Online gambling was all the rage in the late 1990s. In fact, in 1997 there were about 200 sites on the Web. But by 2001, the number of gamblers had increased to eight million.
One of the first online casinos was the Liechtenstein International Lottery. As the Internet began to permeate society, the plethora of online gambling opportunities grew exponentially.
The biggest question remains: what’s the legal status of internet gambling in the United States? While the federal government claims that all forms of Internet gambling are illegal, there’s no legal authority to back that up.
Some state officials are concerned that the Internet could be used to bring illegal gambling to their jurisdictions. Despite the etiquette, the best way to deal with this problem is to educate parents and children about Internet gambling and its potential pitfalls.
The Department of Justice announced that the Wire Act applies to all forms of Internet gambling. Its stated purpose is to prevent criminal activity and promote fair play in sports betting. However, it has drawn some fire for the way it handled the case.
The most recent attempt to tame the Internet gambling genie came in the form of a civil agreement between a major Internet financial services company and the United States government. This involved a $10 million settlement and the seizing of some of the company’s assets.
Among other things, the deal required the company to adopt a new encryption protocol and disclose data about its customers to a governing body. Moreover, the company must also show that it has an adequate security infrastructure in place.