Is Online Gambling Legal in the US

Is online gambling legal in the US is probably the question on the mind of the majority of online gamblers. This particular question however is not a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, as the question of is online gambling legal in the US is a complicated subject. The answer to this question would depend solely on one factor and that is the circumstances. Online gambling is divided into sections and each section has its own laws which would determine if the process is illegal or not, therefore this article is going to highlight a couple of these laws which may be able to answer our question.

Lets first deal with the players, there is no federal law which prevents individuals from playing online. A US lawyer stated in court that by simply placing wagers online was not illegal, however the players may run afoul of their state laws but that situation occurring is quite rare. There is in fact record of only one case of this happening – the individual was from North Dakota, however he only paid a small fine. The second section we would deal with is small ad publishers taking advertisements. Again just like the players these small publishers have little to fear. Even though there were cases whereby publishers were fined, it was only big name publishers like Yahoo and Google so even though they had a small fine to pay it did not affect them in any major way. As for the other smaller publishers they were simply warned, however they were not required to pay any fines. And of the small publishers there has been no record of them being warned to stop taking online gambling ads, so far. So far I have answered only part of the question of is online gambling legal in the US, so let’s continue right along.

The third section we will look at is the advertisers who promote their sport books in traditional media, for instance, magazines or billboards, can face scrutiny as operators. However sports books have never been scrutinized for advertising online. In addition, online casinos, affiliates and poker rooms have never faced any scrutiny for purchasing these ads, in any medium. The fourth section is the operators. These operators have no trouble once they are based outside the US, remain outside the US and deal specifically with casino / poker wages. Offshore sports books could face charges if they advertise on billboards or receive wagers by means of the telephone. So you can clearly understand now, why I mentioned at the beginning of my article that we can not give a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to the question of is online gambling legal in the US.

In closing though there are a few things you must keep in mind about this article, it only focuses on the federal laws of the US, therefore you would need to find out the laws of whichever state you reside in. another point is the laws are constantly changing so you would need to be aware of the changes. Even though you are reading this article to seek information on the subject of is online gambling legal in the US you need to speak with a lawyer as I have only touched the surface of each section to give you a summarized version of the laws.

Sarah H
http://www.articlesbase.com/sports-and-fitness-articles/is-online-gambling-legal-in-the-us-697181.html

Post Author: mark

7 thoughts on “Is Online Gambling Legal in the US

    Tinise854

    (February 28, 2010 - 10:17 pm)

    Is online gambling legal in Illinois?
    I’m interested in online gambling but I don’t know if it’s legal in Illinois. I’ve tried looking for information on the internet about this subject but everything I find is too complicated to understand. If someone can direct me to a website that can confirm the legality of online gambling in this state, please advise. Thanks in advance!

    staonfire4sure

    (March 1, 2010 - 3:19 am)

    i dont have a site but i can tell you that online gambling is legal in all of these united states what is not legal is for your bank to make deposits to gambling sites thats why you cant use a bank card to load up your account but there are ways around it just use google and search for how to load your poker account via epassport or a prepaid visa card those work well for me.
    References :

    Yvonne M

    (March 1, 2010 - 3:21 am)

    Illinois Compiled Statutes

    Last Updated Mar. 20, 2007

    Sec. 5-2. When accountability exists.

    A person is legally accountable for the conduct of another when:
    (a) Having a mental state described by the statute defining the offense, he causes another to perform the conduct, and the other person in fact or by reason of legal incapacity lacks such a mental state; or
    (b) The statute defining the offense makes him so accountable; or

    Either before or during the commission of an offense, and with the intent to promote or facilitate such commission, he solicits, aids, abets, agrees or attempts to aid, such other person in the planning or commission of the offense.

    (c) Either before or during the commission of an offense, and with the intent to promote or facilitate such commission, he solicits, aids, abets, agrees or attempts to aid, such other person in the planning or commission of the offense. However, a person is not so accountable, unless the statute defining the offense provides otherwise, if:

    (1) He is a victim of the offense committed; or

    (2) The offense is so defined that his conduct was inevitably incident to its commission; or

    (3) Before the commission of the offense, he terminates his effort to promote or facilitate such commission, and does one of the following: wholly deprives his prior efforts of effectiveness in such commission, or gives timely warning to the proper law enforcement authorities, or otherwise makes proper effort to prevent the commission of the offense.

