Whittier Law School professor I. Nelson Rose was quoted in PBS article about the use of Bitcoin in online gambling.
Even though online gambling carries an illicit perception, there is no consensus on its legality within the United States. Gambling in general, Rose explained, has always been a state issue, and almost all federal statutes require that gambling be a violation of state law for the feds to take action. Half of states have laws against making a bet, but many of these laws haven’t been updated in the era of online gambling, let alone Bitcoin gambling.
At the federal level, the legislation that does exist isn’t very strong. The laws focus on the gambling operators, not the betters. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), for example, can only go after gambling businesses who are already doing something illegal. It’s a toothless law, Rose and fellow gaming law expert Dr. Joseph Kelly agreed.
And even if Bitcoin could be regulated, Bitcoin–or the various organizations that speak for it–could argue, Rose said, that they’re just like the U.S. Treasury–separate from the activities people use Bitcoins for.
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