Online gambling is any type of betting conducted via the internet. This includes casinos, virtual poker and sports betting among many others. Online gambling venues emerged from the traditional live casino gambling venues that were common in Europe and the United States. The first online gambling site opened to the public, was Ticketworld for the then-popular Liechtenstein International Poker Tournament in October 1994. Since then, a number of similar sites emerged offering gambling services to a global audience. With each site, came more choice, more games and more ways to play.
The concept of online gambling in the US was slightly different from the one in Europe. Although both are governed by the Gaming Act which came into being in Las Vegas, the US had separate legislation for online gambling, and a different law for sports betting, which remained under the auspices of the Gaming Commission of the United States. However, both these laws are now combined under the heading of “gambling” in US legislation. The internet has changed the face of gaming as we know it, and so it is just natural that all the different types of gambling that used to take place have gone online.
The main difference between a legal casino gambling and an online gambling is that in the former, people have to visit the actual location of the gambling establishment for their gambling experience whereas online gambling takes place irrespective of the location. Although most of the gambling websites have now moved to the virtual world, the old ones have not and will continue to operate as they are licensed by the respective governments in the various locations where they operate. While the law does not allow gambling to take place in cyberspace, it is now against the law for individuals to conduct gambling online. In the US, the Gambling Act of Gambia allows for state authorized gambling online and offline but in other countries, gambling is not allowed. So, while playing at an online casino still remains a violation of the law in the country in which the website is operated.
There are three main bodies responsible for making laws on gambling in the United States – the House and Senate Commerce Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee, and the Federal Trade Commission. All three of these committees have individual jurisdiction over different aspects of the issue. In order to get the desired amendments in the legislations governing gambling, the members of the legislature have to try and work with all these legislative bodies to make the necessary changes. This is one reason why the Internet gambling operators have made all the efforts possible to form an association ( Association of Online Poker Operators) with other operators in the same industry.
The Association of Online Poker Operators has been trying hard to come up with acceptable changes in the Gambling act in the US. The proposed changes to the online gambling act included a ban of upfront deposits, a ban on transfer fees, and a ban on rollover wagers. The association also hoped to make theIAO’s business model one that does not involve any illegal activity, and that pays out its players in a legal and transparent manner. Several associations, including the World Federation of Online Gamers, have tried to get similar results in terms of the proposed gaming act.
One other part of the US legislation regulating online gambling sites is the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. This is important because it tries to put computer security safeguards into place, such that the information that people enter on gambling sites is safe from being used by people who are looking to take advantage of the people who have entered their personal information into the gambling sites. According to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, it is illegal for anyone to access information belonging to a casino user that is obtained either by use of force or fraud. This means that if you enter your credit card information on a site like Poker Stars, it is illegal for anyone to charge that to your account. Also, if you enter information on your tax return, bank statements, Social Security numbers, or birth certificates on sites like Playtech or Betaine, you could face serious criminal prosecution for using any of that information for yourself.