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Analyzing U.S. Anti-Online Casino Law

Just in case you were wondering what exactly the recent Unlawful Gambling Act of 2006, passed in the United States, actually says or means, here is brief primer on what the act enacts and what it means for the future of online casino gambling in the U.S. and by extension around the world. The primary effect of the act is to prevent American credit card companies from authorizing payments to online casinos by their customers.

The United States already views internet gambling as illegal according to the 1961 Wire Act, which banned certain forms of gambling over phone lines. While in America today not everyone connects the the internet using a dedicated land phone line, the technology and the law can be interpreted as such to mean that whatever the technology was in 1961 doesn’t matter – since people do generally connect, either directly or by extension, via a wire, online gambling is a form of gambling prevented under the Wire Act.

Washington has challenged Antigua before the World Trade Organization, and Antigua itself has challenged the U.S. over its position on online gambling. The U.S., as is by now well known, opposes online gambling and sees online casino bans as its sovereign right. Antigua sees the U.S. moves against online casino gambling as harming their nation’s interests, as Antigua is a prominent off-shore location for headquartering online casino interests.

OCA News Editor