The Legality of Online Gambling
There are several ways that a person can gamble. One of the most popular is through online gambling. People can wager on sports and other events. Depending on the game, people can bet on the total number of goals scored, or the results of a match. Online gambling is much more convenient than going to a land-based casino. You can choose a game from hundreds of different providers, and you can even play with a live dealer. However, if you are planning to play online, it is important to find a reputable casino that offers good security and fast banking.
As technology continues to advance, the gambling industry is expanding. Online gaming has made it possible to play casino games on your smartphone or tablet. In fact, a recent survey showed that 5 percent of American adults have some sort of pathological gambling problem. Although this figure is small, the risk associated with gambling is significant. If you suspect that you or a loved one is having a problem with gambling, it’s a good idea to talk to a concerned friend or seek assistance at the local emergency room.
There are a few federal statutes that prohibit illegal Internet gambling. These laws include the Wire Act, the Illegal Gambling Business Act, the Travel Act, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. The law also includes specific language prohibiting financial transactions that may occur during an illegal Internet bet.
While some of the enacted federal statutes do not specifically prohibit the use of the internet to engage in illegal gambling, they do reinforce state laws. Many states are afraid that the internet will be used to bring these activities into their jurisdictions. For example, in December 2002, U.S. marshals seized $3.2 million from Discovery Communications, a company that provides services to advertisers. Similarly, the Federal Communications Commission has been concerned about the prospect of providing Internet facilities for illegal gambling.
As the federal government attempts to enforce these laws, the Commerce Clause and the First Amendment have been thrown into the fray. However, the results have been mixed. While attacks on the Commerce Clause have been successful, the limited protection of the First Amendment has hampered the legality of other laws aimed at regulating online gambling.
According to the CRS Report RS22749, the most interesting aspect of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is the “complexity of the statute’s requirements.” The law requires that bets be placed, received, and processed in a secure way. Additionally, it requires that age verification be used. Furthermore, the law includes a list of appropriate data security standards.
The first commercially available legal online gambling venue was the Liechtenstein International Lottery. Since then, several other countries have started to offer their own versions of the games. Some of these offerings include online slots and sports betting.
The best part of the new online gambling industry is that it isn’t limited to one country. For instance, Costa Rica has a casino operation called Tropical Paradise. Another, the UKGC, has been regulated by the MGA, the British gambling authority.