Monday, June 7, 2010



Legal aspects

Both the Catholic and Jewish traditions traditionally set aside days for gambling,[4] although religious authorities generally disapprove of gambling to some extent. Gambling can have adverse social consequences. For these social and religious reasons, most legal jurisdictions limit gambling. Some Islamic nations prohibit gambling; most other countries regulate it.[5]

Many jurisdictions, local as well as national, either ban or heavily control (by licensing) gambling. Such regulation generally leads to gambling tourism and illegal gambling. In other terms gambling can be performed through materials which are given a value but isn’t real money. The involvement of governments, through regulation and taxation, has led to a close connection between many governments and gaming organizations, where legal gambling provides significant government revenue, such as in Monaco or Macau.

Under US federal law, gambling is legal in the United States, and states are free to regulate or prohibit the practice. Gambling has been legal in Nevada since 1931, forming the backbone of the state's economy, and the city of Las Vegas is perhaps the best known gambling destination in the world. In 1976, gambling was legalized in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and in 1990, it was legalized in Tunica, Mississippi; both of those cities have developed extensive casino and resort areas since then. Since a favorable U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1987, manyNative American tribes have built their own casinos on tribal lands as a way to provide revenue for the tribe. Because the tribes are considered sovereign nations, they are often exempt from state laws restricting gambling, and are instead regulated under federal law. Additionally, almost all states have legalized gambling in the form of a state-run lottery and most states allow for limited non-profit organizations to host Bingo nights.

Because contracts of insurance have many features in common with wagers, insurance contracts are often distinguished under law as agreements in which either party has an interest in the "bet-upon" outcome beyond the specific financial terms. E.g.: a “bet” with an insurer on whether one's house will burn down is not gambling, but rather insurance — as the homeowner has an obvious interest in the continued existence of his/her home independent of the purely financial aspects of the "bet" (i.e., the insurance policy). Nonetheless, both insurance and gambling contracts are typically considered aleatory contracts under most legal systems, though they are subject to different types of regulation.

There is generally legislation requiring that the odds in gaming devices are statistically random, to prevent manufacturers from making some high-payoff results impossible. Since these high-payoffs have very low probability, a house bias can quite easily be missed unless checking the odds carefully.[6]