While online gambling is legal on the federal level, each state has its own regulations. In New Jersey, for example, residents can place bets on fantasy sports, lotteries, and horse racing. In Pennsylvania, internet gaming is overseen by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Thanks to the presence of PokerStars, online poker is big business in the Keystone State.
According to a recent study, more than 400,000 male youths engage in internet gambling at least once a week. Overall, the frequency of Internet gambling has increased from less than 1% in 2008 to nearly eight percent in 2010. However, females have been much less likely to engage in online gambling, according to the study.
Fortunately, there are several organizations and states that offer assistance for people struggling with online gambling addictions. Some even provide referral services to local programs. Ask your doctor for recommendations, or do an Internet search for “Internet gambling addiction help” plus the state or city in which you live to find a local program. Another option is to contact a group for support called Gamblers Anonymous.
Unlike offline casinos, legal online gambling websites are backed by state lotteries, ensuring fairness and security. These websites also provide players with reputable banking options and offer SSL encryption software for player protection. They also have fair bonus policies. Some of them even offer instant play games. While gambling online, the key is to play responsibly and enjoy yourself.
While federal gambling laws have been challenged, enforcement has been upheld so far. However, this has been difficult due to lack of legal precedent. In the United States, U.S. marshals seized nearly $3 million from the Discovery Communications group for accepting advertisements from the Costa Rican casino operation Tropical Paradise. Federal prosecutors have also warned PayPal that it would be subject to criminal prosecution if it failed to comply with the law.
While the majority of states have legalized online gambling, there are still some unregulated territories. Some states have state-owned gambling monopolies that prevent offshore sites from accepting players. For instance, Canada, Finland, and Sweden have not given licenses to foreign online gaming operators. This means that local governments can’t prosecute foreign operators and punish players.
Moreover, some states have passed their own laws regarding online gambling. For example, online gambling in Maharashtra is illegal under the “Bombay Wager Act.” In other states, the Federal Information Technology Rules have addressed the issue of online gambling, and it may prevent illegal activities from taking place. Further, some states are more aggressive than others.
The Internet gambling industry is growing fast and has become a huge industry. According to comScore, online gambling was the fastest-growing category online in fall 2011. There are approximately 10 million U.S. users and online gambling is estimated to be worth $30 billion worldwide. In the US, online poker is estimated to be worth about $6 billion annually. Despite the federal government’s stance against online gambling, online poker is still a popular adult pasttime.