Online Gambling Laws – UK, US and the World

online gambling laws

Online gambling laws have transformed in a number of countries in the past few years. UK has altered its laws, which have resulted in a booming gambling market. It is estimated that 4% of the adult population in the UK have gambled online at least once.

The USA on the other hand has been strict with gambling laws right from the beginning. However, recently the federal market has opened the market for a few states. Here we take a look at various countries’ laws related to gambling and how they affect gamblers and bookies.

Gambling Laws in the UK

Tessa Joswel, former cultural secretary, 2003 first proposed the need for change of the gambling laws that existed. The old law of 1960 was backdated and needed a change in order to fit the new demanding market. Another aspect of changing the laws was to ensure that crime related to gambling comes down to a significant extent.

As a result of the new bill introduced in 2005, a number of changes were made. UK gambling commission was formed, which was to take over from the Gambling board. The latter oversaw the gambling laws in all countries of the UK. The new commission was given the power to prosecute parties breaching the guidelines set up by the commission. The objective of the bill was as follows.

  1. To ensure that gambling does not result in crime and disorder and that no link exists between the two.
  2. To make sure that all forms of gambling are carried out in a clean and fair manner.
  3. To ensure that no children or adult with mental disability can take part in the gambling.

It was further mentioned in the new bill that gambling would be treated as illegal if it is found that any establishment is carrying it out without prior registration, license or permit from the gambling commission. A breach of laws can result in jail or a heavy fine, according to the new law introduced in 2005.

Gambling Laws in the USA

United States historically had a very tough standing on matters related to gambling. The November, 2002 Act of Gambling, however, suggested that online gambling can be carried out. In fact, gambling on the internet is not illegal and can be carried out within the states. That being said, the Federal Department of Justice still publicly maintains that the Wire Act is applicable for all forms of gambling.

In 2004, two of the biggest internet search engines-Google and Yahoo were quoted as saying that they were removing all advertisements related to gambling from their sites.

From 2009 onwards, the federal government started giving its nod to a few online gambling companies to carry out few games such as poker, roulette, and blackjack among others. New Jersey became the first state to legalise online betting in 2010. Three other states followed suit in subsequent years.

The US Gambling Laws as of Today

The law remains very strict in the USA compared to any other countries in the world. A person who is caught on betting charges can serve anywhere in the range of three to 10 years in prison. A bail is given if the person has no prior criminal charges. The bail amount is significantly high and depends on the session judge.

Gambling Laws in Other Countries

Online gambling has been legalised in many Asian as well as African countries. That being said, most countries worldwide follow strict rules when it comes to online betting. The primary reason of such strictness is due to the fear of money, laundering which could be a significant threat to the economy of any state.

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