Legalities surrounding online gambling in the United States vary widely. Though the Federal Wire Act does prohibit sports betting over “telephone-like” devices, most of the major online gambling sites are based overseas. Other countries have stricter laws and regulations than the US, such as England, which has a tightly-regulated gambling industry. But the general rule remains the same: most states do not regulate online gambling. Therefore, the legality of online gambling in the US is not as ambiguous as it might seem.
There are numerous regulatory organizations for the online gambling industry, and membership in a few of these bodies does mean that a site is legitimate. While membership in eCogra is not mandatory, it does mean a particular level of quality. The EGBA, or the European Gaming Association, is another governing body, consisting of six private sports betting companies. Its main goal is to reduce problem gambling and protect consumers. However, it is difficult to predict the number of players who will use online gambling sites in the future.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an international trading organization that sets and enforces trading agreements between its members. In 2004, Antigua and Barbuda, a tiny island in the Caribbean, sued the United States for regulating online gambling, saying the activity harmed its economy and thousands of jobs. However, the World Trade Organization ruled against the U.S. in 2004, and the European Union is considering filing a similar complaint against the United States.
Most online casinos offer sign-up bonuses of up to 20% of your initial deposit. In exchange for this, you must wager at least two to three times the amount of the bonus in order to withdraw your winnings. Some sites offer prizes for repeat business. Winnings are typically deposited into your online account or paid to the winner by certified check. You can also try your luck at a live casino to win money. But, remember that winnings are not always guaranteed.
The most important aspect of online gambling is convenience. You can gamble anytime and anywhere with an internet connection and a computer. Online casinos offer the same game offerings as brick-and-mortar casinos. Online gambling is easy to use and has all the benefits of a real casino, including the convenience of a virtual environment. However, you must be aware of certain things before you sign up for an account. And remember: Online gambling is not for everyone!
Despite the laws limiting internet gambling, legality in the United States varies from state to state. Despite the fact that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 restricts banks from transacting with illegal gambling websites, it still does not clearly define what constitutes an illegal gambling site. While the Federal Wire Act is widely perceived to ban all forms of online gambling, it does not apply to Internet casinos, lottery sites, and poker websites.