Online gambling has become a $40 billion a year industry in the United States. This activity is not only fun, but can also be highly addictive. Many people lose their interest in gambling after only a short period, but this isn’t true for everyone. There are also many individuals who become emotionally and financially distressed by gambling, and may even struggle to perform everyday activities and social obligations. While online gambling is convenient, it may not offer the right level of support for addiction.
The UIGEA, or Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, prevents banks and credit card companies from sending money to online gambling establishments. Instead, they can only conduct transactions with online payment processors associated with virtual casinos. Identifying the payment processors involved in online gambling sites is a complex task, especially when it’s a private corporation. Large European banks have even been known to offer credit cards to American consumers. So if you’re planning to play for real money, be sure to read the UIGEA rules.
Despite legality concerns, online gambling is not available in all countries. Some states have made their gambling services illegal. But many other countries have legalized them. The United States has a long list of states that permit online gambling. Many of these jurisdictions also regulate specific aspects of gambling, including sports betting, lottery betting, and poker sites. There’s no reason to fear that the United States will join the list of states that don’t allow online gambling.
In addition to limiting the availability of illegal gambling, there’s also a concern that problem gamblers may be able to access the services. Many sites lack ID verification checks, so problem gamblers might be attracted to them by the anonymity and isolation of the Internet. Online gambling can be more difficult to avoid for problem gamblers because it’s always there. And, with the high costs of litigation, state governments end up funding treatment programs for pathological gamblers.
Because online gambling is widely available, there’s no shortage of places to play. Just do a quick Google search for online casinos. While the most popular sites will come up first in your search, only those that have been regulated by your country will be safe. Regulators have begun to put a stop to this practice, because it has allowed operators to take advantage of the lack of regulations in the industry. And that’s not a good thing for consumers!
Despite the fact that many people believe that online gambling is completely legal, there’s no evidence that the US government has made it so. A federal law called the Wire Act prohibits wagering through telephone lines. While this law was drafted before the Internet was conceived, it’s still not appropriate for digital wagering. In 2011, the Department of Justice ruled that states could legally regulate online gambling. The law did not apply to offshore gambling sites. Furthermore, Internet service providers don’t fall under the definition of a wire communication facility.