The online gambling industry is still relatively new, only having been around since the early 1990’s. Compared to most of the industries in which people participate and governments regulate, online gambling is still in a fledgling phase. For that reason, a lot of people aren’t clear on what the laws are regarding gambling over the Internet. That certainly isn’t helped by the fact that the laws can be rather confusing. Take the federal laws in Australia and the United States as just two excellent examples.
If you try to look up the Australian gambling laws on the books using australia.gov.au, you’ll find that gambling online is illegal. That is only partially true, though. Currently the Australian government does not regulate the online gambling industry and it does not allow any online gambling companies to be run in the country. As for the overseas online casinos, they violate Australian law if they accept Australian customers or advertise in the country. However, the gambling ban does not apply to the players – only the businesses. It is not illegal for Australian customers to play on the offshore online casinos. There are currently lawmakers trying to change that, though, by amending the law to make it illegal on the player’s side as well. For now, though, the players are not breaking the law.
And then there is the United States. There is no federal law regulating or banning online gambling. The Wire Act bans electronic (phone or Internet) gambling on sporting events. However, as stated on onlinecasinosinusa.net, neither the Wire Act nor UIGEA bans online casinos or online poker rooms. Players can wager there legally and it is not illegal for the offshore casino operators to accept American customers. This has been confusing because the Department of Justice was confused and until recently was of the opinion that the Wire Act banned all online gambling. In December 2011, they admitted they were wrong. Some U.S. states, such as Washington and Utah, do not allow online gambling. For the rest, online gambling is legal if the company is located offshore. If the company is located in America, though, it would be illegal, because they would require a gambling license to operate and the U.S. does not issue online gambling licenses. Still confused?