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Unsurprisingly, Anthony Cabot, a well-known international gaming attorney based in Las Vegas, says the issue of sports gambling continues to confuse almost all non-experts. It did not take online sportsbooks long to begin workarounds for their stranded United States customers. One wedge towards outright legalization of online sports betting is the prevalence of online fantasy sports.
While the legality of betting on sports online is a grey area, there is no history of individual bettors being targeted for this activity under Federal laws.
Thanks to the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), the online operator of a betting site is committing a crime by accepting money from U.S.
The upshot of the law was that it became illegal for websites to take sports bets over the Internet and more importantly banks were prohibited from handling online gambling transactions. Bodog, one of the biggest online casino operators, moved its American business to a separate domain name called Bovada.lv.
Or a more appropriate way of stating it is that it is not illegal to bet on sports online in the United States.


An estimated 40 million Americans are risking money legally on games in fantasy sports competition and doing so with such heavyweight corporations as Disney, Comcast, Yahoo and CBS. In addition, Connecticut, Florida, Nevada, Puerto Rico and Rhode Island all allow the taking of bets on jai alai, a popular sport for gamblers.
The future is never known but the winds seem to be blowing laissez-faire enforcement towards the camp of legitimacy.
The wild popularity of fantasy sports has led to daily draft sites where players can create a team, place a wager, collect money all in one day. The legal ‘grey area’ of online sports betting in the US does not stop millions of Americans from enjoying wagering on games every year. Although individual states have variations of prohibitions against online gambling you have to put Google to work overtime to find prosecutions. In 2006 Congress pulled out its big legal guns and passed the ominous sounding Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Players, however, could no longer make deposits and take withdrawals from an online casino into an American bank and gambling without a bankroll does tend to short-circuit the betting experience.


So far Delaware, New Jersey, Nevada and the District of Columbia have legalized online betting in some form or other. Still grappling with exactly what the Internet was all about the legislators based their bill on the Federal Wire Act of 1961 that forbade electronic transmission of information for sports betting across telecommunications lines. Most online casinos offer monthly payouts via money transfer or a check written on funds in a foreign bank and delivered by courier. Other states, including populous ones like California and Pennsylvania, are hashing out pro-online gambling laws and there are rustlings at the federal level to legalize and regulate online casinos. It is not a stretch to imagine the continuing explosion of fantasy sports participation opening the doors to comprehensive federal laws that permit online sports betting of all forms. In 2012 an Oklahoma online bettor was specifically prosecuted and received a deferred sentence of no jail time if he satisfies the terms of his probation.




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