The debate over the legalization of online gambling in the United States has been ongoing with opponents of internet gambling seemingly winning out. However, when President George Bush left office and the President Barack Obama era ushered in, proponents of legalized internet gambling seemed to become re-energized and were ready to again attack and revisit the issue, hopefully with the final verdict ending favorably this time. There is now more talk than ever about getting the UIGEA legislation overturned. In its place, online gambling supporters want legalization and regulation of the industry.
Individuals that want to see online gambling legalized have a number of reasons (they are varied) why they believe that it should be. One reason that is consistently touted is the belief that it will help boost the economy. Some people argue that taxation of this billion dollar industry could help boost the fledgling U.S. economy. They contend that since Americans already participate in online gambling (even though it may or may not be legal) that the country should be able to reap its’ benefits. Further, they believe, it is much better that U.S. based companies and the government receive the dollars from American players. At one time land based casinos were leery and even downright hostile of online casinos and pressured legislatures to outlaw them. Some states did just that. However, times have changed. Today, major land based casinos are eager to go online and take share of this billion dollar global industry.
The ability to regulate the industry is a concern for U.S. based gamblers. Because most online casinos are based in countries and territories outside of the United States, if and when cases of fraud occur, there is no recourse for American players. Some individuals believe that legalization and Federal government regulation could remedy this.
The question of whether or not online gambling in the U.S.A. is legal is well, just that, a question. The federal laws that are supposed to address this are quite vague and full of loopholes. There also seems to be little enforcement on the individual level. It is because of this or perhaps in spite of it that millions of Americans continue to gamble online. Though some casinos have closed their doors to Americans, there are still some that have not.
It seems that eventually the United States will have to come up with a definitive policy to govern online gambling. As time passes and the industry grows at a rapid pace and continues to be lucrative, more and more U.S. based companies and casinos will want in and it is quite reasonable to assume that they will begin pressuring the United States government to give them the opportunity to enter the industry.
It seems that online gambling legislation is split amongst party lines with Republicans largely against it and Democrats for it or at least open to the idea. This explains, in part, the excitement of many people in the industry when President Barack Obama (Democrat) took office. Industry executives and online gamblers alike, are hoping that internet gambling becomes definitively legalized and recognized by either the United States government or individual states. Will this happen? We will have to wait and see how the legalization of online gambling in the USA goes.