We Need To Look At The Issues From A Practical Standpoint
It’s not enough to simply say that something is against the law or not, as that by itself doesn’t mean very much at all. There’s a practical side to this question, and one that not enough people ask, and when it comes to US online gambling, very few ask.
So you hear all kinds of talk about whether online gambling is legal in the United States and elsewhere, and the assumption that is being made here is that this matters a whole lot either way, when in fact, in the final analysis, it really doesn’t matter much at all.
In fact, when you look at the whole picture, online gambling in the U.S. is unstoppable, and as long as there are willing parties on both sides, Americans wanting to gamble online and providers that are willing to provide it to them, there’s really nothing anyone can do to stop it, either by trying to go after the providers or the participants.
So rather than just making claims about what the law may say about US online gambling, in spite of a fair bit of uncertainty about this, we also need to ask ourselves what difference it would make if it were illegal, and the answer to that question is, not much.
Online Gambling Cannot Be Effectively Stopped
The efforts by governments around the world to stop online gambling have led to failure, in all cases but one. North Korea has been successful in preventing this, because the people there have neither computers nor the internet. You have to be a high ranking government official to have internet access there in fact.
In all other cases, if people can access the internet, they can gamble online, whether the government likes it or not. This doesn’t mean that governments don’t try to stop it, they just aren’t able to do much.
They may seek to ban their internet providers from providing access to online gambling sites in their country, but then all players need to do is connect to the internet through a virtual private network located in another country, which is easy to do and is inexpensive as well.
They can also look to limit financial transactions between their residents and foreign online gambling sites, and this can slow things down, but it doesn’t stop it, and online gambling sites simply come up with workarounds to this, as we’ve seen in the American market.
If all else fails, they can simply use things like a person to person transfer, which is simply between the player and another person acting on behalf of the site, or use bitcoin, which is simply off the financial grid and doesn’t even use hard currency.
The government can even look to seize the domains of US online gambling sites, as we saw the U.S. government do recently, but all the gambling sites need to do then is come up with another domain, and one outside their reach, as we saw happen.
Laws Need To Be Enforceable To Have Real Power
If you can’t stop online gambling at the source, what about enforcing the law against players? Well the truth is, that’s pretty much impossible to do, and certainly isn’t practical.
The first thing you need here is a will to go after players, something we have never seen in the United States, but there are some countries who are very eager to prosecute anti gambling laws against players if they could.
To do this, you have to catch people gambling online in the USA, and that’s far more difficult than it may seem. Simply visiting a gambling site doesn’t mean that you are gambling. You need a court order in most cases to access people’s internet activities, in some countries you don’t but they still can’t catch people doing this, because these records don’t contain evidence of actual gambling, as you could just be browsing the site or gambling with play money.
If people play through a virtual private network, then the whole thing is behind the curtain, and cannot be accessed period. This adds even more peace of mind for those in countries where governments are more aggressive in trying to stop this, even though it doesn’t really work.
In the U.S. though, no one is going after online gamblers, and they couldn’t if they wanted to. Not a single person has ever been charged with online gambling in the United States and it’s hard to imagine this ever happening. So it may or may not be against the law, but the truth is, it doesn’t really matter.
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Is U.S. Online Gambling Unstoppable?
Not a single person has ever been charged with online gambling in the United States and it’s hard to imagine this ever happening.