Internet Gambling: An Overview of the Issues

GAO-03-89 Published: Dec 02, 2002. Publicly Released: Dec 02, 2002.
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Internet gambling is a fast-growing industry with estimated 2003 revenues of more than $4 billion. However, concerns have been raised about its social and economic impacts. In light of recent recommendations by a Congressionally appointed commission, which advocated restricting Internet gambling within the United States, GAO was asked to examine the U.S. payments system, particularly credit cards, as it relates to interactive on-line gaming. We examined (1) the legal framework for Internet gambling domestically and abroad; (2) the credit card industry's policies regarding the use of credit cards to pay for Internet gambling and actions taken to restrict such usage; and (3) the views of law enforcement, banking regulators, and the credit card and gaming industries on the vulnerability of Internet gambling to money laundering. We issued an interim report on these issues in September 2002. GAO makes no recommendations in this report.

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