Online gambling law in the US explained.
Over the past few months there has been a lot of hype about the new law passed and many rumors about what it does and does not do.
One of the most important misconceptions is the fact that the new law does not make online gambling any more illegal than it was before. joker123
It’s all in the name.
“Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act”., the actual name of the act is the rather cryptic, “Security and Accountability For Every Port Act of 2006”.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement section itself starts on page 213, (the act itself can be found on the congress website)
As the name suggests its primary objective is the enforcement of the current internet gambling laws.
The law makers, (congress), have made it an offence for financial institutions to receive money from sites that are breaking US laws, (on internet gambling).
The bill only applies to the mechanism of funding any Internet gaming which has already been deemed to be illegal. Let me clarify that last point, all the act does is enforce the current legislation by telling financial institutions that they are responsible if the money they handle comes from a site that broke US laws in the first place.
So what is the Definition of Unlawful Internet Gambling?
Section 5362(6) defines unlawful Internet gambling to mean, placing or receiving a bet “where such bet or wager is unlawful under any applicable Federal or State law.”, if it was not illegal before, it still isn’t.
The main problem is that internet gambling is illegal, (to a various degree) in 11 states, so now the banks have to make sure that they don’t pay sites that accepted this illegal money.
Sports-betting was made illegal way back in 1961 by the Wire Act, but internet gambling is not.
Where on earth.
Another major drawback of the law is the jurisdiction, the US congress doesn’t have jurisdiction to make rules for a company that resides offshore.
Nor does the US have subpoena power to command an offshore company to turn over records. So how can they tell where the money comes from?
And more importantly how can the financial institutions know if the money comes from an illegal activity, (in the US), or not.
That last point explains the hysteria by some financial institutions, they assume that if they cannot tell where the money comes from, (for various reason), then they might be charged with some crime at a later stage.