Online Gambling Legality

Online gambling is a popular pastime around the entire world, but the activity is subject to a wide range of laws and regulations that vary from one country to the next. Before I attempt to explain the convoluted mess of online gambling law, let me be clear that I am not a lawyer. This article is based on facts gleaned through hours of research but it does not constitute legal advice.

Our goal in helping you to better understand the legal issues that might be present when online gambling is so that you can make sure that you have a safe experience all the way around. The last thing that you want to have happen is to neglect any laws that might be enforced and end up in trouble over it. In most cases we have found that it is definitely better to be safe rather than sorry. If you want to learn more about how to keep safe when gambling online then be sure to check out our article on safety by clicking here.

Online Gambling Legality in the United States

Now that we have that out of the way, I can give you a brief overview of the legality of online gambling. In the United States, online gambling is not addressed by any federal law. Rather than attempting to ban online gambling on an individual level, the United States government attempts to stop it by forcing banks to identify and prevent all transactions to online gambling sites.

Most banks have rejected these regulations as impossible and expensive to enforce. As a result, the laws on the books today have little in the way of actual enforcing power. In my opinion, the US government has become way too big in recent years, and its heavy-handed treatment of gambling is unconstitutional. I have a feeling most banks agree, but for now they give lip service to the government and do little else.

Some credit card institutions attempt to block transactions to gambling sites, so that’s why credit card deposits are occasionally blocked. The good news is that players from the United States have access to multiple deposit methods. If you want to gamble on the internet, there is always a way.

As an individual gambler in the United States, the odds of your being prosecuted for online gambling are basically zero. Yes, there’s always a chance that some overzealous District Attorney tries to apply the Wire Act to internet gambling and charge an individual gambler, but that is highly unlikely for multiple reasons. For one, the public outrage would be tremendous.

Online Gambling Legality in the UK

The government of the UK takes a much more sane approach to online gambling. In the UK, online gambling is regulated, taxed and treated as a normal gambling activity. Even better, individual gamblers do not have to pay taxes on their winnings. The gambling sites themselves are responsible for all taxes.

Hopefully the US will follow suit at some point. So far, legalized online gambling has proven to be a success in the UK. Gambling sites that operate in the UK are subject to high standards of operation and are among the safest casinos on the internet. According to one study, problem gambling has increased zero percent since online gambling was legalized in the UK.

Online Gambling Legality Everywhere Else

I wish I could get into the specifics of gambling law for every jurisdiction in the world, but that’s just not realistic. There are so many convoluted laws regarding gambling that it would take a lifetime to sort it all out. Before you gamble on the internet, make sure you check with a professional attorney. In most cases, you’ll find that there are laws on the books and that those laws are rarely enforced.

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