Would Legalization Change Things?
Ever wonder what life would be like in the United States without the current restrictions that the government tries to put on online gambling? Would legalization of online casino gambling in the U.S. make much of a difference in terms of the effects on popular American culture? Probably not, if only because of the fact that so many Americans are already taking advantage of globalization’s reach on the internet to gamble online regardless of the legal opinion their government has about online casinos. And far from doing so in a spirit of dissent, Americans are gambling online because they haven’t been told, point blank, that it isn’t legal.
This is because the legality is such a murky issue. The opinion of the Justice Department, and thus the U.S. government, is based on the 1961 Wire Act, which banned certain forms of gambling over phone lines. In the early years of the internet, when those logging onto the web had little choice but to use their phone lines to do so, the Wire Act probably applied to online gambling as it existed then. We don’t have the numbers on record of those Americans who gambled online from the earliest years that online casinos could exist, but it is a good bet that if it is a game, Americans will try to win at it somehow.
Americans like to win, and given the success of cities like Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Reno and the many different Indian Reservation casinos out there, Americans like to win gambling a lot of the time, too. Of course, this means that Americans like playing games, getting a thrill out of the competition whatever the game is. This is why online casinos are able to thrive in spite of an official position that shuns online gambling, and why were they to be legalized, the act itself probably wouldn’t make much of a difference.