Prior to delving into the world of sports betting online, many people stop to wonder if they are breaking any state or local laws. In most states, and even the federal government, have legislation about whether its legal or not to gamble online.
Who Regulates Sports Betting?
The regulations of gambling in the US were entirely discretionary per state until recently. The start of online gambling created confusion about jurisdiction. Who runs the laws of cyberspace? Most current gambling laws were meant to apply to general gambling laws, long before the internet existed. Thus the application of those laws to online gambling are open to broad interpretation.
US Regulation of Sports Betting
Most people ask “Is it legal to run a ports betting operation offshore and take action from clients in the US?” The US will most likely argue it is not legal. However, no bills have yet been passed to prevent any such activities from happening. In recent years, attempts to pass bills of this sort have failed.
The government has placed responsibility of gambling legislation at the hands of individual states. Some states have considered legalizing online gambling but have failed. Some states also have added legislation that prohibits the advertising of online casino (Illinois is one such state). Only three states – Nevada, Louisiana and California prohibit citizens from betting beyond state borders. Such laws are loosely enforced. In fact, most states consider gambling violations misdemeanors with the majority focusing on operators as opposed to the gamblers themselves. To avoid breaking US laws, most internet sportsbooks are located offshore in foreign countries along with their servers!
To be clear, the US government has been trying to pass legislation to deal with the regulation of online gambling. But, because there are so many grey areas regarding who has authority over cyberspace activities, these attempts have been unsuccessful in passing. It’s becoming clear that the US will not be able to effectively legislate online gambling as of now but that’s not to say what the future may hold
There is an intense drive in the state of California to make internet gambling legal. Proponents of online gambling believe it to be a great idea and have taken several steps to promote it. One of the important steps taken for legalizing online gambling is the introduction of free poker websites. These are online gambling websites where players can enjoy their favorite game of poker without the use of any money.
The movement to legalize internet gambling in the state has been going on for many days, with the legislation being stalled every year. However, proponents of internet gambling are hopeful that things will change in the months to come and are coming up with a new proposal in January.
The introduction of these free poker websites is looked upon as being favorable to the cause of these gambling operators. It is believed that with the help of these websites, these operators can convince the government about the popularity of internet poker in the state.
The free version of the poker game is absolutely similar to the moneyed version, which allows for easy comparison. In other words, using the popularity of the free version, these operators believe that they can actually moot for the gambling version.
This move to legalize online poker is being mooted by the California Online Poker Association, which is essentially a group of casinos and cardrooms that actually sponsored the original Senate Bill 40 for legalizing internet gambling. According to the spokesperson of the California Online Poker Association, Ryan Hightower, these free poker sites are exactly like the real games, which make it really easy for the proponents to prove the popularity of the game.
It is interesting to note that different tribes belonging to the California Online Poker Association have launched their own free online poker websites. Where the San Manuel and Morongo tribes have launched a website called CalShark.com, the Barona tribe has launched its own website. Similarly, according to David Quintana, other tribes are launching their own websites, which has led to a situation where California has more free poker websites than any other place.
Proponents of these free websites believe that these sites are not money making ventures for casinos, at least not at present. However, these sites are primarily used for creating customer loyalty and increasing brand awareness. Such measures are extremely useful if and when the legislation for online gambling were to be passed as it would not take much time for them to get their returns manifold.
However, opponents to this move state that the introduction of free poker websites today will definitely lead to exploitation of the players later. Despite the massive opposition to the Senate Bill and this move, a field poll shows that nearly 53 percent of the populace is in favor of legalizing internet gambling.
Old Age Poker Games
At those days, a poker game was played using only a deck consisting of 20 cards. Then, 4 players will keep a bet on which player has the best hand and hence the most valuable.
After some time, the game spread at the speed of forest fire to the other parts of America, the presence of the game headed along the west alongside California Gold Rush. Later, the game got its complete 52-card deck.
Later, the flush was added to the game, and slowly more and more additions were made to the game at the time of American Civil War. Many modifications were taken in like stud poker that is a 5-card variant of poker game, straight poker and draw poker.
Wild cards were introduced by the Americans in the year of 1875. Later in the 1900s, split-pot and lowball poker were developed in the poker game. Community card games in poker were introduced in the year of 1925.
