Last year the US Congress passed a number of laws that cracked down on online gaming sites. This has not slowed down the industry and probably shows the impotence of US law to impact an internet industry all by itself. US authorities were obviously influenced in part by established brick and mortar gambling institutions when they crafted the laws that were not friendly to the online community. This coddling of brick and mortar institutions that have long histories of problems makes the moral stance that the US took online seem hollow.
More and more sites that were once dedicated solely to carefree online games are moving into the virtual big time offering people the opportunity to gamble online. Playing games is a social aspect of life that goes back many millenia. The internet is almost a perfect tool for enabling people to socialize from all around the world and when you bring the two together you get an online gaming industry that really can not be stopped or slowed down.
The internet has long had the potential to flow like water around physical jurisdictions and that is exactly what is happening with gaming online.
The bottom line is that online gambling is legal throughout most of the world. The United States has established a law that is only partially enforceable against businesses in the US and against persons in the US playing games. The concern of the US government is that these sites and the people that gamble on them could use the site to launder money, collude or a number of other activities.
Online gambling sites do have this potential, but the nasty truth is that any business that operates online has the same capability. If someone really wants to launder money, they do not need to attract attention by establishing an online gambling site, all they have to do is establish an online business. In fact, the law has probably done more to hide money laundering activity than to prevent it. It has probably also served to clear money launderers out of a large segment of the online gambling industry. Why would money launderers choose to perform their illegal activities where they know the authorities will be watching when the world wide web is infinitely large and offers many other rocks to hide under.