Is Online Gambling Legal in the USA?

There is no specific federal law governing online casinos and allied businesses that states if they have made online gambling legal in the USA.  This topic has remained debatable on account of inadequacy of legal provisions pertaining to online gambling. This void makes online gambling legal as there is no specific direction from the legal authorities. Past experience suggests that not a single American citizen has ever been detained or prosecuted by the federal authorities. If gambling was to be illegal, then heaps of online casinos wouldn’t have sprung up in the past decade.

State Laws are not specific whether online gambling legal in the USA:

There are certain conservative states that have formulated their own state specific policies. There has been no incidence of detention. Some states have charged players with a fine for indulging in online gambling. For instance, the first person to get charged was Jeffrey Trauman from North Dakota, who had to pay a fine of $500 in the year 2003 where he had won over $100000 while betting online on sports. Similarly another case was that of an Oklahoma citizen named Roland Benavides, who had been charged in two consecutive years 2011 and 2012. He had received a deferred sentence within which he had not been detained immediately if he successfully managed to obey the laws. His was a probationary sentence. These took place in states that had been conservative in formulation laws against gambling, but there are states that have made online gambling legal.

Laws governing financial institutions like banks do not clearly state that Online Gambling Legal in the USA

Certain provisions of Federal Law disallow banks from handling transactions pertaining to online gambling legal betting. There is a loop hole in the sense that the law prohibits Banks for engaging in such transactions but in no way you have been prohibited for making such transactions online as an individual player.

Online Gambling Legal in the USA through Contextual Ads

Publishing contextual ads pertaining online gambling is not legally permissible. There is a catch here; such provisions are applicable to big publishers like Google, Yahoo or Bing. Small publishers are not bothered much. This has been the experience of several small publishers. This makes it obvious that only large players face punitive action in the form of penalty or any other equivalent charge. Most big publishers do not get into a legal tussle with the Feds so as to avoid further damage to their business. They have been asked for a nominal fee in the form of legal charges, for instance, amount of revenue generated out of contextual ads pertaining to online gambling legal. This way they rescue themselves from Feds and also abide by the law by paying nominal legal charges as imposed. Instance of such publishers include Yahoo, Google and Microsoft, who were charged in the year 2007 along with a mid-size publisher named The Sporting News in the year 2007. No one ever had been detained. Charges imposed on Google were just 1/3rd of its ad revenue that it readily surrendered. Some publishers were simply warned of legal action to be taken against them and didn’t have to face any penalty. These instances make it all the more vague that Online Gambling legal in the USA

Payment Processors think whether US has made Online Gambling Legal 

It has been noted that Feds have been keeping a close watch on Payment Processors as it is difficult for them to catch hold of websites. It is difficult even for the players to catch hold of these sites in case their funds get trapped.

Find a list of activities that have been legally barred. (Described in detail as under)

  • Betting on sports activities with the help of servers based in US datacenters has been clearly specified to be illegal
  • Betting on sports activities through telephone line based in the U.S.
  • Placing sports bets through foreign servers (For instance: Bodog (2012), Wild Sports Exchange (Imprisonment – 2000, Sportingbet (2006))
  • Placing online gambling legal ads on the internet. (The Sporting News (TSN) took time in taking off gambling related ads. It took close to 6 months to do so, which deeply annoyed the Federal authorities and they finally charged TSN with $7.2 million, in January 2006. This fine had been imposed to recover the amount of profits that they had generated throughout the period of 2000-2003)
  • Transferring funds through payment processors and then using this money in online casinos for placing bets. (Players transferred money through famous payment processors like Neteller to transfer funds to the online casinos. The founders of Neteller were detained andmoney laundering charges were imposed on them. Eventually Neteller stopped servicing clients from the US (iGamingNews, GPWA )).
  • Advertising on billboards (BetonSports had invested $4.6 million from 2001 to 2005, the CEO David Carruthers was detained in the year 2006 in Costa Rica while he was shifting planes in Texas. He had been sentenced to imprisonment for 33 months after he pleaded guilty. Further his colleague Garry Kaplan, the founder of the company was sentenced to 4 years of imprisonment after he pleaded being guilty).

Laws governing Internet do not state whether Online Gambling Legal in the USA

Sports bets are not legally permissible to be taken over the internet. Some provisions of the federal law specify that it is not legal for sites to get into online sports betting. This means that federal laws are not pretty specific about whether or not sites can engage in online betting. However, this cannot be imposed on you as an individual player. The department of justice wrongly applied the provisions of Wires Act to online gambling without thinking whether Online Gambling Legal in the USA-for instance, activities like taking poker bets etc. Several legal observers argued that it was not legally correct to apply Wires Act to online betting. Finally, after this argument it was resolved that Wires Act would not prohibit sites from taking bets online (Online Poker News).