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Gambling Online

by Jerry "Jet" Whittaker
May 18, 2006

Online gambling is a universal term for gambling using the Internet. This article gives a brief introduction to some of the forms of online gambling, as well as discussing general issues. Online gambling is legal and regulated in many countries including the United Kingdom and numerous nations in and around the Caribbean Sea. The United States Federal Appeals Courts has ruled that the Federal Wire Act prohibits electronic transmission of information for sports betting crossways state lines. There is no law keeping out gambling of any other kind. Some states have specific laws against online gambling of any kind. Also, owning an online gaming operation with no proper licensing would be illegal, and no states are currently granting online gaming licenses.

Legal issues

The government of the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, which licenses Internet gambling entities, made a complaint to the World Trade Organization about the U.S. government's actions to obstruct online gaming. The Caribbean country won the preliminary ruling but WTO's appeals body has partly reversed that favorable ruling in April, 2005. The appeals decision efficiently allowed state laws prohibiting gambling in Louisiana, Massachusetts, South Dakota and Utah. Though, the appeals panel also ruled that the United States may be violating global trade rules because its laws regulating horse-racing bets were not applied equitably to foreign and domestic online betting companies. The panel also held that certain online gambling restrictions imposed under US federal laws were contradictory with the trade body's GATS services agreement.

More of the legal issues

In March 2003, Deputy Assistant Attorney General John G. Malcolm testified before the Senate Banking Committee concerning the special problems presented by online gambling. A major anxiety of the United States Department of Justice is online money laundering. The anonymous nature of the Internet and the use of encryption make it particularly difficult to trace online money laundering transactions. In February 2005 the North Dakota House of Representatives passed a bill to legalize and control online poker and online poker card room operators in the State. Testifying before the State Senate, the CEO of one online card room, Paradise Poker, pledged to move to the state if the bill became law. However, the measure was defeated by the State Senate in March 2005. Jim Kasper, the Representative who sponsored the bill, plans a 2006 ballot plan on the topic























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