Michigan Online Gambling Laws
Whether it is sports betting, virtual poker, or casinos, online gambling has become a hot topic in the United States. However, many states have not yet developed legal online gambling venues. While the federal government has done its part to make sure that gambling isn’t legal on the Internet, many state officials have expressed concern about the potential for Internet gambling to bring illegal gambling into their states. The first major online gambling venue for the general public was the Liechtenstein International Lottery.
The United States Department of Justice is currently investigating several online gambling operations. Among these are BetMGM, WSOP, and PokerStars. However, there are several other legal online gambling venues operating in Michigan. The Michigan Gaming Control Board regulates the industry. There are also several smaller Michigan-based brands that operate online casinos.
There are several federal criminal statutes implicated by illegal Internet gambling. These statutes include the Wire Act, which prohibits illegal gambling on sporting events, and the Illegal Gambling Business Act, which makes it illegal for gambling business owners to operate a gambling business in the U.S. The statute includes several elements, including age verification, location verification, and appropriate data security standards. In addition, the Act makes it illegal to accept payments for illegal Internet gambling. The Act also includes provisions that prohibit illegal gambling businesses from engaging in Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) activities.
Another legal requirement is that an illegal gambling business must operate for more than thirty days. The business also needs to have gross revenues of at least two thousand dollars in a single day. The owner of an illegal gambling business may face up to five years in prison. If the business is found to be operating illegally, it may also be seized and forfeited. A warrant may be issued in cases where there is probable cause.
The CRS Report RS21984 abridged version is a good source for this tidbit. It includes citations to state gambling laws and the text of several cited statutes. Moreover, it provides an overview of the various issues in online gambling. The report also lists several online gambling laws that should be considered.
While there are many other statutes that are associated with illegal Internet gambling, some of the most important are the Travel Act, the Wire Act, and the Illegal Gambling Business Act. However, these statutes have been the focus of constitutional challenges. Some of these challenges have been based on the Due Process Clause, while others have relied on the Commerce Clause and the First Amendment. While attacks based on these three constitutional aspects have not enjoyed great success, the commercial nature of a gambling business may satisfy the Commerce Clause in some cases.
The CRS Report RS22749, a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, also discusses the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). While the report is not a legal source, it provides a good summary of the laws that are important to online gambling.