    CRIMINAL OFFENSES
    ARTICLE 28. GAMBLING AND RELATED OFFENSES

    (720 ILCS 5/28‑1) (from Ch. 38, par. 28‑1)
    Sec. 28‑1. Gambling.
    (a) A person commits gambling when he:
    (1) Plays a game of chance or skill for money or other thing of value, unless excepted in subsection (b) of this Section; or

    (2) Makes a wager upon the result of any game, contest, or any political nomination, appointment or election; or

    (3) Operates, keeps, owns, uses, purchases, exhibits, rents, sells, bargains for the sale or lease of, manufactures or distributes any gambling device; or

    (4) Contracts to have or give himself or another the option to buy or sell, or contracts to buy or sell, at a future time, any grain or other commodity whatsoever, or any stock or security of any company, where it is at the time of making such contract intended by both parties thereto that the contract to buy or sell, or the option, whenever exercised, or the contract resulting therefrom, shall be settled, not by the receipt or delivery of such property, but by the payment only of differences in prices thereof; however, the issuance, purchase, sale, exercise, endorsement or guarantee, by or through a person registered with the Secretary of State pursuant to Section 8 of the Illinois Securities Law of 1953, or by or through a person exempt from such registration under said Section 8, of a put, call, or other option to buy or sell securities which have been registered with the Secretary of State or which are exempt from such registration under Section 3 of the Illinois Securities Law of 1953 is not gambling within the meaning of this paragraph (4); or

    (5) Knowingly owns or possesses any book, instrument or apparatus by means of which bets or wagers have been, or are, recorded or registered, or knowingly possesses any money which he has received in the course of a bet or wager; or

    (6) Sells pools upon the result of any game or contest of skill or chance, political nomination, appointment or election; or

    (7) Sets up or promotes any lottery or sells, offers to sell or transfers any ticket or share for any lottery; or

    (8) Sets up or promotes any policy game or sells, offers to sell or knowingly possesses or transfers any policy ticket, slip, record, document or other similar device; or

    (9) Knowingly drafts, prints or publishes any lottery ticket or share, or any policy ticket, slip, record, document or similar device, except for such activity related to lotteries, bingo games and raffles authorized by and conducted in accordance with the laws of Illinois or any other state or foreign government; or

    (10) Knowingly advertises any lottery or policy game, except for such activity related to lotteries, bingo games and raffles authorized by and conducted in accordance with the laws of Illinois or any other state; or

    (11) Knowingly transmits information as to wagers, betting odds, or changes in betting odds by telephone, telegraph, radio, semaphore or similar means; or knowingly installs or maintains equipment for the transmission or receipt of such information; except that nothing in this subdivision (11) prohibits transmission or receipt of such information for use in news reporting of sporting events or contests; or

    (12) Knowingly establishes, maintains, or operates an Internet site that permits a person to play a game of chance or skill for money or other thing of value by means of the Internet or to make a wager upon the result of any game, contest, political nomination, appointment, or election by means of the Internet.

    (b) Participants in any of the following activities shall not be convicted of gambling therefor:
    (1) Agreements to compensate for loss caused by the happening of chance including without limitation contracts of indemnity or guaranty and life or health or accident insurance;

    (2) Offers of prizes, award or compensation to the actual contestants in any bona fide contest for the determination of skill, speed, strength or endurance or to the owners of animals or vehicles entered in such contest;

    (3) Pari‑mutuel betting as authorized by the law of this State;

    (4) Manufacture of gambling devices, including the acquisition of essential parts therefor and the assembly thereof, for transportation in interstate or foreign commerce to any place outside this State when such transportation is not prohibited by any applicable Federal law;

    (5) The game commonly known as "bingo", when conducted in accordance with the Bingo License and Tax Act;

    (6) Lotteries when conducted by the State of Illinois in accordance with the Illinois Lottery Law;

    (7) Possession of an antique slot machine that is neither used nor intended to be used in the operation or promotion of any unlawful gambling activity or enterprise. For the purpose of this subparagraph (b)(7), an antique slot machine is one manufactured 25 years ago or earlier;

    (8) Raffles when conducted in accordance with the Raffles Act;

    (9) Charitable games when conducted in accordance with the Charitable Games Act;

    (10) Pull tabs and jar games when conducted under the Illinois Pull Tabs and Jar Games Act; or

    (11) Gambling games conducted on riverboats when authorized by the Riverboat Gambling Act.

    (c) Sentence.
    Gambling under subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this Section is a Class A misdemeanor. Gambling under any of subsections (a)(3) through (a)(11) of this Section is a Class A misdemeanor. A second or subsequent conviction under any of subsections (a)(3) through (a)(11), is a Class 4 felony. Gambling under subsection (a)(12) of this Section is a Class A misdemeanor. A second or subsequent conviction under subsection (a)(12) is a Class 4 felony.

