Online gambling is the fastest growing industry in the world. It includes casino games, virtual poker, and sports betting. Although it is legal in many countries, it is not necessarily a good idea to play at offshore sites. In some countries, it is a felony to access an online casino. Luckily, there are a few laws that are helpful.
One is the UIGEA. This law was originally meant to protect people from using PayPal to make illegal online purchases. When the US marshals learned of a payment processor’s involvement in illegal internet gambling, they warned the company that it could face prosecution. They also confiscated $3.2 million from Discovery Communications. The site allegedly featured ads for a tropical paradise, a gambling parlor in Costa Rica.
The Travel Act is another relevant statute. It prohibits the transporting or receiving of bets over the internet, but this is not the only statute aimed at online gambling. Also, a state or federal law may regulate Internet casinos. For example, Washington does not permit websites to advertise gambling.
Another statute is the Wire Act of 1961. This was originally written to work with antiracketeering laws. But it is not applicable to digital wagering. Interestingly, it is still a statute that is enacted on a regular basis. Some of the more interesting aspects of the act include the fact that it allows states to enact legislation regarding online gambling. And while this law was enacted before the advent of the Internet, it has been reinforced by recent court cases.
While it has long been a myth that gambling is illegal, it has recently come under scrutiny. In 2013, New Jersey became the first state to allow online casinos. That said, residents have been pushing for changes in the way iGaming is regulated in their state. A slew of initiatives are in the works to change that.
Other notable legislation has been passed at the state level. Twenty states have deemed it legal to wager on sports over the Internet. Among those states is New Jersey, where online casinos generate over $80 million a month. On a more practical note, the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement is overseeing internet wagering in the Garden State. Unlike other states, the law isn’t restricted to horse racing. It also permits wagers on other types of lottery, including fantasy sports.
The best thing about online gambling is that it is easy to do. All you need is a computer and internet access. Plus, it can be a lot of fun. If you do choose to gamble, be sure to keep a budget in mind. However, be careful about scams and other pitfalls. Lastly, look for reputable online casinos. Those with licensing information and fast banking options are usually a safe bet.
As for the legal status of gambling, it is up to each individual state to decide. Although federal law is a good place to start, state officials are worried that the internet may bring illegal gambling to their jurisdictions. So, lawmakers should look into ways to prevent tax revenues from spilling over into unregulated territories.