While the United States has not enacted a federal law governing Internet gambling, federal prosecutors have pursued criminal prosecution of operators who accept payments from Internet gamblers. These cases have drawn scrutiny of the laws regulating the gambling industry. Some jurisdictions have even banned online gambling altogether. However, a few states have made some exemptions for online gambling. These laws have been challenged on constitutional grounds.
The first step toward legalizing online gambling is to establish a reputable body to oversee the industry. The Government Accountability Office, or GAO, published a report on internet gambling in Dec. 2002. This report recommends that online gambling be regulated. But for now, the federal government’s approach to regulating online gambling is not very effective.
Another important step in avoiding illegal offshore gambling sites is to make sure that the website is legitimate. Legitimate online gambling sites ensure that all games are fair, and players’ accounts are secure. They also use SSL encryption software to protect personal information. Additionally, they offer reputable banking methods. Licensed sites also guarantee payouts.
Gambling laws can vary from state to state, so it is important to check with the government before engaging in online gambling. While gambling is largely a matter of state law, federal legislation reinforces state laws. State officials have been concerned that the internet could be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.