Legal Online Gambling

Online Gambling Legalities

The online gambling legalities vary from one country to the next. Some countries' address  online gaming clearly through targeted legislation while others rely on banking laws to regulate online gambling in their locales. 

Following is a concise summary that aims to answer the question "is online gambling legal?". 

Online Gambling

The first online casino opened in 1994, offering a few basic casino games that players could enjoy for free or for cash prizes. The growth of the online banking system fueled the expansion of the industry. Over the years it became easier and more convenient for players to enter the casino at their leisure and play for free or for real money whenever and from wherever they wanted. 

Governments found it difficult to regulate the online casino industry. The online casinos were based in off-shore locations such as Antigua and Malta so the governments couldn't go after the casino operators. All of the activities, including deposits and withdrawals of winnings, were effected online which prevented supervision. 

Another reason that can be identified for why is gambling illegal is the ease that online gamblers have in evading taxes. Many countries do not tax winning payments but others do and they find it difficult to track the online payouts for tax purposes. 

Regardless of your location, you should check out the online gambling legalities for your region before you open an account to bet for cash rewards. 

USA

The number of online casinos USA is growing, thanks to recent steps that give gamers more and better access to the best online gambling sites. For many years American citizens' access to online casino sites was stymied by the Federal Wire Act which prohibits the electronic transmission of information across telecommunications lines. 

The American courts have determined that the Act does not prohibit Internet gaming on a game of choice. The Justice Department, however, has taken the position that all forms of gambling are covered by the Wire Act   

At present the courts seem to allow online gambling in states where the state legislatures have specifically legalized the activity. These states include Delaware Nevada and New Jersey. Legislation to legalize online gaming is pending in Pennsylvania California, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York, Illinois, and Washington State. The Grande Vegas online casinos are accessible in all of these locations along with other online casino venues. 

For those states that do allow online gaming activities, deposits and withdrawals can be effected through credit and debit cards, pre-paid cards, MoneyGram and Western Union. Bitcoin gambling is also an option for US residents. United States residents are liable for taxes realized on any gambling winnings. 

Canada

Canada has an active online gambling community that includes both off-shore online sites and online gaming sites that are operated by provincial lotteries and gambling authorities. Canadians have full access to hundreds of sites which allows each individual to enjoy the type of casino entertainment that fits his personal needs. 

Canadians are not taxed on achieved gambling payouts. Some Canadians prefer to play through their local gaming authority. This involves setting up a personal account which them provides them with access to the provincial lottery products plus online games. 

The difficulty with this system lies in the fact that each province's online gaming products are only available to individuals who are physically located in the province while they're playing. That means that, for example, if an Ontario resident is registered with the official Ontario OLG, he can only play when he's physically located within the Ontario border. If he travels to Vancouver, his account will be blocked. 

Quebec residents are watching a current court case that will decide the future of the newly-passed Law 74.  This 2016 legislation compels Internet service providers to block Quebecers’ access to offshore online gambling sites. Internet providers have taken the legislation to court, claiming that the law is unconstitutional. Critics note that the law gives unfair advantage to Quebec's official Loto Quebec in its competition against offshore gambling sites. 

Australia

In recent years Australia has become a significant gambling center for Asian and South Indian gamblers. The country has liberal gambling laws that allow easy access to both land-based casino entertainment and online gaming sites. 

In Australia, gambling is not legislated by the Commonwealth but is regulated at State/Territorial level. The government treats gambling as a recreational activity and for this reason Australia does not tax winners on their payouts for either land-based or online gambling activities. Land-based casino operators are taxed based on the casino's turnover, player loss and the casino's net profit. 

Australia has one of the world's highest percentages of residents who participant in real money gambling, both online and at land-based casinos. The State and Territorial governments use casino revenues to fund local projects and programs.  For this reason they actively encourage Australians to play at State-sponsored casino sites, both online and in person. 

 New Zealand

The Gambling Commission regulates gaming in New Zealand in conjunction wit the Department of Internal Affairs which is a division of the Ministry of Health. These agencies work together to ensure that New Zealand gamers have access to top-quality land-based and online casino gaming. 

The government regulators monitor sports betting, racetrack betting, lotteries, land-based casinos and NZ online casinos. They do not monitor offshore casinos. Offshore casinos are regulated by monitoring agencies such as eCOGRA and the Malta Gambling and Lotteries Commission plus the laws of the countries in which these offshore casinos are based (such as Malta and Antigua) These supervisory agencies' efforts suffice for the purposes of NZ law. 

If a player in New Zealand has little to no income from other sources, poker winnings from professional poker gaming are considered taxable income. It is rare for gambling winnings to be taxed in NZ.outside of professional poker play. 

If you're going to play at an online casino it’s a good idea to check the online gambling legalities of the country before you start playing.  

 

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