What Are the Legal Issues For Online Gambling?
Online gambling is any type of gambling done online. This includes casinos, virtual poker and live online sports betting among many others. The first online gambling site opened for the public, was lottery ticketing for the first Liechtenstein International Lotto in October 1994. In recent years several other international gambling sites have sprung up including Poker Stars, Betfair, Intercasino and Coral Gables to name a few.
There are several advantages to online gambling. It can be played at anytime, from any place that you may feel comfortable. Also online gambling can be considered safer than live casino games because there is no risk of people walking into a playing room and messing with your money or bothering other players. Also, you do not need a great deal of money to join an online gambling site. Live casino games require you to pay membership fees that can cost upwards of hundreds of dollars.
In the last few years a bill has been made legal in the United States to make online gambling easier and legal for players from the United States. This law is called the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. The main goal of this act is to make it illegal for a company or person in the United States to operate an online casino if they are based out of another country. Many companies out of the United States are actually based out of other countries and allow players from the United States to gamble online. This allows the companies to circumvent the law and remain in business.
However, this act has also had a significant impact on online casinos which are based outside the United States. Many of these gambling web sites are based in foreign countries and have to comply with foreign laws and regulations. Some of these foreign countries ban gambling altogether. So because of this act all online gambling sites are now being forced to either raise their rates for players or close their doors completely.
Another part of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is the Wire Act. This part prohibits the transfer of funds to an online gambling site from a U.S. financial institution. This part of the Wire Act also goes even further to say that any person who uses a service in violation of the Wire Act can be prosecuted for criminal charges. For example, using a credit card to transfer funds to a gambling site in the state of Missouri is perfectly legal, but using that same card to transfer funds to one in another state is illegal. This part of the Wire Act makes it very difficult for people to transfer funds to legal online gambling sites.
Finally, there is the recently passed Credit Card Reform Act. This Act makes it illegal for anyone to charge a fee for a withdrawal of funds from a credit card account. It also makes it illegal to charge upfront fees for new accounts or for new credit cards with a grace period. Because of these recent changes, many gamblers have stopped using credit cards in an effort to avoid these payment methods.