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A U.S. of Online Gambling

How would it be if tomorrow the U.S. authorized online casino gambling on a large scale? How would U.S. authorities go about granting licenses to online casino companies? How would online casinos approach the United States government about getting a license to operate in the U.S.? How would regulations be imposed, taxes collected and consumer protections enforced by the U.S. on online casino companies? Perhaps most importantly, how would the U.S. go about legalizing online casinos when the current legal opinion of Washington is that online gambling is illegal under the 1961 Wire Act?

A reversal in the current thought processes of the U.S. government regarding online casino gambling is what is first needed. The exact reasons for the de facto but rarely enforced ban on online gambling in the U.S. are somewhat cryptic and there remain plenty of good causes to ask for a re-examination of current U.S. policy regarding the online casino industry. Americans are the most frequent and affluent of online casino users, gambling 24 hours a day, 7 days a week even though their government frowns upon such gaming. Only a couple of states enforce a specific ban on online gambling; the Wire Act makes no mention of the internet and there is no specific federal law that bans online casino gambling.

It remains to be seen how 2006 will play out for the online casino industry, and the relationship of the United States government with personal freedoms and economic freedom. The Soviet Union made it illegal to possess foreign currency for Soviet citizens in the country, though a black market did emerge in the shadows. The online casino industry operates as sort of a gambling black market at the moment, and if the U.S. government does not want these online gambling companies to undermine U.S. sovereignty any longer, Washington should consider softening its view of the online casino world.

OCA News Editor

With a background in game development spanning 8 years, Sam Peterson is OCA’s leading authority in the world of online gaming. His focuses include new releases and gaming providers.