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US Law Plays with Online Casinos

Betting on sports is against the law in the United States. With the exception of Nevada, sports fans who wish to bet money on game outcomes and season turnouts must use online casinos, and so they do. In the past five years many Americans have started using online casinos to bet with bookmakers in countries that permit sports betting. The online casino industry, fueled by the growing popularity, has Americans bet an estimated six billion dollars last year.

Before his arrest this summer, David Carruthers, the CEO of the British bookmaker Betonsports, has been actively calling for the regulation of online casinos. But American law authorities seem reluctant to continue their war on online casinos. High profile arrests, and an anti online casinos House bill are examples. The bill is designed to battle underage gambling and the “national-security problem” which online casinos pose. But many believe this is actually a new chapter in America’s love-hate relationship with gambling.

Years before online casinos appeared, gambling was not foreign to Americans. In the 19th century the law permitted lotteries, as well as gambling on cards and horses. It was a puritanical revival that made lotteries illegal late in the nineteenth century. The law changed again in the 1960’s, accepting gambling. Even today, while sports betting may be illegal, the law is usually not strictly enforced. What will the future of online casinos hold for gamblers?

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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