Despite the many benefits, online gambling is still not entirely free from legal pitfalls. Federal prosecutors have warned that online gambling sites could be subject to criminal prosecution. Fortunately, some states are starting to regulate the industry. Delaware and New Jersey have already taken the first steps toward regulating online gambling. However, the issue will continue to be a state-by-state affair.
Unlawful internet gambling is still illegal in the United States, although state laws differ on the subject. In 2006, Congress enacted the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which limited the ability of banks to transact with illegal internet-based gambling sites. However, this law did not define what constitutes a “illegal gambling” website, making this a gray area for many online gamblers. Previously, the federal Wire Act prohibited all forms of online gambling, including poker, lottery, and online casinos.
In the United States, illegal internet gambling implicates seven federal criminal statutes. The Wire Act and the Illegal Gambling Business Act prohibit the placing, receiving, or transmitting of bets on interstate commerce. In addition, there are provisions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act that prohibit the operation of illegal gambling businesses.
Some online casinos offer live games with real dealers. The cost of hosting live games is high. Therefore, most online casinos offer a small number of live games. Virtual games are cheaper to operate, which means online casinos can offer hundreds of games. They also require stable internet connections. This is a major drawback, but some people prefer the convenience and security of live casino gaming.