Is promoting internet gambling illegal?

UPDATED: Oct 28, 2011

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Is promoting internet gambling illegal?

Say that a US citizen starts a gambling portal site that promotes on-line casinos. However, all casinos being promoted are offshore and 100% of all visitors referred to the casinos are also located offshore. Would the US citizen be breaking the law even though none of his clients are US citizens and none of the casinos are operating in the US?

Asked on October 28, 2011 under Business Law, Delaware


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you have no U.S. citizens participating and you operation is not located or based in the U.S., and also does not use any U.S. based financial services or payment process (e.g. U.S. based credit card processors or banks), you should be ok--at least under U.S. law, though you'd be subject to the law of whatever jurisdiction you are established in. Your citizenship does not matter for the purpose of a breach of U.S. gambling law, only the location of the business, the clients, and vendors (like payment processors).

Of course, the internet knowns no boundaries: once you have U.S. citizens (or noncitizens resident in the U.S.), U.S. banks, etc. getting involved, you could be in breach of U.S. law. There is actually, in academic circles, considerable debate over exactly what IS made illegal, vis-a-vis internet gambling, by U.S. law. But that has not stopped the U.S. government from agressively prosecuting whenever there is any U.S. connection at all. See, for example, this last spring's

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