Originally Posted by domer2
So I couldn't walk into a Ladbrokes shop and put 5 pounds on Man U?
You wouldn't have any problem betting in a shop. I'm pretty sure this is legal (by American and UK law) but either way, in a shop you don't need an account or ID (unless to verify you are over 18). You get a ticket just like in Vegas, you cash it if it wins. Even if you won a huge parlay, I don't think it would be a problem. Don't worry about faking a British accent.
If you were there on a 6 month Visa, you would probably be able to set up online accounts. The sites do allow Americans living in the UK to have accounts. You generally need a real address, meaning you have a utility bill with your name at that address. Many (Betfair included) will send mail to that address to make sure you actually live there, so photoshop isn't going to cut it.
The usual process would be:
-Sign up for account, no problems here assuming UK IP address
-Make your first deposit. Depending on the size and method of deposit, you might not have any scrutiny here. Or they might want copy of ID, utility bill before you can make a bet.
-Make your first cashout. Here you'll most likely get asked about ID, utility bill. (Maybe not if the amounts are small?)
I'm guessing the ID you send would be an American Passport or Driver's License which will set off flags, but you should be in the clear playing the ex-pat card with your name on a real UK address.