Las Vegas is said to be a popular tourist destination in the United States of America. Ask any visitor to Las Vegas the reason of his arrival in the Vegas, his reply would be “To gamble”. To that extent, not only Las Vegas but also other major cities in the United States of America provide enough opportunity to people who wish to ‘punt’ on their money. Needless to say, casinos are breeding grounds for some rags-to-riches and riches-to-rags stories.
What are the US Gambling Laws?
Gambling is a legitimized activity in many states in the USA. Many state and federal laws mandate statutes that govern the activity of gambling in the United States of America. The US Gambling Laws are further divided into three sections – State Laws, Federal Laws and Charitable Laws.
State Laws – Most of the states in the United States of America have legalized gambling. These gambling laws are applicable to any form of gambling which includes but is not limited to lotteries, casino gambling etc. For example, the state law of Alabama lays down the rule that any person who has lost some money during gambling can claim the money back in six months from the date of the gambling. This is governed by the Section 8-1-150 of the statute of Law of Alabama.
Federal Laws – Federal laws are laws mandated by the government of the United States of America governing the gambling industry. The four main federal gambling laws include – Federal Anti-Lottery Laws, Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, Wire Act Violation: Internet and Phone, Gambling Ship Act. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 mostly bans gambling operators in accepting funds from bettors through the internet. This act has swooped down on tons of websites that indulged in unlawful internet gambling.
Charitable Laws – Majority of states in the United States of America have enforced laws that exempt some gambling activities from the gamut of the state and federal gambling laws. These activities include but are not limited to bingo and charitable raffles. Please note that the states of Hawaii and Utah are an exception here as they do not have any Charitable Law. For example, Bingo is considered perfectly legal in the state of Alabama. In the same vein, the state of California has mandated laws on Charitable raffles, Charitable bingo and Charitable poker games.
The Online Gambling activity is in terms of its legalities and various rules as applied by the government of United States of America. This reason has prompted many casino owners to operate the casinos from other countries which ensure that they are not governed by the tough laws of the United States of America.
The Federal Government has mandated certain statutes for online gambling and online casinos as well ensuring the protection of customer rights at all times. In fact, the government of the United States of America has banned all cross-border gambling activities which has met with a lot of criticism at the World Trade Organization.
Internet has brought gambling into homes, and has made it available to everyone and everywhere in the world. The first actual online casino was formed in 1995, and now there are above 500 gambling websites on internet. In 1997, $200 million were earned by this business. Online gambling makes at least $3 billion of annual revenue.
Gamblers log on to the website and deposit funds by using credit cards, certified cheques, money orders, or through wire transfers. If they win/loose the amount is automatically credited/deducted from their accounts.
As online gambling has gained popularity, it also gave birth to the gambling addiction. Now days, gambling addiction is the main concern that comes in the context of online gambling. It is a fact that legalized online gambling sites are the major source of online gambling. In traditional casinos gamblers use real chips or money, while online gamblers bets on a click of mouse instead of any tangible money.
Video gambling is more popular as compared to other forms of online gambling because of its faster feedback. Sociologist and psychiatrists refers it as ‘crack-cocaine of gambling 918kiss addiction’.
Restrictions for Minors
The reason behind the popularity of online gambling is that it is easily and quickly accessible by everyone. The advantage of online gambling is the unlimited time, where as traditional gambling has limited hours of operation. It is suggested that gamblers who have lost an incredible amount of money are more likely to keep betting on their computers than if they were sitting at a table with others watching. With unlimited potential for minors to access these online gambling sites, opponents of this industry argue that the only way to keep children away is to prohibit these sites to everyone.
The instinctive nature of online gambling gives birth to various frauds. Online gamblers have no idea whether the game in going on fairly or not? The most common type of fraud is the abuse of credit card information and the neglect to pay out the winning amount to the winners, who can never approach them.
Canadian Law, section 207(4) (c), prohibits lottery schemes operated on or through a computer, video device or slot machine if it is not conducted and managed by a provincial government. This law clearly says that online gambling and its addiction is totally illegal. At this time, Canada should enact new legislations to address online gambling addiction, while, American government is creating legislation to completely ban online gambling. The most important bill is the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act (IGPA).
Online gambling has become a massive business on the internet and this explosive business will definitely be added with new technology and advancement in the near future. There are various problems associated with this gambling like addiction, bankruptcy, availability to minors, fraud and other crimes, and loss of revenues through fraudulent activities. Currently, there are no measures to stop this business, but governments all over the world should take some action against online gambling because it is promoting new crimes and frauds and it is also affecting the children, adversely.