Today The Merkle published an article titled "Is Bitcoin Gambling Legal in the United States?". This is an interesting question given the complicated legal status of gambling in the U.S. While the US Federal government has not made gambling illegal, it does prohibit banks and credit card companies from facilitating gambling related transactions. Only a few short years ago sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker were enormously popular in the US until new legislation was introduced that made it illegal to use the US banking system for gambling purposes. While a few offshore poker rooms like Americas Cardroom and BetOnline still accept real-money players from the US, most of the major poker rooms have now exited the US market as a result. This created an opportunity for bitcoin gambling operators like Nitrogen Sports, FortuneJack and SealsWithClubs because these sites did NOT use the traditional banking system so they were not contravening the new legislation. The drawback is that most bitcoin sports bettors and poker players in the USA use exchanges like Coinbase which require buyers to go through KYC and AML so their names may be linked to coins that were used for online gambling. This risk is minimal give that the U.S. government has never targeted individual gamblers and have instead favoured prosecuting financial institutions who facilitate online gambling. Even the operator of the first every bitcoin-only poker room, SealsWithClubs, managed to avoid doing any jail time when the site was shut-down by federal agents back in 2015 for operating illegally in the state of Nevada. Like most things related to online gambling in the United States, the law is not very clear and can vary depending on which state you live in. Right now there doesn't appear to be any reason to be overly paranoid about bitcoin gambling in the USA but it's always good to remain cautious. For example, never send newly purchased bitcoin from your exchange wallet directly to a gambling site. Always use a middleman wallet that covers your tracks and introduces plausible deniability.