The industry of online gambling is one that falls into a heavily shaded gray area from a legal aspect. Though you could say that it is technically illegal in most parts of the U. S., conviction has always been hard to come by thanks to the ambiguity of the internet and casino operators located in offshore jurisdictions. Because financial institutions are prohibited from processing payments for U.S. customers, a large number of players turn to casinos who run their offices and operations in other countries. As it stands now, there are roughly 70 countries that permit online gambling sites to legally operate. This includes Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, New Zealand, South Korea and a few provinces in Canada as well.
The Trying Life of the American Player
Jurisdiction and sovereignty are two pressing issues that make the laws regarding online gambling even sketchier. Under the Wire Act, it is illegal to utilize electronic wiring to transmit funds for wagers to areas in which gambling in not permitted. The U.S. courts typically agree that this includes the super network known as the internet. Therefore, an operator located in Germany is essentially breaking U.S. law by allowing American players to play their casino games. The tricky part of it all is that the United States does not really have the legal reach to prosecute and convict operators in other countries. Because players are also rarely apprehended and prosecuted, we are stuck with an act that is viewed as illegal but goes unpunished more often than not. This puts a player in a very tough decision because if the casino cheats them out of their winnings and online gambling is illegal in their area, they will have a very difficult time taking legal action and proving their case. In fact, suing the shady casino is virtually impossible.
The Hope for Regulation
Regulation is one of the hottest and most controversial topics surrounding online gambling. There are quite a few countries that have regulated the industry with strict guidelines to ensure that the online casinos in their jurisdiction are operating legitimately. On the other hand, some countries are far more lenient regarding regulation and appear to be more focused on the tax revenues generated from internet gambling. The industry’s potential as a major tax revenue generator is one of the main arguments of proponents who want to see gambling fully legalized and regulated in the United States.
What You Should Know
Upon registering for an online gambling account, the operator calls for you to agree to the terms and conditions of the website. While you may be able to slide through the cracks of some casinos, determining if online gambling is legal where you reside is a responsibility that falls on your shoulders. There are various laws specific to certain locations, including legislation based on age limitations and whether it is even legal to gamble online at all. Should you find that it is indeed illegal in your state and the authorities learn that you won money by playing, not only could your winnings be seized, but you could also find yourself in a world of legal trouble. Therefore, it pays to do your homework before wagering at any online gambling site.