Almost every gambler who bets online asks the question “can I go to jail for sports gambling online” at some time or the other, because no one really likes to be a law breaker. This is also because it is a known fact that illegal sports gambling can lead to you landing up in jail. However, the answer to this question is not simple because it depends on the circumstances and situations the bettor finds himself in. There is a great difference between making bets, taking bets, accepting advertising, paying the casinos and even buying advertising etc that is why illegal activity varies. Besides, online sports betting and online casino betting also has differences.
Only Federal law and not the state laws have to be considered in the United States. These laws and their enforcement are constantly being changed and each day could have new laws being enforced. The best thing for gamblers or online sports bettors to do is to seek right and appropriate legal counsel for his situation.
The online sports gambler has very little to fear because there is no actual federal law that is against online sports betting. Catherine Hanaway, an attorney in the US admitted that placing a bet online is not against federal law, in a House hearing in 2007. It is a rare case that players are found guilty of violating state laws.
Giant publishers like Microsoft, Google and Yahoo have in the past faced penalties where they did not face criminal charges but only paid a fine. Others were warned against taking advertisement and thus did not face penalties when they obeyed. Smaller publishers were not even warned against taking online gambling advertisements.
Gambling operators do not have trouble if they only deal with casino and poker bets and operate outside the United States. It is important to look at and study all the risks that are involved in every online gambling activity. This means that you should be aware of what is likely to result in a fine or a jail sentence.
The following will help you to be savvy about the legalities of online sports betting. If you take a bet on a server that is in the US itself is an activity that is very risky and you could be in trouble. Taking a bet on a server that is offshore and then entering the US, or taking casino and poker bets from a US client on a site outside the US, helping clients to place bets on a site, accepting betting advertisements for online sports gambling etc means that you are taking great risks and could land in trouble with the law.
Other areas which involve lesser risks are accepting or buying advertising in media that is small for online gambling, buying advertising as a casino, a US publication affiliate or poker room. The gambler who places bets himself on the internet faces little risk.
So finally it all boils down to this. If you are still wondering “can I go to jail for sports gambling online?” then all you have to do is download material, guides, articles, reviews etc that is easy to get online and find out the specific laws which relate to your area, state and jurisdiction as to whether betting online is legal or not.