The world of online casinos is very complicated, especially when talking about legal issues. Because online gaming has become so popular among gambling enthusiasts from around the world, potential gaming website owners have a lot of questions regarding the legality of their Internet venture.
The United States and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 was passed to target big time Internet gaming websites and not the players themselves. The Enforcement Act essentially made it illegal for any U.S. based financial institutions to process transactions relating to online betting and gambling.
While a law was passed on a federal level banning these types of transactions, the way it is enforced varies state-to-state. Potential players and website owners should check their state's laws before participating in online gambling.
If online gambling is illegal in your state, you may be asked to forfeit all of your winnings if you're caught.
The U.S. Wire Wager Act
The Wire Wager Act was enacted to prevent anyone from electronically transmitting bets to places where gambling is not allowed. This law targets companies who are based overseas to prevent them from interacting with customers in the United States.
The United States, however, does not have the authority to charge someone with this crime if they do not live on American soil. If a player has an issue with an offshore gambling company because he or she was never paid their winnings, they would not be able to sue the company.
Online Casino Regulation Overseas
Outside the United States, a variety of countries allow online casinos to operate. Foreign governments strictly regulate this type of business and even ensure that the odds programmed into the system are the same odds that are published on a company's website. Such countries include Finland and Australia, where a large amount of legal online gaming websites are based.
Many countries that have made online gambling legal have implemented less stringent regulatory laws. Gaming websites often operate with little to no oversight and are known to deceive people about the odds of winning the games that are offered.
People who have been scammed by such websites often find it hard to retrieve the money that is owed to them. Before spending any hard-earned cash in online gambling, make sure the website that you're dealing with is reputable and has a decent amount of good reviews.