The Evolution of Online Gambling
The internet has opened new opportunities for online gambling. Today, the internet is home to virtual poker, casinos, sports betting, and virtual lotteries. The first legal gambling venue on the internet was the Liechtenstein International Lottery. In the past, the Internet has helped to create a more social atmosphere and a more diverse range of games. With the advent of the internet, many people can now place their bets from the comfort of their home.
In the late 1990s, lawmakers introduced legislation to limit the popularity of online gambling. Senators Bob Goodlatte and Jon Kyl introduced a bill that limited the scope of online gambling to state lotteries and horse races. These bills failed to pass, but Barney Frank and others later introduced HR 2046, which would amend the UIGEA to require a license for internet gambling sites. Since then, several similar bills have been proposed.
Several countries have legalized online gambling. Most of the European Union countries and a few Caribbean sea nations have legalized the industry. In 1999, federal prosecutors filed a criminal case against three of the largest online poker sites, alleging violations of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and money laundering. However, in 2004, the United States government lifted its ban and continued to regulate online gambling. The UIGEA and its regulations were amended, and a new law was passed requiring online poker websites to pay a certain percentage of winnings to their winners.