As the football season approaches, many people eagerly await a chance to prove their knowledge and predictions about the teams and players. Some people take their love of the game one step further and decide to wager some of their hard earned cash on the uncertain outcome of these games; this is better known as the act of gambling.
In the United States, gambling is legal and states have the authority to regulate it or prohibit it completely, however there are different laws for gambling online that you need to be aware of before you pass the point of no return. The Federal Wire Act states, “Whoever being engaged in the business of betting or wagering knowingly uses a wire communication facility for the transmission in interstate or foreign commerce of bets or wagers or information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers on any sporting event or contest, or for the transmission of a wire communication which entitles the recipient to receive money or credit as a result of bets or wagers, or for information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.” Some argue that this Act means that online gambling is illegal, but US Courts have ruled to the contrary identifying that the phrase “in the business” means that only businesses are affected.
While Internet gambling on a game of chance is not prohibited, owning an online gaming operation without a proper license is illegal and currently there are no states granting online gaming licenses. Because there are no states granting online gaming licenses, many gaming licenses are being obtained offshore, which makes it hard and almost impossible to regulate. What does this mean to the average online gambler? Feel free to go ahead and place those bets (as long as you don’t own the site without a license)!