Is Online Gambling Illegal?
The issue of online gambling is controversial. While some see gambling as a fun, recreational activity, others consider it a dangerous threat to their well-being. Despite the controversy, most gambling websites promote fair gaming and provide players with tools for setting their own limits and self-exclusion. In addition, laws make sure that reputable bodies oversee platforms and handle any misconduct that may occur.
Although online gambling is not illegal at the federal level, it is prohibited in certain states. For example, the Wire Act of 1961, which was drafted before the internet existed, does not apply to digital wagering. In 2011, the Department of Justice allowed states to pass laws regulating online gambling. In addition, in 2018 the US Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which banned federally-licensed sports betting.
While federal criminal statutes have no direct effect on online gambling, a federal case involving illegal Internet gambling could complicate enforcement efforts. As a result, it is imperative to ensure that the site is legitimate and complies with local laws. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is a valuable source of information for anyone seeking to determine if a site is reputable.
A recent case in Florida involved a U.S. marshal seizure of $3.2 million from a company that accepted ads for a Costa Rican casino. PayPal, which handles online gambling payments, has also been warned by federal prosecutors that it could face a criminal prosecution if it continues to run illegal online gambling sites.