Online gambling is legal in most countries around the world, but not in all. The US, Canada, and many Caribbean nations have legalized online gambling, but many other countries have banned online gambling. To legally offer online gambling, service providers need to have a gambling license, which is given by an authority. Some examples of licensing authorities include the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, and more.
The United States Department of Justice recently announced that it is prohibiting advertising for online gambling. This move is based on the federal law known as the Wire Act. The Wire Act covers all forms of Internet gambling, including gambling sites, and advertising for them could be construed as aiding and abetting, according to the Department of Justice. However, critics say that the move has no legal basis.
Although online gambling has been legal in the US for decades, it is still illegal to engage in it in many states. Since gambling is primarily a matter of state law, the federal government reinforces state laws in some cases. Additionally, state officials have expressed concern that online gambling could bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.
The federal government has been opposed to online gambling for a long time. However, in 2011, the Department of Justice allowed states to pass legislation allowing online gambling. This has enabled states to legalize online gambling and to decriminalize the activity. Moreover, the US Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that the Federal Ban on Sports Betting is unconstitutional.