Internet Gambling is Illegal in the US – and Has Doubled in the Past Year

The Internet Patrol - Patrolling the Internet for You

A recent study has shown that Internet gambling in the United States has doubled in the past year, and that many people who take part in Internet gambling have no idea that what they are doing is illegal.

In fact, the Internet gambling explosion has been so great that of the all of the people surveyed, fully 70% said that they had started gambling online just within the past two years.


Nearly one out of every five people surveyed had no idea that Internet gambling is almost always illegal in the United States. Of course, that means that nearly 80% of them did know that the Internet gambling they were doing was probably illegal, but that didn’t stop them. Perhaps more interesting is that more than half of them believed that Internet casino operators cheated them, and nearly half of them believed that their fellow players cheated.

So why would these people turn to the Internet to get their gambling fix if they know that it is illegal, and even if they don’t, they believe that they are likely to get cheated?

According the Peter Hart, president of the firm that conducted the research, “It comes down to a convenience element. The same reason people go to 7-Eleven, easy access and open 24-7, is the reason people gamble online. There is also the comfort, the relaxation and the anonymity. They don’t have to deal with crowds.”

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Whether a given online gambling activity is illegal in the United States is a complicated question, and can be difficult to determine. In some states, such as California, certain types of gambling and online gambling are outlawed by name, w hile others by implication and inference. In other states it’s outlawed altogether. Taken as a whole, a great deal of Internet gambling is against the law.

But according to this survey, the majority of online gamblers don’t care, and if they don’t care, you can be sure that those operating the online casinos don’t care. First, they are raking it in. Second, they are overwhelmingly offshore.

And the reality is that the Internet gambler themselves is unlikely to get caught, let alone prosecuted. In fact, according to one legal authority, the only time that an Internet gambler would be likely to be prosecuted would be if they were helping to run the game.

 

Of course, remember that you can deduct gambling losses from your taxes to the extent that they are offset by gambling earnings. That is likely not true for losses which are incurred during an illegal activity (even if the IRS will get you for not declaring illegal earnings).

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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