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Surveillance and Online Casino Gambling

If you gamble at an online casino in the United States, did you know that Big Brother is watching you? Or at least, might be? There are already issues in the United States related to the lawfulness of NSA wiretaps against citizens suspected of involvement in terrorism, but it isn’t much of a stretch of the imagination to make a connection between federal observation of people who play online casino games as well.

Is such surveillance lawful? It depends on how you view the law and the Constitution. Online casino gambling is deemed as unlawful according to the 1961 Wire Act, which banned certain forms of gambling over phone lines. That law and its restrictions are now applied to online gambling, which more often than not these days is accessed not by phone lines but by a direct, unending cable connection that doesn’t need to be dialed up.

If watching online casino gamblers is a practice that is taken place, it might not be lawful under the Constitution, which restricts the ability of government to interfere in the personal lives of U.S. citizens. Then again, since the government views online casino gambling as illegal, as there is some sort of law on the books, it could also be that the War on Online Gambling is not comparable to the War on Terror.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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