The term “online gambling” encompasses a variety of activities, including betting on sporting events, virtual poker, casinos, pool-selling, lotteries, and other games of chance for money. Some forms of online gambling are legal in some countries, while others are illegal.
A report by Frost & Sullivan revealed that revenues from online gambling exceeded $830 million in 1998. However, despite the fact that most European Union member countries allow online gambling, it is still illegal to play or participate in the activity in the United States.
In 1996, fifteen online gambling websites were operating. By 1997, the number of gambling websites had grown to more than two hundred. At that time, a number of states had passed laws to prohibit or regulate the online gambling industry.
In 1999, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act was introduced. This bill would have banned Internet gambling in the US.
Despite this, in April 2007, Congressman Barney Frank introduced HR 2046, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act. Among the bill’s provisions, it would require operators to obtain a license from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
The Act also makes it unlawful for a person to receive or transmit bets through the Internet. It also bans advertising of such activities. Additionally, it includes age verification and data security standards.
Another bill was introduced by former congressman Jon Kyl. This bill was intended to limit the scope of Internet gambling activities, but failed to pass in the House.