Is Online Gambling Illegal?


Typically, gambling involves the bet of something of value on a random event. Gambling can be in the form of sports, horse races, dog races and charitable events. There are a few states that restrict gambling and a few countries that consider gambling to be illegal.

Online gambling is legal in some countries and illegal in others. In the United States, gambling is legal in forty-eight states. However, online gambling is illegal in most states.

The US government has taken actions against online gaming sites that violated federal laws. One Internet financial services company paid $10 million in a civil agreement to settle a case involving illegal offshore gambling agreements.

The federal Wire Act of 1961 regulates online gambling. The Act was drafted before the Internet was available. The Act was designed to protect against “racketeering” practices.

The US government has taken actions against internet gambling sites that have accepted money from US-based payment processors to market virtual gambling operations. In addition, the Department of Justice has allowed states to pass legislation on online gambling.

Some states prohibit computer gambling, but allow for local activities. Others define gambling as an illegal activity, particularly if it is conducted from home.

Some states allow for bingo and dog races. Other states allow scratch cards. Other states allow for scratch off stickers. Some states prohibit poker parties.

Some states prohibit gambling at charitable events. Gambling is typically considered illegal if it involves underage gambling.