While the size of the online gambling industry is not known, analysts agree that it has been increasing at a phenomenal pace. In 1997, there were approximately fifty to sixty internet casinos operating in the Caribbean. These casinos made between $300 million and $350 million in revenue. In 2000, the number of internet gambling sites had doubled to approximately 700. A small percentage of Internet gamblers were considered “high-risk” and were therefore banned from online casinos.
Online casinos are web-based gaming platforms that host all the games and let players play against the house. To play an online casino, all you need is a computer or other device with a working internet connection and a few dollars to spend on a few bets. The winnings are placed directly into your account. You can withdraw the money you’ve won and add more money to your account if you’re looking to gamble more.
In a recent study, researchers compared the likelihood of problem gambling among internet gamblers to their self-reports of problem gambling. They found that high-involvement gamblers were more likely to engage in internet modes, while low-involvement gamblers were not screened negatively. Thus, one single gambling index cannot accurately predict whether or not an individual will develop gambling problems. But if there’s a correlation, it’s worth investigating.
In 2004, the World Trade Organization, a multinational trading body that enforces trading agreements, took action against the United States for banning online gambling. Antigua and Barbuda, a country in the Caribbean, argued that the United States was harming its economy by prohibiting online gambling. The World Trade Organization ruled against the United States in 2004, stating that U.S. laws on online gambling violate international trade agreements. Although the United States continues to deny the accusation, its position on online gambling is not likely to change anytime soon.
In 2005, Internet gambling revenue reached $830 million, and sports book betting generated a quarter of that total. Multiplayer online gambling, which involved real-life people playing against each other, accounted for another quarter of the industry’s revenue. By 2008, online poker surpassed all other forms of gambling by increasing its popularity. PartyPoker alone brought in $82 million in revenue. It was also around the time that the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act was introduced in the US Senate. Nevertheless, online gambling revenue increased at an exponential rate.
The Wire Act’s ramifications were outlined in a report released in February 2004 by the Department of Justice. While the government has a limited jurisdiction over online gambling, it is still a major obstacle to legalizing the activity. Federal authorities are trying to prevent people from gambling online, and they have no way to enforce it. It is important to understand what the law is before making a decision on the legality of online gambling.
The law makes it difficult for prosecutors to prove that an online gambling website “knowingly” transmitted bets by U.S. citizens to other countries. Additionally, online gambling sites cannot be tracked by physical location. This makes them a target for prosecution. But this does not mean that gambling online is not illegal. A recent case against a woman who allegedly gambled on her credit card is a case study of the growing number of gambling laws across the world.