Online Gambling, or ‘Internet gambling’, is a form of gambling that involves the placing of wagers over the Internet. This is a practice that has become popular as technology advances. It can include online casinos, sports betting, virtual poker and more.
There are many laws and penalties associated with online gambling. These statutes include the Gambling Act, the Wire Act, the Illegal Gambling Business Act and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is a federal criminal law that prohibits any person, business or organization from engaging in a gambling activity on the Internet. It specifically defines unlawful internet gambling as “the use of the Internet to place, receive or process bets, or to otherwise receive or transmit bets”.
As a result of the law, financial instruments that were used to make an illegal Internet bet can no longer be accepted in the U.S. Additionally, state officials have expressed concern that the internet can be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.
Despite the legality of online gambling, it remains a popular activity. Millions of people gamble on various platforms every day. While this is good news for the gambling industry, there are constitutional concerns that have been raised.
Some attacks have been based on the Commerce Clause and the First Amendment. These have had little success. However, the commercial nature of the gambling industry seems to address these concerns.