The licensing of online casinos and other forms of online gambling is an area that is highly regulated by a variety of authorities. The United States, for example, has not yet adequately responded to the growth in online gambling. While the early years of online gambling saw a proliferation of online gambling sites, there were no legal guidelines for such sites, which allowed US-based players to easily access them. However, the US government finally acted in 2006 with the passage of the Safe Ports Act, which made it illegal for US banks to facilitate the transfer of funds to offshore gambling sites.
While gambling is legal on a federal level, each state has the right to regulate it as it sees fit. These regulations encompass games of chance, skill, and sporting events. Fortunately, online gambling is legal in several states, including New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York, and in the United States, twenty of these states allow residents to bet on sports events and poker sites via the internet. Nonetheless, some states have more restrictive regulations than others, which makes the legality of online gambling more difficult.
While online gambling is potentially risky, it can be fun and lucrative for those who know what they are doing. However, the importance of safety is never underestimated. Online gambling can lead to addiction and even disorder if not conducted with care. In the United Kingdom, approximately 6 percent of adults used the internet for gambling in 2007.