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The Wire Act of 1961, Online Gambling & You

Many sports gamblers were surprised when news broke that the Wire Act had been found to apply to online sports gambling. A federal court had found that the nature of the Internet was found to be “wire communications” as found in the text of bill. Unfortunately, these U.S. gambling laws cast some negative implications on the online gambling industry.

Though the Wire Act has been found to apply to online gambling, there is one thing that is somewhat certain. Players who are looking to gamble online will not have to deal with the Wire Act. The law was initially designed in order to prevent organized criminals from offering sports wagering, not actually stop players from participating. The Wire Act is not something players have to worry about for one reason, and that is the text says that the accused has to be “in the business of betting or wagering.” As a player, you are not actually in the business of anything related to gambling.

Since players need not worry about the Wire Act, there is no other federal law that has actually criminalized online gambling. While some live in the fear that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act can actually get players arrested, this is simply not the case. You will not actually have to worry about getting into any trouble for participating in the betting that takes place online.

The key point to take from this is that you will not be violating the Wire Act solely for gambling online. Those who decide to play with the games will not actually get in trouble for violating the Wire Act, relegating the potential criminal charges to the states, where very few have actually done anything to criminalize this activity.

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