Thanks to US military, the game of poker eventually spread to various other countries, mainly to the Asian countries.
Poker game wasn’t always taken as a game to be played. Before the 70s, poker was usually absent at casinos due to the lack of security measures for checking on the people who cheat in the game. Casinos didn’t open poker rooms for playing black jack and roulette even till the 80s and 90s.
– Poker at the Present
People’s interest was renewed thanks to the setting up of much better security techniques along with lots of promotion and tournaments being held.
Also, advent of online gambling or online poker helped the game to reach new heights. Online gambling or online poker gave life to the poker game which was held stagnant for a long time.
Many people of all skills and levels began to get a likeness to the poker game due to the introduction of online gambling or online poker. Amateurs and beginners began to bring themselves together to get to learn further or start learning about gambling online or online poker.
Online gambling or online poker helped the common people to learn how to play the poker game. The game which was once restricted to be enjoyed by rich businessmen alone at casinos rolling high could now be played by the common man too.
– Advantages of Online Gambling or Online Poker
Online gambling or online poker has many advantages over the mortar and brick poker games. Listed below are a few advantages of the online gambling or online poker game which have been proven many a time by the poker game fanatics:
1. Massive cheating caused the casinos of those days to close their business and move on to roulette or blackjack games. The game is still open to fraudulent tactics such as collusion of players even when security measures were taken into account in the poker game.
Gambling online or online poker uses a software which automatically monitors the game and detects patterns in the games of any player to identify any possible collusion between 2 or more players.
Gambling online or online poker software is also able to check any player’s IP addresses to be able to see if 2 or any more players are playing from the same area which is a form of fraudulent tactics used in the game.
Moreover, online gambling or online poker software can share data to another software virtually such that gambling online or online poker software can very easily keep a record of players having fraudulent records and then ban the players from playing any more in the poker game.
2. Online gambling or online poker is so famous that tournaments called satellite tournaments are being watched by real poker tournaments. The winners of the satellite tournament are given entry into the real tournaments like World Series Poker which takes place only once a year.
Actually, in the year 2003 and 2004, the winners of World Series Poker, Greg “the Fossilman” Raymer and Chris Moneymaker, got entry into the World Poker Series by winning the online gambling or online poker tournaments.
3. A noticeable advantage in online gambling or online poker is that there is no psychological factor in the game. The players of online gambling or online poker games don’t face each other. Each player is far far away from another player and they play together only in a virtual game room.
Nobody can observe another player’s body language or reaction and instead of that, players have to focus on the betting patterns to get an idea of other player’s card hands.
This article is aimed at answering the question as to whether online gambling legal in California. Firstly I would like to start off by saying that it basically depends on two key points, the first being the location in which you live and the second being the way in which the game is conducted. Therefore the answer to our question of is online gambling legal in California is a bit complicated as some online games are legal whereas others are illegal.
It is illegal to play ’21′ as well as any ‘banking or percentage game’ in California. Now in the instance of what is a ‘percentage game’ for the rest of the world this simply means that the house participates therefore they have a percentage advantage. However in California, ‘percentage game’ means the operator or house would be able to take a percentage of the winnings even if they do not participate in the game. So if you are participating in a poker game and the house rakes the pot it would be considered a crime in California. I am going to explain to you how poker can be legal in California, but it is a bit complex.
Due to the California legislature, by statute, this allows licensed card clubs to take up to three levels from a pot, four if the house takes nothing if the pot is too small. This situation therefore would be defined as not being a percentage game making it legal, which would answer our question of is online gambling legal in California. Therefore we can clearly state that playing poker online for money is legal once it is not operated as a percentage game.
In another aspect to, is online gambling legal in California, in respect again to the California Penal Code, which states that it is illegal to make sport bets. However, on the other hand, it is legal to buy a lottery ticket or be able to participate in any numbers game even if the numbers game is considered illegal. In closing, I want to leaving with you a very valuable piece of information, which is you should contact the office of the attorney general, as the individuals there are trained to answer and explain any and every question you may have which relates to online gambling. Once these questions are cleared up you can then proceed to go to your desired online gambling site and have fun.
Sarah Harrigan is a professional casino player and reviewer. For straight talking honest advice on online casinos be sure to visit her website for comprehensive reviews on the most secure online casinos and winning casino strategies.