The Legalities of Online Gambling
The online gambling industry has grown rapidly in recent years. This is largely thanks to technological advances that have enabled gambling games to become more accessible. Many new games have been designed with a creative theme and a high level of graphics. However, there are still several issues associated with online gambling. For example, it is important to remember that illegal Internet gambling is unlawful under the Wire Act, the Illegal Gambling Business Act and the UIGEA.
In addition to these federal statutes, state law also imposes its own restrictions. In New York, an act of transmitting information from the state to the Internet, or of entering a bet on the Internet, constitutes a form of gambling. Additionally, the Act prohibits a person from accepting financial instruments from an Internet bet.
Although gambling is primarily a matter of state law, there are some constitutional and other legal objections to the enforcement of federal gambling laws. These objections are typically focused on the free speech and commerce clauses of the First Amendment. Consequently, these arguments have been limited in their effectiveness. Nonetheless, state officials have expressed concerns that the internet might be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.
For example, a federal court recently ruled that an offshore Internet-based sports bookmaking operation violated the Wire Act. Another case involved a bartender and manager of an establishment with video poker machines. The case included both layoff bettors and wagers made by other employees.
On the federal side, there are seven criminal statutes that are involved in the debate. These include the Wire Act, the Illegal Gambling Act, the UIGEA, the Money Laundering Control Act and the RICO provisions. While many of these statutes are common law, others have been enacted specifically to deal with the growing problem of illegal Internet gambling.
There are other less well known laws that are applicable to the Internet gambling industry. In fact, one of the first online gambling sites for the general public was the Liechtenstein International Lottery.
One such statute is the CRS Report RS21984 which provides an overview of the various aspects of the legalities of the Internet gambling industry. It contains references to the various state gaming laws, as well as text of cited statutes. A summary of the statutes can be found in a downloadable abridged version of the report.
Finally, there is the Travel Act. The statute is an anti-gambling statute that prohibits people from participating in Internet casinos while traveling in interstate commerce. An additional piece of legislation is the Lopez Amendment, which includes elements designed to target low-level gambling cases.
Despite the many federal and state prohibitions on the use of the internet for illegal gambling, there are still numerous opportunities to get in on the action. Whether through a casino or through an online game, players should stick to their budget and research their options before making a decision. Choosing a reputable casino is crucial to ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.