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Internet Gambling Laws Worldwide and State to State

Page history last edited by JKoziol 11 years, 3 months ago

**Approximately 80 countries regulate online gambling.  Some of the largest are traded on the LSE or the Alternative Investment Market.


I. Australia and the Internet Gambling Industry

As of June 28th, 2001, the IGA (Interactive Gambling Act) has been in effect in Australia.  It protects Australian residents from the hamful effects of gambling.  It prohibits interactive gambling services from attaining customers that physically reside within Australia, however it is legal for Australian residents to play poker and casino games online.  Unlike the United States, sports betting is also 100% legal in Australia.

Sources: IGA, Australian Gambling Laws

II. Israel and the Internet Gambling Industry

Participation in all forms of gambling, including land and online is prohibited, except for the Israel Lottery and Israeli Commission for Sports Gambling.  Ironically, Israel is the home of the most casinos within the Middle East.  Mifal Hapayis Lottery Authority (one of the largerst gambling establishments in Israel) has approximately 500 slot machines, which are operated inside restraunts and pubs.  These machines are regulated and authorized by the Ministry of Finance.  Gambling in Israel is regulated by Penal Law 5737-1977, while it does not directly state the inclusion of online gambling, internet gambling is assumed illegal and therefore enforced under this law.  Legal gambling in Israel takes place within food and entertainment establishments, however, illegal gambling including internet gambling is on the rise within Israel. 

Sources: Rise of illegal gambling in Israel, Gambling within the Middle East, Israel Penal Law 5737-1977 enforcement, Gambling Prohibited


III. Russia and the Internet Gambling Industry  

As of December 2006, Russian government bans all internet gambling as well as any telecommunication reliant gambling outside the permitted zones.  Gambling is allowed within the Kaliningrad Region, Altai Territory, Primorsky Territory and land between Rostov Region and Krasnodar Territory.

Sources: Russian Internet Gambling Laws, Permitted Gambling Zones


IV. United States and Internet Gambling Industry

Federal Wire Act of of 1961 was revisited by the US Court Appeal System in November 2002 and ruled to prohibit electronic transferring of information through telecommunication lines, but also ruled that the Wire act, "in plain language does not prohibit internet gambling on a game of chance.   Note: It only prohibits wagering, in locations that rule the wagers to be illegal.

In August of 2004 Casino City, an online gambling portal site sued the US Department of Justice and In January 2006 the case was dismissed. 

In February 2005, the North Dakota House of Representatives legalized online poker within the state.   

October 13, 2006 UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) was signed by President Bush.  News Video Although this is a federal, it's purpose is to reinforce and support state laws bothin internationally and interstate.  The major goals of the government's action is to help compulsive gamblers, prohibit under-age gambling, increase regulation and security as well as protect citizens from money laundering. 

Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced HR 2046 (the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Art) on April 26, 2007, this modified the UIGEA since it altered the liscening abilities of Internet gambling companies.

Robert Wexler (D- FL) introduced the HR 2610 (Skill Game Protection Act) on June 7, 2007.  This act made Internet poker, bridge, chess and various other online gambling games legal.

Jim McDermott (D-WA) introduced the HR 2607 (Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act) which set requirements for internet gambling tax collection.

Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced S.3616 (Internet Skill Game Licensing and Control Act) which addressed liscensing requirements for internet gambling facilities that were doing business within the US as well as restricted the ability of IRS to tax games of skill (they can still tax games of chance).

Minnesota is currently attempting to block internet gambling sites within the state.  The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has instructed internet services providers to block 200 internet gambling websites.

The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative (SSIGI) is currently participating on legislative debates regarding online gambling in the United States.  The goal of this initiative is to make internet gambling safe and legal for all participants.  


Sources: US Gambling Laws, Minnesota to block internet gambling sites, SSIGI



Bodog is the subject of a major U.S. Investigation.   The U.S. government seized $24 million from bank accounts that were linked to Bodog.  Link to one of the many Articles about this investigation. 



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  • Court Case -Providian Vs. Haines-In 1998, Providian National Bank filed suit against Cynthia Haines to collect credit card debts from Internet gambling.  In 1997, Haines had very large debts in blackjack, poker, and other forms of gambling by using various credit cards and Internet gambling sites.  Haines lost more than $70,000 with credit cards issued by credit providers such as Providian.  Haines initiated a counterclaim arguing that gambling is illegal in California and the credit card companies should not have been issuing funds.  Providian forgave all of Haines debts.  

  • MBNA (Delaware based bank)-Began prohibiting transactions from internet gambling sites when it became apparent how the bank cards were being used.
  • Other credit card companies began to prohibit Internet gambling because of increasing debts
  • Victories for the credit card companies provided credibility to the Internet gambling industry and encouraged more people to participate.
  • Higher interest rates and fees passed on to non internet gamblers


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