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US Government Stand No Chance against Online Casinos

To gamble in online casinos is allowed in over 80 different countries, but in the United States, any form of playing in online casinos is still considered as an illegal activity. However, this doesn't stop the Americans from wagering on offshore online casinos. The expectations are that in 2006, the Americans will lose more than $7.2 billion while playing in online casinos, which is almost half of the total amount of $15 billion of lost wagers. The US government is trying to stop the Americans from betting in online casinos, unfortunately without much success until now…

There are over 2,100 online casinos available on the internet, and their numbers are growing everyday. If playing in online casinos will keep on being as popular as now, the internet gambling revenues are expected to reach $24 billion in 2010. Especially popular is wagering on sport events. This weekend it's predicted that more than $100 million will be wagered in online casinos on National Football League playoff games. The Super Bowl will even top this amount, and their wagering bets are estimated at $400 million. . About 200 online casinos take bets for sports events.

The Justice Department is trying to make clear to the Americans that betting in online casinos is illegal and the players are breaking the law if they play here. However, the Justice Department admits that the online casinos that operate outside the US are not breaking the laws and they shouldn't be held responsible. Up until now, the Justice Department had only one successful criminal prosecution concerning an online gambling case.

In 1998, the federal government got its first and only major online gambling conviction in a case against Jay Cohen, a businessman from California, who operated a licensed online casino on Antigua. In 1997, Cohen and some friends started an online casino here that took bets on sports events in the United States. Cohen fought the charges, since he believed that federal laws didn't apply to his offshore casino, since it was regulated and licensed in Antigua.

According to government officials, the laws for online casinos are sufficient and even though old, still applicable to the situation now. The US government bases the fact that online gambling is illegal, on an almost fifty years-old law, the 1961 Wire Act, which was originally created to prohibit phone betting. In February 2000, Cohen was convicted and he lost his following appeals. He went to prison for 17 months and he made parole in a halfway house in Vegas. Ever since Cohen, no convictions were made based on online gambling.

The president of the American Gaming Association and national spokesperson of brick and mortar casinos, Frank Frahrenkopf, doesn't believe that the state will find a way to ban online casinos. According to Frahrenkopf, the government gave up this fight long ago, knowing that there was nothing to do about people logging in on their own personal computers and playing in online casinos.


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