Online gambling is any type of gambling conducted via the internet. This includes casinos, live casinos and poker. Online gambling can also refer to online gambling games, video poker and casino games.
The first online gambling site opened for the public, was lottery ticketing for the famous Liechtenstein International Poker Tournament in 1994. Many countries have since been involved in hosting and / or sponsoring international gambling tournaments. While some countries have legalized online gambling and the marketing of online gambling sites, most other countries (and some cities within some countries) have still prohibited gambling via the internet. There are also some jurisdictions that allow online gambling but the total amount of gambling available through internet gambling sites is minimal, if it exists at all.
In the United States, online gambling has had a relatively small impact on the total revenue generated by the casinos. The two main players in the online gambling scene are the online poker sites and the web sites that allow users to wager real money. From a revenue standpoint, it’s difficult to determine how much online gambling actually generates because many of the websites have no advertising costs. It is estimated that over 40% of the total revenues generated by the US online casinos, cardrooms and web sites are from credit card payments.
On the other side of the coin, credit card companies are not only the largest buyer of online gambling sites, they are also the biggest seller of credit cards. It would be safe to assume that these purchases are the source of much of the profit for these companies. One could argue that the credit card companies profit from the interest payments, the late fees, the rate adjustments, the annual fees and the other charges that go along with using a credit card to make any financial transactions. Online gambling sites and web sites have become a huge business for these financial institutions and their customers. At one point, we were making four figures a year from credit card sales alone. Nowadays, it takes us closer to ten digits to break even.
In light of this, it is becoming increasingly problematic for the online gambling industry to operate according to state laws. There is a vast array of different laws governing online gambling in all the fifty states in the United States. A number of states, like California, have taken steps to pass what is known as a omnibus bill that, as of right now, is being called the Gambling Impact Study Act.
This proposed act would basically require all internet gambling sites that use credit cards to transfer funds directly to an account in the state instead of through the credit cards themselves. The aim of this act is to prevent people from using their credit cards to gamble online. Proponents of the measure claim that if this practice were somehow stopped, there would be an immediate increase in illegal transactions as people would not have the money to gamble without resorting to other means. Opponents of the measure argue that the government should regulate online gambling because those who are participating in online gambling do not have a place to turn to if their credit cards run out of credit.