Online gambling, or online betting, is a form of gaming wherein players place wagers on a wide array of games, including slots, roulette, blackjack, and sports betting. During the late 1990s, online casinos and gambling websites exploded. Millions of people gambled on the web. A Frost & Sullivan report revealed that revenues from online gambling topped $830 million in 1998. Despite this, the federal government has continued to be a staunch opponent of Internet gambling. In the last few years, however, the industry has grown significantly. Many states are now licensing online casinos. Some provinces in Canada are also licensing online gambling operators.
The online gaming industry reached a gross win of $400 billion in 2015. According to a recent report from Frost & Sullivan, the average gambling revenue for all gambling forms reached $21 billion in 2008. This was the same amount of money wagered per person daily during the height of the unregulated gambling craze in the early 2000s.
In addition to casinos, online gambling also includes poker, sports betting, and virtual poker. Various sites offer these services, including Full Tilt and PokerStars. As of 2015, there are nearly half the states in the country that have legalized online sports betting. However, the majority of the population is still not able to gamble online.
One of the most exciting aspects of online gambling is that it is relatively easy to participate in. Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can join an online casino. Players can access the site by typing in a URL or clicking a link. Most of these sites accept various payment methods, with the most common being credit cards.
The first online gambling sites were introduced in the late 1990s. The industry gained momentum in the years following the launch of the World Wide Web, and the number of websites skyrocketed. There were over fifteen sites in 1996, and by 1997, the number of websites had increased to over 200.
In 1999, the US Senate introduced the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, which would have made it illegal for Americans to engage in online gambling. Another bill, the Goodlatte and Kyl bills, would have restricted gambling activities, except for horse racing.
The most popular gaming site was Partypoker. Other major online gaming platforms include Full Tilt, PokerStars, and the Poker Network. It’s estimated that there were over eight million users of the online gambling craze in 2001.
By 2010, the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was in effect. This was an ill-conceived law that attempted to interpret the Interstate Wire Act as affecting all forms of Internet gambling. Unfortunately for the DOJ, this attempt failed in court.
Despite the good intentions of the DOJ, the federal government is not willing to roll over and play dead. In fact, it is willing to fight tooth and nail over new developments. Hence, the latest development in the field of online gambling is the legalization of online casinos in Pennsylvania.