Although online gambling is legal on a federal level, individual states are free to regulate it. This can include sports betting, poker sites, and other games of chance or skill. Twenty states currently allow residents to wager on sporting events online. Some also permit online poker and casino games. The following is a list of the states that allow online gambling:
The US government has not ruled out the legality of online gambling, but it remains illegal in many countries. However, in most of the European Union and in several Caribbean nations, online gambling is legal. Many jurisdictions have enacted licensing requirements for online gambling service providers. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the United Kingdom Gambling Commission are two such licensing authorities.
The federal government has also pursued criminal prosecutions involving Internet gambling. A recent criminal case charges Internet poker operators with violations of the 18 U.S.C. 1955. Additionally, the US government has warned PayPal that it could face prosecution if it continued to accept ads from the Costa Rican casino operation. Further, online gambling websites are not permitted to offer free money to users.
France has proposed new legislations that regulate online gambling. These include a basic state monopoly of public gambling and limited exceptions for certain commercial providers. However, online gambling is still illegal in Germany.