Regardless of the legality of online gambling, it is still very much a risky endeavor. You could become financially devastated if you get hooked on it. You’ll also be subjected to a variety of deceivers and scams.
Some states have criticized the federal government’s efforts to enforce Internet gambling laws. They fear that the Internet could be used to transport illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.
In 2000, the online gambling industry was estimated to be worth $2 billion. In 2005, the industry’s revenues reached $4 billion. In addition to sports book betting, Internet gambling includes casino games such as poker and virtual poker. Those games accounted for about 18 percent of the total revenue.
While the size of the online gambling industry is unknown, some analysts believe that it is growing rapidly. According to Bear Stearns & Co., in 2005, approximately fifty to sixty Internet casinos were operating in the Caribbean and other locations throughout Central and South America. Some banks may not be able to process transactions in these countries.
However, the United States Department of Justice has been trying to quantify the size of the industry. It has issued reports to estimate the market. A number of publicly traded Internet gambling companies have decided not to accept American customers. These include PartyPoker, which racked up $82 million in revenue in 2000.
The UIGEA defines unlawful Internet gambling as “using the internet for receiving bets or transmitting bets.” This law also prohibits financial instruments from being accepted for illegal Internet bets. The Act is designed to prevent gambling sites from being used as fronts for money laundering and other crimes.