Overview of Gambling in the
Gambling is a form of recreation that has been constantly embraced as well as shunned by the public in America from the 1700s. People first began gambling in America in the form of lotteries until they were banned in the 1890s. Gambling then made a strong comeback in the 1920s, and the construction of Las Vegas added to the value of gaming entertainment until the 1970s when Native American reservations began operating their own land-based casinos. In the 1990s Southern states such as Mississippi passed laws permitting the operation of dockside gaming boats which later after Hurricane Katrina was amended to allow the casinos affected by the storms to rebuild land-based operations.

The Evolution of Gambling from Casinos to the Internet
In 1995 the first online gambling casino opened for business, offering its patrons eighteen different games to choose from. With the development and accessibility of the internet by the general public, the trend of online gambling took off like wildfire. The concept of being able to participate in high-stakes gaming from the comfort of one’s home made this business model attractive and it has grown since then and shows no signs of slowing down. The average person is attracted to the games offered by casinos, but is usually unable to afford the cost of traveling to a gambling city such as Las Vegas. With internet gambling, patrons can participate in the games and wager pools without having to leave their homes.

What is offered by Online Casinos?
People can find your traditional games such as blackjack, roulette, virtual slots and other types of table and card games with online casinos. Some also offer lotteries as well as opportunities to place wagers on various sporting events. A recent phenomenon that has cropped up in many online casinos is what is referred to as proposition bets, where people can bet on anything from who is going to be voted off that night’s episode of Survivor to whether Snooki will have a baby boy or girl. These establishments offer something for everyone.

Who Owns and Operates these Online Casinos?
Typically online gambling casinos are operated offshore on small islands. This has made it difficult to hold these companies liable when incidents such as fraud occur from credit card companies and related American financial institutions. Currently the Government is seeking ways to hold these companies accountable for such incidents and force them to comply with American authorities when such complaints are being investigated.

Potential Issues with Online Gambling Websites
The biggest issue with these types of establishments is the incidents of financial fraud that occur. In order to place bets, the gambler must open an account with the website and fund it using a credit card, a wire transfer service such as PayPal, or by some other means. As of right now many American credit card companies and banks will deny transactions to such sites because of the high risk of fraud with these types of gambling sites. However, some internet gambling casinos have directed their patrons to open foreign bank accounts that do allow patrons to make transfers to online casinos without issues. Some have also begun to mask their company information so credit card companies will approve their transactions. As with any type of recreational hobby, patrons must be encouraged to place wagers responsibly.

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