Is betting online legal? This is one of the questions that have been triggered by the onset of online betting games, online poker included. Is there some sort of a global law to base legal online poker on? World history has not yet recorded any person charged with or convicted of the crime of playing online poker—yet. There might be in the future—who knows? But so far, it is assumed that any online poker is legal online poker. As long as there is no law existing regulating or banning online poker, it’s a legal online poker. Traditional poker played on a table in casinos has certain restrictions under the law of most countries. There’s an age restriction, for instance. And casinos are mostly required government permits in most countries. Yet, there are few countries that totally ban gambling games, poker among them. Yet, we cannot say the same of online poker. So far, anywhere in the world, as long as an Internet connection is possible, anyone can play “legal” online poker.
Before the Berlin Wall fell, they tried to ban gambling in East Berlin. Then, we may say that in such places there is no such thing as a legal online poker—and this is as far as the country banning it is concerned. So far, most countries, like the US, has no existing law banning or even governing how a “legal” online poker should be played, and by whom. A leading gambling law authority based in the US once said that there’s no US law that openly and clearly bans online gambling, locally or otherwise. The same thing when we talk of any global law applying to canceling out legal online poker. We won’t find a basis or at least a precedent from which to base any global law on—unlike the territorial boundaries of countries which is respected internationally as a law. And most international laws are made to keep countries from waging war against each other.
War due to illegal or legal online poker?
However, in the US there’s the so-called Wire Act which anti-online gambling advocates often cite to make online betting—“legal” online poker included—a federal crime. But a gambling law expert in the US says the Wire Act aims only at people in the business of online gambling, not players. Legal online poker is so only in places where there is no absolute gambling ban—and also when one is not in the business of doing it.