The Legal Issues Involved in Online Gambling

Online Gambling

Almost 10 million Americans are involved in online gambling. The legal issues involved vary by region. There are several organizations that offer assistance for people with gambling addiction. These organizations may be able to provide referral services for local programs.

Online gambling is mainly composed of casino games. These include virtual poker, sports betting, pool-selling, and lotteries. The legal issues are primarily state law. Currently, 48 states allow some form of gambling. Most countries have their own local laws.

In the United States, the enforcement of federal gambling laws has been challenged on constitutional grounds. Some attacks based on the Commerce Clause have failed, while attacks based on the First Amendment guarantee of free speech have had limited success.

A report released by the Annenberg Public Policy Center in 2010 found that monthly use of Internet gambling sites among college-age males jumped from 4.4% to 16.0%. This increase was attributed to the increased availability of Internet venues.

The report found that more than 1.7 million male youth are involved in illegal Internet gambling. This figure is expected to increase over the next few years. Some studies indicate that teenagers gamble in order to boost their self-image. Others speculate that they are trying to win big. However, the fact is that underage gambling is not prevented.

In addition to state laws, there are also local regulations that pertain to online gambling. In New York State, the act of entering a bet into an online casino constitutes gambling activity. There are also licensing authorities that impose strict rules on licensed gambling establishments. These regulations may hinder the growth of the market.