Internet Gambling
and the Law

by Bob Osgoodby

Some people view internet gambling and gambling in general as "the work of the devil", others view it as a pleasant past time, and still others who seem obsessed, will bet on anything.

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Gambling, and internet gambling regardless of your views, is here to stay. Did you know that, in the US, the total sales of government-sponsored lottery tickets exceeds what Americans spend on movies, theater and music - combined.

From the Bingo Games sponsored by local churches or non-profit organizations, to large multi-state lotteries, they are a fact of life. In fact, many people view the stock market as being just another large-scale gambling operation.

You can legally gamble in many State Approved Casinos, and Indian Reservations also run legal casinos - State Lotteries abound. Gambling is not only tolerated, but legally approved in many quarters.

But non-sanctioned bookmaking is a crime in the U.S., and the forty year old Interstate Wire Act, forbids wagering across state lines. A co-owner of the Caribbean-based online gambling sports-booking operation "World Sports Exchange", has the dubious distinction of becoming the first person to be found guilty of violating the terms of the federal Wire Wager Act.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa entenced him to 21 months in prison and fined him $5,000 for violating the act, which outlaws the use of telephone lines--including Internet connections—to place sports bets in interstate commerce. To compound the problem, more and more online gambling casinos are springing up, and it is becoming a huge multi-billion business.

The real problem is if you place a gambling bet in New Orleans via an online casino that is operated in the United Kingdom, where did the gambling occur -- New Orleans, the United Kingdom or the Internet? If it occurred on the Internet exclusively, then how did you break an Internet gambling law, since no one has quite figured out yet where the Internet is, or if it is subject to laws that are based on crossing borders?

Online Casinos are housed in jurisdictions where gambling is legal, with many of them in the UK and in the Caribbean. In the US, Nevada and New Jersey are actively pursuing legalizing gambling on the Internet through the existing casinos.

>Can anyone set up a website and run a casino? No - not if it is illegal in their country.

>Many people are taking advantage of internet gambling, and there are certainly advantages to this way of operating. However, it isn't at all prudent to allow your winnings to accumulate in a virtual account on an ongoing basis. Some people have done this and found to their dismay, that when they made a request for several thousand dollars or more to be paid to them from their account, the money never arrived.

All internet gambling accounts are not untrustworthy, as this is by no means the case. What you should do is to play it safe. When gambling online, take your winnings regularly and let them accumulate in your bank account rather than in cyberspace.

Are there opportunities in internet gambling for entrepreneurs and web masters? There are affiliate programs aimed at website owners and webmasters to promote online casinos on their website(s), and earn money when someone directed from their site registers to play. For example, check out Slotland's internet gambling affiliate program. Without going into the details of their offer, you can earn revenue for referring players.

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As with any venture, it pays to get informed before getting involved with Online Gambling. A good source of information are the pages on this web site.

Gambling on the Internet is a reality. Where the activity is illegal, government agencies are looking at the lost tax revenue being siphoned elsewhere. Like everything on the Internet, which changes on an almost daily basis, the reaction time of those in charge has to match what is happening in the real world. Gone are the days when they could sit back in their isolated little world and ignore what is going on

About the author:
Bob publishes the free weekly "Your Business" Newsletter". Visit his Web Site at to subscribe.

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