One of the main advantages of US gambling regulations is that legislation pertaining this industry has been in effect since more than 2 centuries ago. However, this advantage quickly dissipates into a challenge when you consider the fact that what is in place today was made for a different time with different technologies and demographic circumstances. For example, a gambling rule affected in 1900 would have very little applicability in the 70’s, where you expect a wildly changed landscape. The problem with these rules from the past is inflated when you shift your focus to online gambling online casino rules in effect today are largely antiquated from bits of legislation that came into effect even before the internet was conceived. This problem is especially prevalent at the state level where lawmakers cringe at the thought of drafting new legislation that may turn out to be unpopular. They actually go out of their way to fight the establishment of new online casinos.
At the moment, US online gaming laws are all over the place. Some states want the technology while others want nothing but brick and mortar casinos. In fact, at this moment, there are states, cities and counties that are moving to shut down the expansion of online gambling and basically stifle it. Others follow obscure legislation that does nothing but harms the industry. At the moment, the federal government seems to be holding its own. It has in effect three laws that govern online gambling:
- The Interstate Wire Act
- The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act
- The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act
The three laws work toward preventing sports gambling, betting on teams and what the federal government terms as illegal internet gambling’. Said laws have a small probability of prosecution in case of violation, but they do work to scare off investors and players. Their language is wordy and obscure, and this has created even more confusion. An objective look at the existing rules would greatly lift the gambling industry and open the floodgates to more gaming and more investment in online gambling ventures.
Lessons from across the Atlantic
The Brits have this thing down. They have very simple and direct laws regarding gambling of every kind if you are just a simple player looking for some fun. The complex legalese is left to the sites providing gambling services, but they have high powered attorneys who can help with interpretation and implementation. There exists a single regulatory body, the Gambling Commission, and it follows the Gambling Act of 2005 to make sure every party does their bit. Then you have Norway where it’s illegal with brick and mortar casinos, however there are plenty of “norsk casino” online where Norwegian can go for gambling. The US could benefit from centralising regulation and to be honest, just cutting everyone some slack.
Is the tail wagging the dog?
Realistically, players have the system beat hands down in a way. At the moment, the proliferation of Bitcoin has led to the addition of more firms to the Bitcoin casino list outside the US, which means that people are spending money anonymously over the internet, and the money is leaving the country every day. Basically, the US is milking itself dry by way of draconian dogma. Lifting the current restrictions on online gambling would mean that companies would open sites inside the US, and players would benefit local companies and by extension, state and federal governments within the Land of the Free.