Online gambling is any type of betting conducted via the internet. This includes online casinos, online poker and sports gaming. The internet has become the ideal place for online gambling as it offers anonymity, privacy and a way to gamble for free. However, like all other things, there are regulations that govern online gambling in order to maintain a level playing field. The first online gambling site opened to the public, was lottery ticketing for the first time, in October 1994. Since then there have been regulated online gambling in various countries such as US, UK, Ireland, Sweden and Australia.
Online casinos In the US online gambling is not illegal but it is not legal in the sense that it is against the law to operate an online casino from the house of another person. An individual can run an online casino from his own home provided that he pays the taxes applicable to his residence in the particular state. Most states in the US do not permit online casinos as they deem it an illegal gambling activity. In Canada the only legal online gambling activity is provided by licensed Canadian casinos.
Encouraged by government action Many online gambling sites are operated by individuals operating from the house of another individual that is resident in the United States. In some cases, an online gambling website is an offshoot of a real casino that operates out of the house of another individual. While running an online gambling site from the house of another person is considered an acceptable means of operation as long as the individual owns the business and does not have an intent to start operating a casino in the United States. In other states an individual who runs an online gambling website may be prosecuted under the CDA for operating an unlicensed gambling site even without an intent to become an operator of a casino in the United States.
Government action taken against online gamblers Many states have made online gambling against the law because they consider it a form of gambling and therefore an illegal activity. For example in the state of Delaware online gambling has been made illegal by statute. Although there is no real money involved in any game conducted via online gambling the state considers it to be gambling and therefore violative of their statutes. On the other hand, the laws of the US in general do not distinguish between gambling and gaming or between internet gambling and traditional gambling. There is no reason why the same should apply to online gambling.
The enforcement of online gambling In some states including the state of Delaware online gambling has been prohibited by law and in practice. Similarly in the state of California online poker rooms and casinos were prohibited by law until the legislature lifted this ban in 2021. Many US states such as Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware and Oregon have made online poker and casino games available for consumers via the Internet and this allows the consumers to gamble online without licenses and authorizations.
Online gamblers There are several online gambling sites that cater to the needs of all types of gamblers. These sites are also referred to as online casinos. Many people who are accustomed to traditional gamblers in the brick and mortar casinos tend to find online gambling sites easy to use and understand. There are even some people who are attracted to online gambling because they can avoid meeting real people. The anonymity that these virtual worlds offer provide welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the real world.