The Basics of Online Gambling
Whether you gamble online or at the local casino, there are a few basic rules that you should know. If you do not, your money could be lost. And you may have to pay a fine. You also have to make sure you are age-appropriate for the gambling activities you wish to participate in.
Internet gambling is the fastest growing industry in the world. It has grown from 15 Web sites in 1996 to more than 200 in 1997. It has been estimated that more than two-thirds of the world’s gambling market comes from online casinos. However, the legality of Internet gambling remains uncertain.
The US Department of Justice has outlined views on advertising for online gambling outfits, and the World Trade Organization has ruled that the United States is violating international trade agreements by allowing foreign gambling businesses to operate in the United States. The WTO recently convened a panel to investigate the United States’ laws regarding online gambling.
The National Gambling Impact Study Commission has attempted to estimate the size of the online gambling industry. A study by George T. Ladd, a professor at the University of Connecticut, found that Internet gamblers tended to be younger than those who play at land-based casinos. But despite this, there is no consensus about how much money is involved in the industry.
The United States is not the only country to ban Internet gambling. Antigua and Barbuda, for example, claimed that the United States was destroying their economy by forcing them to import foreign gambling products. In 2004, the WTO ruled against the United States.
In a 2001 case, an American set up an online sports betting operation in Antigua. He consulted lawyers and accountants before doing so. Despite this, he was convicted of a technical violation of the Wire Wager Act.
The Wire Act of 1961 was drafted before the Internet was invented. It was intended to work with antiracketeering laws, but it did not apply to digital wagering. The Department of Justice has since concluded that the 1961 Wire Act applies to all forms of Internet gambling. It is illegal to use a telephone line to conduct sports betting, but it is not illegal to use an online payment service like PayPal or ECash.
Some argue that the advertising of online gambling is an aid and abettor. But it is hard to trace the funds that go to and from an intermediary account. Similarly, there is no way to determine how much of the revenue goes to state governments. This is why many state legislatures have banned online gambling.
The US Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, but it did not ban Internet gambling entirely. In fact, there are twenty states that allow residents to bet on sporting events through the Internet. This includes online poker rooms, and horse racing betting markets. Almost all major Internet bookmakers have these markets.
Some of the largest companies in the industry have remained unregulated. Some of these companies are publicly traded. Others, like Yahoo!, have removed advertising for online gambling from their Web sites.