino games, which means that Alabama players can play at offshore casino sites, such as Bovada.
Alabama Gambling Laws
Land-based gambling and real money gaming is covered by Alabama Code 1975 Section 13A. The penalties for taking part in illegal games are rather strict and often absurd. For example, Alabama is the only state that penalizes its residents for taking part in illegal card games on Sundays:
“Any person who engages in gaming or card playing on Sunday shall be fined not less than $10.00 nor more than $100.00, and may also be imprisoned in the county jail, or sentenced to hard labor for the county, for not more than three months.”
Thankfully, the current regulations allow for some limited social gaming as long as the games are held at a private place. It’s probably safer for Alabama-based players to gamble online exclusively from their homes, as using mobile casino apps in public could put you in trouble. It’s also worth pointing out that Alabama is one of the few states that actually try to enforce their anti-gambling regulations when dealing with individuals rather than illegal businesses: in 2010, an Alabama man was charged with illegal gambling as a result of a drug-related police raid. However, the man was acquitted in 2012 due to the fact that the game was organized in private and no rake was taken by the host.
As you’ve probably already guessed, Alabama does not offer any regulated online casino sites and in fact doesn’t even run a state lottery. Alabama residents are limited to playing at offshore casino sites, which do not have to follow local state regulations due to being licensed in places like Malta, Curacao, Canada, or Isle of Man. Most of those sites give you access to massive, international player pools, which means bigger jackpots and bonuses. Consequently, offshore casino sites are fairly popular even among the residents of states that have already regulated intrastate online casino gaming, such as New Jersey or Nevada.
Offshore Casino Sites That Accept Alabama Players
All of the offshore casino sites that accept US resident have no qualms about accepting Alabama-based casino enthusiasts, which means that you won’t be missing out on any important major network sites, including casinos like Bovada. Most of those casinos run on Real Time Gaming software, which means that you’ll be able to try all the cutting edge RTG games, as well as the latest 3D slots from BetSoft Gaming. Please note that while some of those sites offer exciting mobile apps, we wouldn’t recommend using them in public due to the current Alabama anti-gambling regulations.
If you decide to play at one of the offshore casino sites, you won’t be able to make a deposit using popular e-wallet services like PayPal, Neteller, or Skrill due to the complications introduced in the past by the now-obsolete interpretations of the Federal Wire Act of 1961 and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.
Fortunately, other popular methods like credit card payments are still available, which means that you should be able to deposit via Visa or MasterCard as long as your card has been cleared for international transactions. Most rely on wire transfers as a default cash out method, but in some cases you’ll be able to request a check by courier. Sites like Bovada also allow you to deposit and withdraw using Western Union and MoneyGram money orders.
Developing Legal Scenarios
While the recent Department of Justice re-interpretation of the Federal Wire Act of 1961 allowed gambling-friendly states to launch their own intrastate online gambling markets, there’s no denying the fact that Alabama is very unlikely to follow in their footsteps. Some of the Alabama lawmakers have already tried introducing even more stringent regulations in the recent past, but thankfully none of them have been allowed to pass. People like State Senator Hank Erwin are probably going to continue to campaign to ban all games of chance, but in all likelihood the state will simply opt to maintain the current status quo.