    (d) Circumstantial evidence.
    In prosecutions under subsection (a)(1) through (a)(12) of this Section circumstantial evidence shall have the same validity and weight as in any criminal prosecution.
    (Source: P.A. 91‑257, eff. 1‑1‑00.)

    (720 ILCS 5/28‑1.1) (from Ch. 38, par. 28‑1.1)
    Sec. 28‑1.1. Syndicated gambling.

    (a) Declaration of Purpose. Recognizing the close relationship between professional gambling and other organized crime, it is declared to be the policy of the legislature to restrain persons from engaging in the business of gambling for profit in this State. This Section shall be liberally construed and administered with a view to carrying out this policy.

    (b) A person commits syndicated gambling when he operates a "policy game" or engages in the business of bookmaking.

    (c) A person "operates a policy game" when he knowingly uses any premises or property for the purpose of receiving or knowingly does receive from what is commonly called "policy":
    (1) money from a person other than the better or player whose bets or plays are represented by such money; or

    (2) written "policy game" records, made or used over any period of time, from a person other than the better or player whose bets or plays are represented by such written record.

    (d) A person engages in bookmaking when he receives or accepts more than five bets or wagers upon the result of any trials or contests of skill, speed or power of endurance or upon any lot, chance, casualty, unknown or contingent event whatsoever, which bets or wagers shall be of such size that the total of the amounts of money paid or promised to be paid to such bookmaker on account thereof shall exceed $2,000. Bookmaking is the receiving or accepting of such bets or wagers regardless of the form or manner in which the bookmaker records them.

    (e) Participants in any of the following activities shall not be convicted of syndicated gambling:
    (1) Agreements to compensate for loss caused by the happening of chance including without limitation contracts of indemnity or guaranty and life or health or accident insurance; and

    (2) Offers of prizes, award or compensation to the actual contestants in any bona fide contest for the determination of skill, speed, strength or endurance or to the owners of animals or vehicles entered in such contest; and

    (3) Pari‑mutuel betting as authorized by law of this State; and

    (4) Manufacture of gambling devices, including the acquisition of essential parts therefor and the assembly thereof, for transportation in interstate or foreign commerce to any place outside this State when such transportation is not prohibited by any applicable Federal la
    References :

    Anders E

    (March 1, 2010 - 3:23 am)

    On 30 September 2006 the US Congress passed The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of , after being attached to a Port Security measure that was sure to pass. ………The first thing to note is that the bill does not prohibit a poker enthusiast from playing online poker. …………………Online poker has NOT been banned. At least not in the latest bill passed in congress. The bill only has to do with the funding of accounts. It has nothing to do with actually playing poker online.
    References :
    http://www.winningonlinepoker.eu/html/unlawful_internet_gambling_enf.html

    terrance m

    (March 1, 2010 - 3:25 am)

    Potsie

    (March 1, 2010 - 3:27 am)

    There is NO federal law that makes the act of wagering online illegal. The only federal law that addresses gambling is the wire act from the 1960’s which makes it illegal to place wagers via the telephone. The US government passed a port security law and tacked on provisions (UIGEA) that make it illegal for BANKS, not players, to fund or accept payment from gaming sources. The only problem (for the govt) is that there are dozens of third party methods available for funding and no way to trace ACH credits. In other words, the new provisions are only for show and the end result is a waste of ink. I still use my VISA check card and e-check on my favorite sites. Online gaming will be impossible to completely eliminate from the US. The best they can do is make it inconvenient. Eventually I see the industry being regulated and taxed…heavily!

    The only states with laws directed towards online wagering are Michigan, Illinois, Louisiana, Oregon, Wisconsin, Washington, Indiana, Nevada, New York, New Jersey and South Dakota. Although these states do have specific laws pertaining to online gaming, there has not been any charges laid.

    Some sites have decided, on their own, to no longer accept American players. These are the publicly traded companies and most have returned to private owners. There are still many highly reputable sites that welcome and cater to American clients.
    I have wagered online for years and make good money betting on sports and playing poker. You can get free sports betting tips, poker tips, matchup stats, tools, sports picks, stats, and reviews of only highly reputable gaming sites at http://GamblingReviewsSite.com/
    The recommended sites all offer top customer service, security, and fast/free payouts.
    References :

    PUFFER MAN

    (March 1, 2010 - 3:29 am)

    I’m from Chicago and yes its legal just like in other states just some on line poker sites won’t let you play sins you are from USA
    References :

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