Online gambling 101: What the new gambling expansion means for states

Online lotto – and virtual slot machines, blackjack, and poker – could be coming to your state or one near you. Here are five questions on internet gambling, following the US Justice Department's policy reversal late last year, possibly producing a boon to both the industry and state budgets.

2. Did online gambling exist – legally or not – before this decision?

You bet. Long before the DOJ reversed its position, online gambling has thrived in the United States. Because it has been illegal, it's been difficult to track, but some estimates put the global online gambling market as high as $30 billion a year, with 60 to 80 percent of it coming from the US. In 2006, when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act prohibited businesses from accepting payments for bets or wagers involving the Internet, many online sites were driven offshore or underground.

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