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Gambling on the Blockchain: How the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act Has Opened the Door for Offshore Crypto Casinos

Posted by on Saturday, July 2, 2022 in Notes, Volume 24, Volume 24, Issue 3.

Sam Hoy Brown VII | 24 Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. L. 535 (2022) 

Online cryptocurrency casinos have seen a dramatic rise in popularity over the past thirty years as the rate of ownership of cryptocurrencies has risen almost as quickly as the US monetary value of a single Bitcoin. Current US laws and regulations are outdated; the only piece of federal legislation that provides oversight in the area of virtual gambling originated in 2006, more than fifteen years before the publication of this Note. Previous scholarship suggests that a lack of federal action has resulted in a surge of criminal activity, such as money laundering and tax evasion, as well as significant missed opportunities now that cash-strapped states are seeking to fill falling tax revenues in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. This Note expands on these arguments and offers a real and tangible solution that provides clarity to innocent gamblers and puts organized crime syndicates on notice.

Since federal and state legislatures in the United States have failed to address the use of cryptocurrencies as a gambling medium, this Note illustrates why leaving the virtual gambling space largely unregulated is a net-negative for American society. By exploring this gap in the law, this Note aims to inform both federal and state legislators about the importance of governmental oversight in cryptocurrency gambling.

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