In 1995, we saw the emergence of internet casino games, which included playing games of chance, such as poker, blackjack and roulette as well as betting on sports events. By 2000, almost 300 companies around the world ran nearly 2000 internet gaming sites. And in 2005, global online gambling revenue is expected to be over US10 billion for such operators, while a total of 200 billion is expected to be invested.
Broadly a matter of intense debate since the start, crime for online games has been argued at the US Department of Justice and in the halls of the US Congress. But since internet gaming sites are mostly offshore, US residents are currently not responsible for breaking federal law in the absence of such precedents. However, individual states may request such documents that are illegal, after banking institutions to prevent such transactions, for example, but individuals have not been prosecuted.
However, the presence of online gaming and the large revenue it enjoys has led to major US brokerage firms claiming their piece of pie. At stake, whether the Ministry of Justice will apply the Wire Act of 1961 in enforcement of the law and how long it will be before the Congress can agree to implement new legislation that will help strengthen the law. The main reason is that the thread was intended only to place games on the phone for bookmakers for sporting events and was largely introduced by attorney general Robert F. Kennedy to counter organized crime and bookshop. Whether the law now applies to communication between a home computer and a facility or casino that is not in the United States is still a gray area.
But in the industrial globalization period, it seems that companies such as Goldman Sachs & Co., Merrill Lynch & Co. and Fidelity Investments are willing to risk the violence of the teams to make investments on behalf of their clients in the form of shares and funds. By providing funding for offshore casinos, the question is whether they shed the law as well as if they make reliable investments for their customers, most of whom have no idea that their funds are involved in such companies.
It is now common for US companies to invest in overseas companies, including those that may be considered illegal under US federal law, such as those using sweatshops and child labor or by outsourcing business to countries doing business with other countries sanctioned by the United States government. However, the issue of online gaming may be just the latest industry in world trade where laws and customs have not yet come to an end, given the sophistication of the technology involved.
The argument is whether someone who generates a game transaction from his living room to a nonUS country qualifies as an illegal US transaction and whether it can reasonably be polished outside the US beaches. In addition to the Wire Act, the Law on Professional and Amateur Sports was issued in 1992, banning all sports events in all states except those existing in Nevada, Oregon and Delaware. It was followed by both President Clintons administration and the current President Bushs administration, both of whom explained that the thread was applicable to all forms of internet gaming and thus illegal under applicable law.
Nevertheless, the United States Board of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit in 2002 interpreted the wire router in a different way. In Thompson vs. MasterCard International et. al., the court ruled a lower court ruling that under federal rules sports games on the Internet are illegal but casino games are legal. As such, because wireless law was specifically adopted to prevent sports games, the court seems correct, with the gaming industry claiming that banning online games would require further legislation.