Online casinos, poker rooms and betting sites have been operational for around 15 years but the major boom of global legalization and regulation only started around five years ago. Millions of people around the world may have been doing something that was frowned upon by many governments but that is no longer the case. In Europe many countries have created online gambling friendly laws. Many experts believe that Asia is going to be the home of the next big online gambling boom but due to recently developments I believe that it will be located on the other side of the world. Many US politicians are introducing bills that would legalize and regulate poker rooms and casinos online. There are some positive laws in central and South American countries as well. In this post I will look at the online gambling laws from one big country in Europe and the USA.
French Online Gambling Laws
In 2010 the French government passed the French Gambling Act (Law No 2010-476). This bill regulated most Internet gambling activities but there was one left out. Poker, sports betting and race betting were covered by this act but playing on casinos online, or casino en ligne, was sadly left out. Their reasoning was that the other activities are skill based but most casino games are luck based. They also said that casino gambling was more addictive than poker or sports betting. I really don’t follow that logic but fortunately there are still millions of French citizens playing at online casinos every day. It is one of those things that are officially frowned upon but no real action is ever taken.
American Online Gambling Laws
The online gambling market in the USA is a lot different from France. The government has never taken any direct action against poker players, sports bettors or casino gamblers but they have targeted the companies and banks that help make these activities possible. In recent years they seized the domain names and assets of some of the largest online poker sites. In 2012 there were some major changes though. Many state governments have been trying to pass regulation laws for online poker rooms and online casinos. New Jersey is a good example. A recent bill has passed both the House and the Senate there. This bill will legalize both poker and casino gambling online.
The bill is currently on the Governor’s desk and some expect him to sign it into law soon. I’m still holding my breath and crossing my fingers though. Once states start passing these types of laws the federal government cannot be too far behind. The same is true in reverse. There is a strong push for online casino regulation on the federal level and if this were to happen it would have a domino effect throughout the USA. Many state legislatures are simply holding back and waiting to see what happens. They don’t want pass a law on something that is illegal on the federal level. By the end of 2013 online gambling is expected to be booming in the USA again. Even the most pessimistic agree that it will happen very soon.