Whether it is sports betting, virtual poker, casinos, or other forms of gambling, there are laws that govern online gambling. While a state may not prohibit gambling on the Internet, it is illegal to gamble online without a license. If you are found to be gambling without a license, you can be charged with a misdemeanor, which can include a fine and up to six months in prison.
In the United States, online gambling is generally illegal, but some states have legalized it. New Jersey, for example, allowed residents to bet on sports. A report from Frost & Sullivan indicated that online gambling revenues had exceeded $830 million in 1998. Some states have been concerned that the Internet could be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions, and have enacted laws to prevent this.
A federal law known as the Wire Act was recently expanded to cover all forms of Internet gambling, including gambling that uses virtual currency. This move by the Department of Justice is being criticized as a law with no legal basis. However, it does come with Congressional findings about the effects it may have on interstate commerce.
There are also laws that have been introduced into the US Congress that would prohibit Internet gambling in the US. One bill in particular, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act (HR 2046), has been introduced several times. It would require Internet gambling facilities to be licensed by the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The bill was introduced in April 2007 by Rep. Barney Frank. It would also modify the UIGEA, which prohibits financial transactions related to Internet gambling.
The best way to avoid legal trouble with the federal government is to not gamble online. However, a law that prevents you from receiving financial instruments used in illegal Internet bets can be helpful in preventing your own violation. Other laws, such as the Gambling Act, also prevent illegal gambling. The act defines gambling as “the unlawful wagering of any amount on any future event” with the purpose of gaining or losing a prize. The law also prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from gambling.
Online gambling has become a popular pastime, and the United States is no different. According to the Federal Trade Commission, more than 200 gambling websites were active in 1997. There are also many online casinos and poker rooms available. Some of these sites are operated by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which issues gaming licenses to online casinos and poker rooms. These licenses are issued to help ensure that the operations of licensed online gambling organizations are conducted fairly.
In 1998, the first online poker room was introduced. This was followed by a number of other online gambling sites. This included the Liechtenstein International Lottery, which was the first online gambling venue for the general public.
There are also several states that have been involved in legalization of online gambling, including Pennsylvania. Online sports betting is legal in New Jersey and several other states.