The Rise of Online Gambling
idn play the heyday of online gambling in the United States, there were millions of dollars being bet every day in an unregulated environment. It was a time before the rules and regulations of the era were well understood, and before technology had advanced to the point where the government could properly enforce the laws.
The UIGEA, or the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, made it illegal to gamble on the web. Several of the world’s biggest and most popular online gambling sites were indicted in 2011. However, the law was only partially effective, and the UIGEA remained a hot topic for years to come.
Interestingly, the UIGEA was not the first to ban Internet gaming. In fact, the first known case involved a sports betting venue located inside a state line. The federal government tried to interpret the Interstate Wire Act to apply to all forms of Internet wagering, but the courts ruled against them.
The most obvious reason to ban online gambling was to prevent people from using the internet to access gambling sites located in states with laws that prohibit such activity. While the UIGEA was a good starting point, the best approach was to create a regulatory framework that ensured consumers were safe. The next logical step was to provide consumer protection and generate taxation revenue. The federal government is willing to take the heat, and some jurisdictions are taking notice of the benefits of regulation.
There are no doubt many reasons to regulate and legalize internet gaming, but a key determinant of success is how a jurisdiction approaches the challenge. While the legal framework must be crafted in an appropriate way to ensure fair play and responsible behavior, it is likely that the industry will continue to evolve.
For example, the best known and most successful online gambling site, Partypoker, had the largest user base and the most active online poker rooms. Other than the novelty of having a poker room on the internet, there were other technological and legal obstacles to overcome. In order to be a legitimate gambling site, it needed to have a secure, reliable and trustworthy banking system, and multiple security features to guard against fraud and theft.
In the United States, there are two main classes of online casinos: those with casino games hosted on the website itself and those with virtual poker or sports betting hosted on a third-party website. Each requires a device to access the games, a stable Internet connection, and money to fund the account. In the UK, there are a host of other gambling sites, each of which specializes in a particular game or type of gambling. In addition, there are a slew of sites that offer sports betting.
The online gambling industry has grown rapidly, and some jurisdictions are recognizing the benefits of a regulatory framework. The latest statistics show that the online gambling market will reach 9.5 billion U.S. dollars by the year 2021.