There is a major issue to be dealt with, which is spreading with little regulatory oversight and no effective screens against participation by the young and the vulnerable. Internet gambling represents one of the fastest growing segments of online activity with more than seven hundred web sites now providing users the opportunity to wager everything from casino games to sporting events. According to internet research firms, the industry will pull in $1.5 billion in world-wide revenues this year. That figure is expected to hit at least $6 billion by 2006. Also, a survey conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project concluded that $4.5 million Americans have gambled online and that 1 million gamble online everyday. Online gambling should be made completely illegal or should be controlled in some manner.
There are many different issues dealing with the legalization of online gambling. The current law dealing with online gambling is the Wire Transfer Act of 1961.
Under this statute, the law is violated when telephone lines are used in interstate or foreign commerce to place wagers. The statute also bars the transmission of information that assists betters to gamble on sports events and contests. Recently, Congress have been active in seeking to pass further legislation to restrict betting on the web. Last November, the Senate proposed the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act. This statute would make it a crime to knowingly use the internet or other interactive computer services to place, receive, or otherwise make a bet or wager; or send, receive, or invite information assisting in the placing of a bet or wager. Penalties would be as high as $20,000 and 4 years in prison. However, in a vote in July, the bill narrowly missed obtaining the two thirds majority required to pass the bill. In May,