Americans Account for 10pc of Online Gambling

Despite online gambling being illegal in most of the US, Americans still managed to spend $2.6 billion on this pastime in 2012 says the latest study!

American Gaming AssociationThe study in question was conducted by research firm H2 Gambling Capital. It found that American gamblers accounted for a large proportion (almost 10%) of the total $33 billion worldwide market for online gambling. This study was released by the AGA (American Gaming Association) saying the results highlight the urgent need for decisive federal legislation to be in place to put an end to the current state of ambiguity that surrounds online gambling.

Calls for a change in the way the US Federal Law treats online gambling have been ringing out for years now but have so far fallen mostly on deaf ears. Not even the fact that millions of dollars in potential tax revenue are floating out of the country at a frightening rate is enough to move the rocks that weigh down the decision making process in Congress.

When Will They See Sense?

It is a situation that beggars belief from the rest of the world who see the two sided faces of staunch morality and capitalistic freedom locked in battle for supremacy in a war that may never be won. It seems almost ludicrous that a country with the biggest national debt in the world would rather see what is probably the biggest tax windfall they will ever know slip through their fingers and into the coffers of small offshore treasuries such as Antigua, Costa Rica and European tax havens such as Gibraltar, Mata and Cyprus.

But such is the nature of this particular beast that people will gamble no matter what you tell them. And when there is an easily available outlet for that need sitting right there in their own living rooms, they are going to play.

Gambling Respite

A slight respite from the letter of the law came in 2011 when the Justice Department made it publicly known they were of the opinion that online sports betting should be the only aspect of gambling to remain illegal under the 1961 Wire Act. This was seen by the public as an endorsement to enjoy playing casino games and poker online without fear of prosecution.

In many respects this is what has happened. Along with three states going it alone and allowing intra-state online gambling for their residents, the signals are that individuals engaging in Internet betting is now unlikely to attract any attention from the law.

Online Gambling Operators Beware

That doesn't mean that the Justice Department won't go after bigger fish, like the big operators that are still acting outside the law by providing their services to people not resident in Nevada, New Jersey or Delaware. The risk to operators of prosecution and massive fines is a great today as it has been for the last six or so years.

President and chief executive of the AGA Geoff Freeman, said, "Americans account for nearly 10 per cent of the global online gaming marketplace at a time when the business is illegal in all but three American states. It is past time for policymakers to put necessary safeguards in place."

The signals are that there is likely to be a change in US law in this area sometime in the not too distant future. The biggest European based companies are already making deep inroads into the US arena, with the latest information that firms like William Hill, Ladbrokes, Betfair and 888 Holdings PLC are all buying into established US companies in preparation for the day the green light is given.