The Evolution of Online Gambling Regulations
During the 1990s, online gambling became incredibly popular, and seemed like an end-run around government regulation. Gambling operators could set up shop in an offshore jurisdiction and accept wagers from anyone with a computer and a credit card. Congress and the Department of Justice began looking at ways to regulate the industry. In the last decade, however, there has been a significant evolution in regulation. The government has begun to take a more proactive approach, ensuring that online gambling does not become a source of addiction and financial harm.
Regulatory oversight is one of the most important elements of a successful online gambling industry. Legislation is catching up with the industry and implementing the necessary regulations. While there have been steps to reduce rogue operators, it still is not possible to prevent all illegal gambling activities. For this reason, online gambling websites should offer their customers self-exclusion tools and links to support organizations. Many people are surprised to learn how easily online gambling can lead to serious problems, which may include mental and emotional trauma.
Currently, online gambling is legal in some countries, including the United States, many provinces in Canada, most of the European Union, and several nations in the Caribbean. Moreover, many states require online gambling service providers to obtain a license from a state-level regulatory body. One example is the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. In this country, online gambling operations are permitted to operate under certain conditions as long as they obtain a “reasonable legal opinion” from a regulatory authority.