The legality of online gambling is up for debate, with some states prohibiting online gambling entirely, and others limiting access. However, it is generally accepted in the United States, several Canadian provinces, and most countries in the European Union. Some jurisdictions have even passed laws that regulate online gambling, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Regulation is essential to avoid abuse and ensure that online gambling sites are regulated by the right authority. In addition to ensuring fair play, regulated online gambling sites adhere to strict security standards. They use industry standard 128-bit encryption to protect sensitive information, and independent auditors test software to ensure accuracy. Most online gambling sites have a fair gaming policy, and allow players to set limits and self-exclude themselves.
Legitimate online casinos have licences issued by government-owned gambling authorities. These licences prove that the online casinos are legitimate and do not engage in illegal activities. It is therefore important to play only on reputable online casinos that are licensed by one of these authorities. These authorities include iGaming Ontario, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, the Malta Gaming Authority, and the United Kingdom Gambling Commission.
As with any type of gambling, there are pros and cons to the practice. While some people view online gambling as a societal train wreck, research has shown that the majority of people who participate in online gambling do so in a responsible and moderate manner. Most of them play for small sums, and spend relatively little time online. Furthermore, the legality of online gambling is far easier to regulate than that of live gambling.