When you first heard about internet gambling, you might have been surprised by the fact that it was allowed to happen. When live gambling in casinos is so heavily regulated, how could internet gambling be legal? And even if the law allows gambling, statistics would have to show that only fools would play, right?
Forget the hype, but know the facts.
The answer to this question? It depends. There are two major federal laws related to internet gambling:
- The Interstate Wire Act of 1961
- The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006
The first law made it illegal to use wire communication for gambling purposes. But, in 1961, lawmakers couldn’t have envisioned the internet. So although the internet does uses ‘wires,’ the exact meaning of the term allowed for too many loopholes.
So, in 2006, the second law was passed. It focuses on the online gambling company rather than the gambler. It is a felony for any company to accept any money related to online gambling. This is why the companies you can gamble with online are located outside of the US where it is difficult prosecute. But, the government also expects US Banks to stop money from going to these online companies. Because of this, you might eventually have trouble paying for online gambling with your US bank account or credit card. However, it is not a problem at the moment.
So while the federal government won’t come after internet gamblers, they could still be breaking the law. The UIGEA leaves it up to the states to determine whether or not internet gambling violates their state’s laws. Experts believe that any law states might pass would make it a misdemeanor to gamble online rather than a felony. And again, there is no expectation that states would pursue the gambler rather than the gambling company. But if you have any concerns, you should check with your state’s gaming commission to understand whether or not you are violating any state laws.
There are several different types of online casinos, and we can only expect for them to get more elaborate as online gambling evolves. Today, the three main ones are:
- Web-based Casinos – these casinos allow you to play without downloading software and the possible pop-ups or spyware that may come with it. These casinos will require that you have a higher speed internet connection than the other types, since you’ll be transferring the games and graphics across the web as you play.
- Download-based Casinos – these sites require that you load their software onto your computer before you can gamble or play the games. These are generally faster, making them popular with players. Of course, you have to go through the initial set-up process, and you are risking the possibility of downloading software from an ‘unknown’ source – which always includes the chance that you could get a virus as well.
- Live-based Casinos – here, you are actually playing in a ‘live’ or ‘chat’ environment. Today there are even webcam-based casinos where you can watch a live dealer and even other players. This is as close to a walk-in casino as you can get on the internet.
Safety is probably the largest concern that online gamblers have, but when it comes to gambling, statistics show that trust in the industry continues to increase. This is evident in the increase in the number of players and funds invested between 2000 and 2006. It is estimated that the industry grew from about $10 billion to more than $14 billion in just these six years. You can gamble online safely if you take the time to investigate your options. Before you invest your money in playing, check ecogra.org, an independent, nonprofit agency that rates and approves online gaming sites.
During these tough economic times, it is no surprise that land based casinos are losing money. You may have thought that people would be flocking to sportsbooks and casinos worldwide in order to gamble and hopefully win big as an aid to surviving the recession that the economic crisis has spawned.
However, it seems that the opposite is true. The lack of money for entertainment means that folks are foregoing those weekend trips to Las Vegas and other gambling meccas. They have even become unwilling to spend the money required for gasoline or public transportation in order to get to land based casinos that are within driving distance of their homes. You could ask any sports book or casino owner how the recession has treated their business, and most of them will tell you that they are losing money.
Experts in the gambling industry have observed a ripple effect taking place across the world. Determining the patterns of international gambling is the subject of a study that has released some surprising facts about the gambling industry. Online gambling is rising in popularity in spite of the economic crisis. In fact, in 2008, the total amount taken in สมัครจีคลับ worldwide by online gambling was more than 20 billion dollars, setting a new high record.
Why are people shying away from land-based casinos and using online casinos instead? Simply put, they can make their money go much further in an online casino. As mentioned above, people just do not want to part with their cash for airfare or for any other form of transportation in order to get to the casinos. They are using that money to go to online casinos, and having their gambling fun in the comfort of their homes.
The gambling industry is predicting that online gambling will continue to be quite popular for as long as the economic crisis goes on, and even beyond. People are not going to give up gambling. They may not wager as large an amount as they once did, but the lure of winning is too strong for them to stop completely. They will turn to online casinos as a way to continue their gambling habit for less money.
All that is needed for online gambling is a computer and an inexpensive broadband connection to the Internet. Anywhere you can use a laptop computer or a mobile phone is also a place where you can gamble. Unlike land-based casinos, online gambling allows you to practice many of the most popular games at no charge. You can get a feel for a game before investing any money in it, which can save money in the long run.
Those punters who are smokers and have seen their favourite casino or sports book turn into a smoke-free establishment are also bringing their gambling dollars to the online casinos. Gambling via the Internet means no restrictions on smoking, food or drink. There is no dress code to follow, and many consider online casinos much safer than land based casinos. Several of the big online casinos are responding to this influx of new customers by making online gambling even more fun and appealing. They are adding welcome bonuses and other promotions, holding tournaments, and featuring player customizable slot machines. Almost everything you can find at a land-based casino is available at online casinos, plus a whole lot more.
Online gambling is very convenient, offers a huge variety of games to tantalize the punter, and suits the entertainment budgets of those who are affected by the economic crisis. There is no doubt that the gambling industry is right on the threshold of even more growth as it grows more popular than ever.