To tell the truth, the legality of US online gambling is not as straight forward as one thinks. The reason being though gambling is legal within the federal laws and regulations, every single state has the freedom to apply or for their matter restrict any given law within their own territories. One may find some states where gambling is restricted or better illegal in all its different forms whereas in some other territories one may find the complete opposite. In some sections of US, one may also find some types allowed while some are restricted. However this is just in the outside world and when we change our line of attention over to the cyber world, things just get a lot more complicated. There are many states that have passed state level regulations to decriminalize as well as standardize online gambling. For countless years online gambling legality has always remained in the gray zone and still after many years there exist numerous confusions as to which of them are allowed and which are termed as illegal.
Unlawful internet gambling legalized Act:
One of the main catalysts of this great confusion is mainly due to the law enforcement or regulations which was triggered off in the year 2006 namely via the- UNLAWFUL INTERNET GAMBLING ENFORCEMENT ACT. Though this did not make the practice of cyber gambling illegal, what it did manage to do is restrict the processing of the internet transactions and dealings which were linking to gambling. The UIGEA Act which was a part of the SAFE port Act was mainly introduced for regulating port security. The main obligation of this act was to restrict gambling businesses from deliberately accepting payments or transactions linked with another party or person in bet, involved in the usage of internet. They considered it as an act of Federal State Law violation and deemed it as unlawful or illegal. With the passing or this act, the meaning which came out was that- it was illegal on the part of those gambling web forums to accept money or any kind of depositions. This was also applicable for banks or financial institution to get engaged in such transactions. In simple words, this act did not make these online gambling activities illegal, but what it did was to infuse a fear of legal enforcement to whoever got engaged in such activities. It made them nervous about being involved in its affair.
This act was quite decisive in controlling such gambling activities and in the process prevented many people from getting involved in such matters. Before the UIGEA, there were numerous websites which provided real money to the US inhabitants via gaming or betting, but without any breaking or violating any state laws. But after the introduction of this act, all associated companies which were publicly listed on the stock exchanges, namely Party Gaming, ended the US operations instantaneously! Any others also followed that same path. But there were some who still continued with their operations as there was a strong feeling that the firms running websites from certain physical locations, where such things were legalized did not come under the US regulations.
The effect it had on the State levels:
After the introduction of the UIGEA, numerous states have passed their own state laws and regulations regarding online gambling. This as a result has led to the creation of numerous legalised as well as regulated gambling forums which are specifically meant for the inhabitants of US. These websites are constantly trying to keep up with the latest state legislative and regulatory alterations which affect cyber gambling in America. They also clearly mention on which states their gambling options are legal and also enlighten their end users about where the initiation of such legal proceedings that are being considered or for that matter debated.
Some examples where steps are being taken as we discuss:
Let us take the example of two US states; California and Pennsylvania where steps are being taken to make it happen.
In Pennsylvania, the biggest update regarding the matter came in April 2013. The house bill 2135 was wished-for, summoning the Pennsylvania Gaming control board to assume authorization and responsibility for the legal regulations of providing real cyber gaming within the state. However it was indicated that the undertaken legislation would be restricted. However some of the officials involved in the matter stated that there are still some chances that in some point of the future, things will happen as planned.
In California, online gambling is not legal; however there are still many websites in vivid parts of the globe which accept customers from California. Efforts are being made to legalize online gambling and the focus is mainly on online poker USA. Various bills have been submitted but this has been a bit in the way of a tangible process