Internet gambling has quickly grown into a mulitbillion-dollar industry. Seemingly overnight, online casinos have mushroomed all across the Web, so much so that you can scarcely open a "legitimate" sports site without being inundated with pop-ups and pop-unders. And given the convenience these sites afford, it's no wonder users have responded in turn by flocking to gaming sites that offer everything you find in Las Vegas or Reno, barring the Bengal tigers and strip teases, of course.
Many people ask if Internet Gambling is legal if it's not taking place in cities and towns that sanction gambling. The question of who owns the Internet is a thorny one, and will continue to be hotly debated by constitutional scholars, lawyers, lawmakers, and lobbyists for years to come. In the meantime, though, because many online gambling sites host their pages from servers outside the United States--say, in the Caribbean--it's perfectly legal (for the most part) to gamble online. Still, it is your responsibility to learn whether or not gaming is legal in your particular municipality, as local laws can trump any broader claims to legality you might make.
What You Get with Internet Gambling
Your average online gambling site offers all the casino standards such as blackjack, poker, roulette, and craps. Additionally, you'll find many online casinos hosting "sports books," or professional sports gambling. Bet on landmark events such as the Kentucky Derby, Daytona 500, or NBA Championships, or settle for a run-of-the-mill baseball or football game.
Naturally, when it comes to internet gambling, the stakes are just as real as they are in Atlantic City or Vegas. Moreover, there's nobody standing next to you in your basement or living room to pull you away from the computer if you hit a bad losing streak. Ironically enough, most gaming sites are aware of this, and many of them therefore offer links to gambling addiction groups and counselors.