On-line gambling is a fast developing business in Europe, with almost 15,000 gambling websites and annual revenues exceeding € 6 billion and expected to double in over the next few years. As the on-line gambling market continues to grow and generate revenues that are often put towards good causes, precautions are taken to protect European citizens however, the legal framework continues to vary from country to country, with different rules applying to licensing, related on-line services, payments, public interest objectives, and the fight against fraud.
In the United States, bingo operators and other forms of online gambling operators have been forbidden from taking the hard earned money if US citizens, however the people of the US love their forbidden fruit and over recent years, online gambling has become increasingly popular. The laws that make online gambling games illegal, in the name of protecting and serving the citizens of the US, has backfired.
As it turns out, gamblers across the US have been sneaking around, playing online bingo, casino and poker games at dubious websites, while citizens in the UK, for example, are semi-protected by a white list of gambling sites, but can play freely without feeling the need to be elusive. The white list contain represent the good guys who can advertise freely and have been granted acceptable gaming jurisdiction. In contrast, those on the blacklist are forbidden to advertise as they did not meet the specific regulatory criteria. This criterion was established to protect minors as well as discourage crime and promote fair play. Offshore companies and other countries in the EU however have not had to adhere to these standards, which has led to a bit of confusion and unfairness in the online gaming world. Currently, the European Commission has addressed the issue of unlicensed gaming sites in the green papers regarding online gambling.
Another problem associated with online gaming legislation is that it has created an excessive flow of untaxed currency, and in the case of the United States, any money being generated by online gaming is a strict no-no. Ultimately, this has led to proposed regularized legislation of online gambling. Support for this kind of bill in the United States still has a long way to go, although last week, the Nevada Gaming Commission surprisingly approved a partnership between Caesars Entertainment and 888 Holdings which will host Caesars-brand gambling sites in the U.K. and various free sites in other jurisdictions. An even bigger surprise was the announcement of the partnership between Wynn Resorts and PokerStars, who is currently the illegal host to US players. Needless to say, the partnership has been frowned upon by US upholders of criminal justice, yet it is in pursuit of federal legislation that will lead to regulation of Internet gambling.
Currently it’s a battle on the state and federal level that continues to go nowhere… and the question still remains, should online gambling be legalized in the United States? Cast your vote… http://bit.ly/online_gambling.
Have the urge to gamble? Well if you are in the US your best bet is on the tables in Vegas, Atlantic City, reservations, riverboats or in the privacy of your own home, where you might not stand to lose as much! Throw a themed poker party! You can even get the materials the pro’s play with!
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