Online gambling or internet gambling has been defined as an act of internet gambling, wagering, or betting. This general concept has been subdivided into numerous niche facets in recent years, such as sports betting, e-sports betting, fantasy sports betting, and casino-style gambling. As such, the word today covers the many variations of online poker, casino games, as well as sports betting, such as Roulette, Slots, and many others. Since the first online venue was opened in 1994, the online gambling industry has come a very long way and is responsible for generating billions in revenue per year.

Many countries, however, have either prohibited or limited online gambling activities. The U.S. and a few other countries have slowly started to launch legalized industries, but how far in the U.S. from complete legalization?

The road to online gambling legalization in the US has been a long and complicated one. As early as 2002, the Federal Wire Act was revisited, where the United States Court of Appeals ruled that the Act forbids the transfer of information for sports betting purposes through electronic lines, with the verdict later being amended to cover games of chance. The biggest breakthrough for the online gambling industry took place in recent years where the introduction of the internet in combination with the rise of premium online betting operators has contributed to billions being spent on internet gambling in the country each year.

Currently, there is no federal law against placing wagers online, which means there are few to no consequences, but American residents need to be cautious about placing wagers on platforms located in the United States, which is similar to the situation in New Zealand. Sites that are based and operated outside the United States have been licensed to ensure that their offers are legal and controlled by the relevant licensing bodies. However, American banking institutions have declined to allow transactions from online gambling operators or process deposit transactions for them in an effort to curb the gambling activities of American residents.

Canada has taken a distinctive approach to the gambling industry online. Although the country allows Canadian-based land-based operators to serve Canadian residents, the law stipulates that non-Canadian-based online casino operators can’t provide residents of the country with virtual gaming opportunities. This has created a great deal of confusion, but it should be noted that it is by no means illegal to use legitimate online casinos authorized in Canada by international authorities, such as the Malta Gaming Authority or the UKGC. Canucks need to ensure that they have the right licenses and regulations on international casino sites.

There are actually no regulations banning people from playing internet gambling, which means there are no consequences for Canadian residents who would like to try their luck. In Canada, land-based gambling has been licensed, including horse racing.

India is probably one of the most volatile online gambling destinations with the murkiest of waters. For over one hundred years, the Public Gaming Act of 1867 has been upheld and is still firmly in place today. The act not only bans online gambling but also land-based gambling. For several years, the Indian government has tried to reduce the interest shown by people in gambling and has yet to succeed. Being caught gambling in India is not only illegal, but it is also illegal to run or own a gambling house. As a result, to participate in the popular past time, Indian nationals have taken to international casinos and gambling sites.

In recent months, by issuing hefty fines, and even sanctioning prison time, in the event of multiple offenses, the Indian government has cracked down on people who are found making wagers on international and illegal gambling sites. There are regions in India that have fought for their right to run land-based casinos like Sikkim and Goa, but it is still widely considered risky business to put a wager in India.

In recent years, the American gambling industry has increased in leaps in bounds. Eleven, and counting, states have gone live since 2018 with a niche form of this field, sports betting. Operators have been issued licenses to run online poker sites in a few key states, such as New Jersey, which leads the gambling industry in the country. Combined with the continued success of the sports betting industry, the financial pressure felt by the US this year is likely to highlight the advantages of having a completely legalized and regulated gambling industry in the United States. The next few years are likely to see a few reforms to the legislature to make room for this lucrative past time.