A recent case against online gambling in the United States has attracted international attention. Antigua and Barbuda filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization, claiming that online gambling is causing thousands of jobs in their country. This case came to a disappointing end when the World Trade Organization found that the U.S. laws against online gambling violate international trade agreements. The European Union has considered filing a similar complaint. But despite the potential legal consequences, the EU decided not to file the case.
The availability of online gambling sites in different countries may attract individuals seeking anonymity and isolated environments. However, by using legal online gambling sites, these individuals are exposed to the risk of detection by governments. The fact that electronic payment services can be tracked and logged helps governments unravel terrorist networks. Furthermore, online slots are fun to play and online casinos offer dynamic user experiences. These factors may be responsible for the popularity of online gambling in the United States. In fact, it is estimated that about $40 billion is spent on online gambling in the United States each year.
There are many organizations that regulate the online gambling industry. Some memberships imply credibility. However, not all sites are members of these organizations. In addition to the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and Christianen Capital Advisors all have their own opinions on the issue. But analysts generally agree that the growth of online gambling is phenomenal. In 1997, only fifty to sixty internet casinos operated in the Caribbean. These operations earned about $300 million annually. By 2000, an estimated 700 sites were operating.