Internet gambling may be more dangerous to the average American than other forms of legalized gambling. A person can sit in the comfort and anonymity of his home and lose thousands of dollars, as well as quality time with his family. In fact, in 2005, approximately 8 million Americans engaged in Internet gambling, playing poker, blackjack, and sports betting to the tune of around $12 billion.
Without a doubt, online poker is the most popular Internet gambling game. Internet gambling has become such a problem in this country that the U.S. government has begun to take action to limit its accessibility. In 1961, the Wire Act was passed to prohibit certain types of gambling businesses from operating. This Act has recently been used as grounds for restricting the operation of sports betting websites as well.
In 2006, President George Bush signed into law the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. This law prohibits Americans from using electronic funds transfers, credit cards, and checks to place bets with gambling sites operated by foreign companies.
Banks and credit card companies are responsible for enforcing this law. The law does not criminalize Internet gambling. However, it is designed to restrict certain financial transactions, making it more difficult to be involved with Internet gambling.