Legal Online Gambling Guide

Guide Guide

In the world of online gambling there are lots of different pieces of legislation pertaining to the lawfulness of operating and playing at an online gambling site that it can be a veritable minefield when it comes to knowing what’s legal and what’s not legal. This legislation can come from Government, from Gambling Authorities that operate in different jurisdictions around the world and also from independent accreditation and testing agencies such as eCOGRA.

There are many factors that define an online gambling site as ‘legal’. It can be a result of applicable laws in your country and also internationally. It can also be due to the online operator’s cooperation with international regulatory bodies, because of certain key standards being met as a result of a regulatory board review and also it can come from receiving accreditation of gaming fairness from an independent testing board.

As a consumer, this is good news for you, because the sites who wish to be legal in all aspects of their operations need to hold licenses in the correct jurisdictions and also have to adhere to strict rules and regulations, under the threat of extreme penalty if they’re found to be breaking these rules or are in any way involved in illegal activities or activities which infringe on the rights of players.

We understand that most people just want to play online without all the hassle of having to research every minute detail about laws pertaining to online gambling so we’ve put together a general guide to help you understand a bit more about what the laws are and how they apply to you if at all when playing at an online gambling establishment.

The History of Legal Online Gambling

We’ve seen many examples of organised gambling throughout history. From the first dice games to tile and card games, people could always find a way to introduce an extra ‘challenge’ into whatever game it was they were playing. What first started out as a way of adding a little more excitement to a game has now become a multi-billion-dollar industry and during the early 90’s it exploded into the online world with the invention of the world's first online gambling establishments.

They were small in numbers at first, around 15 or so in total in the very beginning and there were two very distinct categories of online experience available to players. Firstly, there were online casinos where you could play your favourite table games and video slots. Games like blackjack and roulette featured heavily on these types of sites, as well as video poker and the earliest incarnations of online slot games.

The second type of online gambling site came a little later on in the ’90s. Poker, most notably the variant called Texas Hold’em, made its entrance to the world of online gaming. This was immensely popular as the games were multiplayer and players from all around the world were able to face off against each other in tournament style play. A few years later other variants such as Omaha and traditional 5 card poker were made and added to these sites. This increased the popularity of these types of sites even more and operators had a genuine hit on their hands.

Legal Online Gambling in the USA

Even though they have the illustrious Las Vegas, which is arguably one of, if not, the premier gambling city in the world, for the majority of Americans it’s still illegal to gamble online. It’s hard to imagine that a country that practically invented some of the most famous games in gambling history actually prohibits the majority of online gambling. As you will find out it’s not as straightforward as it sounds.

In the United States of America, online gambling is prohibited in all but 3 states. These states are Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. It’s also illegal to operate an online gambling establishment from anywhere but these 3 states too. Let's make it clear that whilst the American public can still enjoy all the trappings that land based casinos have to offer, online gambling remains illegal because of a law that prevents online transactions from being sent to an online betting site.

The U.S Wager Wire Act strictly prohibits all methods of electronic payments to online betting establishments in countries where it’s not permitted. This puts the law in an odd position because people gamble online anyway, and it's very hard to enforce this law. Where it is legal, however, players enjoy both online casino games and online poker rooms. Many of Las Vegas' most famous casinos have online casino sites that mirror their luxurious feel and provide American players with a unique and authentic experience. Likewise, Texas Hold’em is very popular in the United States and U.S players are able to play this and other variants at regulated sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.

The opportunities are out there for Americans and the rest of the world, even Norwegians can take part in the eventful hobby that is online gambling.

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