One thing there is no shortage of on the internet is opportunities to gamble. We are spoilt for choice, whether your fancy is for betting on sports, playing virtual card games or bingo. One of the things that makes internet gambling so potentially dangerous is that it is easily available for 24 hours a day. The real danger comes when you combine this factor https://22.214.171.124/ with the fact that it is so easy to feel detached from the reality of money spent online. Gradually racking up a debt online does not feel the same as handing over hard earned cash from our wallet, so it is that much easier to lose track of how your online spending is mounting up.
For these reasons, debt problems from internet gambling are on the increase. In this article I hope to clarify some of the legal issues around online gambling, as well as providing some advice on dealing with the underlying problem and the debts that result from it.
As it stands today, individual states are free to prohibit or practice gambling within their borders while significant regulations and limits are placed on interstate and this activity. In recent years, online gaming has seen harsher regulations. With the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIEGA), it was not explicitly banned but rather it was online financial transactions that were outlawed. This meant that all online financial transactions from gambling service providers were now illegal which resulted in many offshore gambling operators excluding US customers from their services.
Existing in this legal grey area, it is no longer a question of if online gambling will enter the US market but when and perhaps how. As recently as this month, three states have legalized online gambling and plan to begin offering bets by the end of this year. Naturally, a gaming firm in Las Vegas known as Ultimate Gaming was the first to offer online poker but for now restricting it to only players in Nevada. New Jersey and Delaware have also legalized online gambling and so far ten other states are considering legalizing it in some form or another.
Frank Fahrenkopf, president of the American Gaming Association has said that “Unless there is a federal bill passed, we are going to have the greatest expansion of legalized gambling in the United States. I don’t think that’s what anyone intended, but it is what we’re seeing.” This poses a lot of questions and of course concerns for many existing commercial casinos as well as American policy makers. Will legal online gambling mean fewer people in brick and mortar casinos? Will this create a new source of revenue at the state and national level? What about taxes and regulations? An increase in gamblers?
When we talk about debt from online gambling it is important to be clear about the nature of the debt, because who the money is owed to does make a difference. People are often unsure about the legality of debts from online gambling. In the UK you can gamble legally on credit and incur a debt, but this debt is not then enforceable through the law.
However, there is an important point to make here, which is that this only applies when you are using credit extended by the company offering the gambling (casino, bookie, etc). If you use a credit card company to pay for internet gambling, that is a legally enforceable debt the same as it would be in any other circumstance, because you have borrowed money from the credit card company, not the casino. It is now against the law in the US to use a credit card to pay for online gambling.
You will find that many credit cards will regard a payment to an internet gambling website as a cash advance. This is then clearly borrowing money from the card company and the debt you incur can be pursued through legal action. If you do use a credit card to pay for online gambling this way, you should be aware that cash advances on credit cards are almost always charged at a much higher rate of interest than normal credit for purchases.