What exactly are the laws in regards to gambling online? Is it legal? In a word: No. Or is it yes? This is where things tend to get very gray and in my estimation, very beautiful. The law in the United States is full of loop holes. Ask any science teacher how to disprove the theory behind a radar gun and you can take your case to court and with science on your side, build a very strong case! To deal with the answer of yes, consider all the places in the United States that are legalized for gambling: Waterways, Native-American Reservations and of course that gem of an oasis in the desert, that hails from a state where even the skankiest of prostitutes can operate legally. These are the areas that can also offer online gambling as they are legally allowed to do so. From sports gambling to casino games, sanctioned by the appropriate gaming commissions, online gambling is also legal in these specific places. Now, let’s be realistic. Do you go to a live casino to play online roulette or online poker? And do any of these casinos even offer such services?
Since the rise of Internet gambling, a huge proponent of the eCommerce boom, the United States government has had no luck in regulating what they consider to be an illegal activity. Of course, at present, there are bigger fish to fry, but the World Trade Organization (WTO) has consistently ruled online gambling in the United States to be an illegal activity. Canada is also dealing with a similar problem and suffering from such areas of gray. However, the difficulty lies in enforcing the law. You cannot enforce law in other countries and when you consider one of the largest governing bodies in the online casino world, you have to look outside the United States, towards the beautiful Caribbean Sea and the Islands of Antigua and Barbuda. Gambling online is legal in these countries and without spying on American Internet activity; enforcement is generally implausible and impossible.
Make no mistake, this is not a problem of poor regulation, we’re talking prohibition. Unfortunately for the WTO, many countries have already legalized online gambling and in essence that only leaves two options; to crack down or follow suit. Fortunately, the most recent conversations have only been in regards to regulations. This would help create new opportunity for American businesses and allow the WTO to set standards that these businesses would need to abide by in regards to all casinos and players. As it stands, gambling online is something players do at their own risk. Other than a complaint to a governing body, if a player feels they have been wronged in a manner of legality, there isn’t much of a course of action to take. So, hold on to your hats; the next few years it will be interesting to see what regulations come into effect for the United States.