US Legal

Big Daddy Watchin! US Online Gambling Law Regulations

Since the beginning of US state, online gambling law regulations towards gambling have been a meandering river with quite ravishing current. Nowadays, similar situation faces online gambling which in different states falls under different prohibition regulations and limitations. For example, online gambling is banned in such states like Massachusetts, Louisiana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and South Dakota. The rest puts up its smaller or bigger legal constraints. Some companies thriving in prohibtion areas scrupolously avoid risks concerning illegal gambling offers on their web sites. Even if they publish some links to pay-to-play gambling sites, they may still face charges.

How the gambling Wild West in US has been changing into contemporary state of legal fearfulness?

It all started with the Federal Wire Act in 1961 which its legal edge was orignally pointed at organized crime, more precisely it counteracted any betting through wire communication like telephone or telegraph. The act itself has never been used as the basis for any online gambling charges, whereas, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2006 appeared to be the end of freedom era for many related gambling businesses, followed by arrrests, freezing and shutting down of thousands of accounts. The whole operation of US Department of Justice commenced on so called Black Friday (14 April 2011). Among many hit companies the most prominent victims were PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker.

The story of US lawsuits and regulations concerning online gambling reflects a battlefield where one side of the barricade struggles to amend inconvenient legislations and the second (governmental) attempts to forward acts that provide total control. The UIGEA scheme is accused of not being strict in its principles and effectiveness, because some states execute law according to their own statutes. Moreover, it is unclear if the scheme applies to all games of skill that include bets. US reps like Barney Frank are battling against the scheme and propose amendments to law. Similarly, UIGEA has been allegedly attacked by WTO officials due to imposed blockade on the US market.

The current legislative system in US is a real pain in the neck for the industry; and its unclear tenets make the things worse. Companies persist in constant uncertainty as to unstable US legal policy.

Latest News