USA Online Sports Gambling Laws

When entering the world of online sports gambling, a lot of us stop and ask ourselves this question, “Am I doing something illegal?” Well in most of countries, the federal government has laws which indicate if it is legal or not to participate in online sports gambling. These laws are dependent entirely upon the country but most of the countries in the European Union have a clear stance that online gambling is allowed. The United States of American has laws that are more muddled and it can be hard to find a clear answer as to whether gambling is legal. Before actually getting into the laws themselves, let’s first look at who regulates sports betting.

In the US the regulating of online gambling was controlled completely by each state, however at present this is not so anymore. With the introduction of online gambling there has been a misperception of authority. Therefore the question is, “who is in charge of making and enforcing the laws of cyberspace?” Now keep in mind that there was sports’ gambling long before it was made available via the internet so the plan was to simply apply these same laws when online sports gambling was introduced, however this was left open to extensive clarification.

Even though the US government has passed several laws prohibiting online sports gambling, the operators of these online casinos have found a way to work around these laws. What they do is, they go offshore to others countries/states which allow online gambling and provide their services to the US citizens from there. I know what you are probably asking, “is this legal?” well to be honest it probably is not but there are no present laws which prohibit this activity, so it will continue to happen. There have been attempts though to pass bills which consider this type of activity illegal, however they have all failed. Even though there are federal laws on gambling in the US, the government has decided to leave all the authority to the individual states.

So in some states online sports gambling would be legal whereas in others it would be illegal. Also, if it is illegal and you are caught conducting such transactions you will be prosecuted according to what state you break the law in. Some states not only ban online gambling they also ban websites from advertising for online casinos. There are only three states in the US which allow citizens to bet beyond state borders and they are as follows, Nevada, Louisiana and California. Most states view gambling defiance as a petty crime and the majority of the time the operators are usually the main focus as opposed to the gamblers themselves. In order to keep within the US laws majority of the internet sports books and their servers are located offshore where they are untouchable. In closing, the US government is definitely aiming to pass a legislation which would better deal with the regulation of online gambling, but because the matter is so unclear, nothing of substance can be established, there is still hope for the future.

Sarah H
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