“I didn’t know it is possible to gamble online”
“Is it safe?”
“Is gambling online legal?”
These are the types of comments and questions I usually hear whenever I tell people that I regularly gamble online. Yet, the latest stats I have seen indicate that about twenty percent of the U.S. population regularly gamble online. The percentage is much bigger in Europe, Japan and the UK.
For people that aren’t acquainted with it, the usual reaction is that such a form of gambling is isolated, unusual and even dangerous and must be controlled by a group of outlaws and lowlifes.
However, online gambling is a billion-dollar a year industry and I feel safe in predicting that it will exceed several billion dollars a year in a few more years. Web sites where you can place bets with real money are based in many different countries all over the world. Some countries, such as Malta, UK, Isle of man, Gibraltar, France, Australia and Antigua have passed legislation to regulate online gambling. Lately, even the USA changed its laws about gambling online.
Gambling in the USA
In fact, the existing federal gambling laws don’t really pertain to online gambling. However, that didn’t stop federal officials from declaring that online gambling was illegal in the US. Then last year, the Department of Justice flip-flopped its stance by saying that all online gambling is not illegal. On the contrary, it says that it’s up to the states to decide whether or not to allow its residents to gamble online. States such as Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey have already begun offering legal online gambling, and many more states will soon follow.
However, online sports betting is still illegal in the US.
The fear of getting scammed or cheated is greatly exagerated by opponents of online gambling. This legitimate industry has come a long ways in the past few years and many of the fly-by-night operators have departed. Yes, it is possible to be scammed. But, you can also purchase crappy lawn furniture, lousy electronics that fail in two weeks, and numerous other products that fail to live up to their billings. If you will follow the guidelines in this site you can pretty much assure yourself of a safe experience.
Why Gambling Online is so popular?
If land-based gambling such as casino’s and horse tracks are widely available why would people chose to gamble online?
Lawton, Williams & Wood wrote a particular study with 2,000 participants. Their findings were remarkable in defining why people chose to gamble over the internet.
The primary reasons for choosing internet gambling over land-based gambling is due to the convenience, comfort, and the overall ease of internet gambling (Lawton, Williams & Wood 2007). At anytime during the day or night one has the opportunity to just walk over to their own personal computer to gamble, rather than getting up and driving to a land-based gambling venue. Also, you can wear, eat, drink, and do anything while gambling in the comfort of your own home, which is something you cannot do at a gambling venue.
Lastly, what they concluded from this study was that those who admitted to gambling over the internet excessively, stated that they prefer gambling online because of the pace and nature of online-game play (Lawton, Williams & Wood 2007).
This means that they can gamble at their own pace with no outsiders interrupting or any other distractions. These findings proved that for the most part those who gamble online, would rather keep gambling over the internet, rather than going to an actual land-based gambling venue.
What’s more, if you combine one of our tested online playing strategies (see Online Gambling Strategies in our Gambling Academy site) with play in a recommended online casino, you can turn online gambling into a very lucrative source of income.
There was quite a bit of publicity about online gambling in the fall of 2006 when the U.S. Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). This act makes it illegal for financial institutions to facilitate payment transactions between offshore gambling operations and American customers. However, this legislation is little understood and it does not prohibit U.S. players from gambling online.
In the chapters that follow I will clarify exactly what the current state of laws in the United States means for U.S. players. I will give you a number of pointers for dealing with what is, for U.S. players, at best a totally confusing state, and at worst at total mess.
The most attractive aspect of gambling online is that from the privacy of your home you can find over 4,000 casinos online and turn your PC into an electronic casino. Your bets will be accepted 24 hours a day and the online casinos offer a greater variety of games than the land based ones.
Fueled by the explosive growth of the Internet and by a general acceptance of gambling as a legitimate form of entertainment, online gambling has grown at a torrid rate.
Games range from traditional casinos games like video poker and slot machines, to poker, keno, bingo and other games. Here is a list of games offered by just one online casino: Baccarat, Blackjack, Craps, Pachinko, The Dragon Spirit Pachinko, Victory Poker, Caribbean Poker, Free Ride Poker, Pai Gow Poker, Red Dog, Roulette, Sic Bo, Slots, Gold Rush Slots, Magic Hat Sportsbook, Video Poker, Deuces Wild Video Poker, Jacks or Better Video Poker, Joker’s Wild Video Poker, King of Decks, War, and Battle Royal.
Because the uncertain legal status of Internet gaming in the U.S., virtually all online casinos that accept wagers are located outside of the United States.
Technologically, many of the casinos are very similar as there are a relative handful of software developers for the online casinos games. Each casino using software from the same developer will have a similar appearance to others casinos using the software.