Washington Online Gambling Laws

Online Gambling

Online Gambling is any kind of gambling that is conducted on the internet, including virtual poker, casinos and sports betting. It is a legal activity in many countries, but illegal in others. In Washington, online gambling is prohibited by law.

The Wire Act prohibits using telephone lines in interstate or foreign commerce for the placement of sports bets and for the transmission of information assisting in the placing of sports bets. The law applies to gambling Web sites maintained on offshore computers that are not under U.S. jurisdiction and to gambling services that use satellite technology (such as those associated with mobile-phone transmissions).

Constitutional objections have been raised by some members of Congress to prosecuting online gambling. These include questions as to Congress’s legislative power under the Commerce Clause, concerns that federal laws will be overly restrictive in prohibiting activities occurring abroad, and due process concerns about enforcing statutes that apply overseas.

Regulation Issues

Regulation is an important issue for online gambling operators as it relates to compliance with federal laws and the financial impact of fraud. Failing to control fraud and self-excluded players can result in fines, disciplinary action and loss of reputation with legitimate players.

Security Issues

The main security concern with online gambling is identity theft. There is an increased risk of identity theft for gamblers because they may use their bank account or credit card information to open accounts with unauthorized casino operators.

In addition, there is a risk of money laundering because the speed and anonymity of online transactions make it easy for criminals to move funds around to avoid taxation or reporting requirements. Conclusion: The government is attempting to prevent this by preventing banks and credit card companies from sending money to payment processors that are strongly associated with virtual casinos.