In America it is illegal, but loopholes currently mean that you are fine running a gambling outfit off-shore that Americans can access. A new set of legislation is on the way (or is it already there?) which will make it illegal for payment processing companies (the credit card companies and such) to knowingly take payments for gambling related activities - this will not make an off-shore gambling site any less legal but it will make it far more difficult for American's to legally use it.
As far as I know most of Europe is more neutral towards the issue, at least legally speaking. I don;t know about the rest of the world.
The legislation you speak of regarding payments in the US was passed a couple of weeks ago. Now the treasury department has 9 months to come up with enforcement policies, according to the news report I saw after it's passage.
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Notice that most of the democrats voted against this bill. It's the right winger's that are against this bill, fearing the horrible moral wrong that they thing gambling is. I firmly believe the B&M casinos would like to see this legalized, as they've been talking about that for some time. The sponsor of this bill has publicly declared that ALL gambling is morally wrong in his opinion. It doesn't matter that the majority of people in this country are pro-grambling (within some limits), the religious right is in charge right now.
Also, I've been advised that the wording of the law as it stands right now is so grey that it is not cut and dry that online gaming is illegal. There is absolutely no case history to prove it is under federal law (there is some case history for state laws though). The DOJ has said it's illegal for ages but has never taken anyone to court for it, which can only be because they know that the courts will not rule in their favor.
Maybe at some point our politicians will wake up and realize that by passing the most recent act, they're only elminating the legitimate organizations from the US, and the unethical ones will stick around and flip uncle Sam the bird because they'll always be more nimble than he will, and as long as they run from certain countries they'll be untouchable as long as their principals don't come here. Our politicians have just made the situation much worse, rather than contemplating a real solution, which would be legalization and regulation.
Some managers of bwin and sportingbet were jailed some days ago in USA and in France. In France the managers were released from jail after pay 300000€ ($375000) each other.
USA law doesn't allow gambling by telephone (and USA has recently extended this law to the Internet).
In the EU many countries are obstructing these companies in order to defend their own state-owned companies. A lot of countries have loterry games and they don't allow more lottery games, gambling, etc. than the controlled by the state-owned company.
But European Comission is against this, it consider that those countries could be restricting the free market and is investigating Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Italy and Hungary goverments.
A lot of europeans soccer teams have ads of "bwin" an others in their shirts, in France they have forbidden at least temporarily these sponsors.
Besides some european soccer clubs like Real Madrid and many soccer players they have brought a lawsuit against these companies because they are using their trademarks, names, etc. only for commercial purposes.
In my opinion the European Commision is going to liberalize more the market and allow these companies to access this countries. On the other hand I think that these companies will have to pay to soccer teams, players, etc. for using their names only for commercial purposes. This is only valid when you use trademarks, names, etc to report (newspapers, TV, etc.) but not in this case.
I have read in different web site that someone don't accept registration for some country, likes, Usa, Germany, Hong Kong etc and for other web site there is not a problem.
But how is possible to know the law of the every country? and i can't the company is gambling won't have a problem if in the rule there is written this :
"The Company reserves the right for whatever reason to at any time restrict access to certain areas of our sites to customers from certain territories.
It is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that their betting activity with us complies with the laws relating to betting of the state or country where they are based. Under no circumstances will Company be liable to its customers for any breach of any State or Country law that may occur as a result of their participation on our website."