Gambling in American Samoa is by and large illegal, although some forms of games of luck – namely those played for charity – are allowed.
American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean. As such, the laws of the United States are in effect in the territory. One such law is the Johnson Act amended with the Gambling Devices Act, forbidding the transportation of gambling devices across states.
Another relevant act is the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006). While the act does not outright prohibit online gambling, it does forbid transactions between players and online gambling service providers.
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- Casinos in American Samoa
- Bingo in American Samoa
- Poker in American Samoa
- Sports betting in American Samoa
- Lottery in American Samoa
- Bitcoin gambling in American Samoa
- Online gambling websites accepting players from American Samoa
Casinos in American Samoa
Online casino gambling in American Samoa: illegal
As regulated by the UIGEA, online casino gambling is illegal in American Samoa, although some offshore online casino gambling sites may accept players from American Samoa.
At the moment, there are also no land-based casinos in American Samoa. Some propositions for land-based and cruise ship casinos have been considered, but to date all have been rejected. The Johnson Act also prohibits the import of gambling devices, or parts thereof into American Samoa. Such devices include, but are not limited to slot machines and roulette wheels.
Bingo in American Samoa
Online bingo in American Samoa: illegal
Bingo is one of the most popular forms of American Samoan entertainment. Bingo games are not restricted to Bingo halls, but are played even in front-yards and on the street. The profits of such games, however, usually go not to the winner but to churches and schools. On other occasions, the prize – which is often not even monetary, but rice or other products – is expected to be shared with others. As a result, bingo games considered charity events, not gambling and are permitted in American Samoa.
American Samoan Bingo games have no online version, and American Samoan residents are not allowed to access foreign online Bingo websites as per the UIGEA. To avoid legal penalties, most online Bingo platforms do not accept players from American Samoa.
Poker in American Samoa
Online poker in American Samoa: illegal
Online Poker is also regulated by the UIGEA, and is illegal in American Samoa. Foreign online poker sites circumventing the UIGEA that accept US players are most likely accessible to American Samoan players as well.
The Johnson Act prohibiting cross-state transport of gambling devices includes electronic poker machines (and parts of such devices). As American Samoa is not one of the countries exempt from the act, the import – and thus the use -of such devices is forbidden. Before 2004 there were some poker machines in American Samoa, but they were unregulated, and have since been disassembled.
Sports betting in American Samoa
Online sports betting in American Samoa: illegal, with exception of horse races
Online sports betting is also regulated by the UIGEA and as such it is illegal. Fantasy sports on the other hand are not specifically excluded from the UIGEA. It is not clarified, whether betting on interstate horse races are illegal or not. The only US federal law regarding interstate horse racing and fantasy sports wagering is the Interstate Horse Racing Act, which allows cross-state pari-mutuel betting on horse races.*
/Pari-mutuel (from French) is a betting system where all bets are collected into a pool. After the removal of taxes and rake, or “house take”, the amount is shared by those who have made a winning bet./
To summarize, while betting on horses or on fantasy sports is not expressly regulated in American Samoa, federal law does allow some form of sports betting.
Lottery in American Samoa
Online lottery in American Samoa: illegal
American Samoa has no national lottery of there own, but many American Samoan residents participate in the National Lotto of the Independent State of Samoa. This lottery is a 7/39 game, and is not available online.
Access to offshore online lotteries is regulated by the UIGEA, meaning it is also illegal in American Samoa.
Bitcoin gambling in American Samoa
BitCoin Gambling in American Samoa: controversial/unregulated
BitCoin gambling’s legal status in the US is rather controversial, as it is unclear, whether BitCoin gambling is covered under the UIGEA. While BitCoin is of monetary value, it is not covered by the outlawed payment methods expressly mentioned in the act. As a result, at the moment BitCoin gambling appears to be unregulated by federal laws in the United States, including the unincorporated territory of American Samoa.
American Samoa has no laws of its own explicitly targeting BitCoin gambling. However, as the situation is unclear, many BitCoin casinos refuse players from the United States.
Online gambling websites accepting players from American Samoa
Despite the complications, the following online gambling websites accept players from American Samoa.
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Last updated: 2015. 10. 08