There are numerous concerns about the legality of online gambling, and there are a number of legal arguments that have been raised in court. The federal government has defended its gambling laws, but it is not clear how they apply to online gambling. Some argue that the Wire Act applies to all forms of Internet gambling, and advertising them could be considered aiding and abetting. Others argue that the argument has no legal basis.
While the law governing internet gambling is mostly a matter of state law, there are instances in which the federal government can interfere with state law. In such instances, federal law is used to supplement the state’s own enforcement policies. In the case of online gambling, state officials have expressed concerns that the Internet may be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.
While many countries restrict online gambling, the UK is among the few countries that have made it legal. Several States in the United States and several provinces in Canada have legalized it, while most European countries and some Caribbean nations have legalized it as well. In most cases, a service provider must have a licence from a licensing authority to operate legally. Examples of such licensing authorities include the United Kingdom Gambling Commission and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
In the late 1990s, there was a significant increase in the number of websites offering gambling services. By 1998, there were 15 websites offering gambling services, and by 1999, there were over 200 websites. A Frost & Sullivan report indicated that the revenues from online gambling websites exceeded $830 million. During the same period, the first online poker rooms emerged. In 1999, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act was introduced in the US Senate, which would have banned online gambling for U.S. citizens. In the following years, online gambling became more popular than ever, and the number of people participating increased.