The Federal Government’s Role in Online Gambling

Online Gambling

Online gambling has seen a surge in recent years. This is a result of technological advances in the gaming industry. Increasingly, people are able to play games on their mobile devices. These include casino games, sports betting and bingo. Some websites offer apps with real-time scores.

Illegal Internet gambling is a federal crime. It is illegal under the Wire Act, the Illegal Gambling Business Act, and the Illegal Gambling Enforcement Act. Aside from the federal criminal statutes, there are state and local laws governing the conduct of gambling. While the majority of online gambling is legal, the fact that gambling is often conducted without authorization can lead to the prosecution of individuals.

The Travel Act, which prohibits the use of interstate commerce for illegal purposes, also applies to Internet casinos. However, due process arguments have been raised with respect to the regulation of activities that take place in part overseas. Also, federal law reinforces state law in cases.

For instance, Section 1956 of the federal code creates several distinct crimes. In particular, this section creates laundering for international and law enforcement stings, and it creates laundering for purposes other than disguise. Other crimes created by this section include laundering to evade taxes and laundering with the intent to promote illicit activity.

Although a number of other statutes exist, the most significant of these is the UIGEA. This act provides a list of financial instruments that must not be accepted from an illegal Internet bet. Additionally, the law enables the Attorney General to prohibit accepting such financial instruments. Finally, this act is not limited to Internet casinos, but applies to any activity that involves the transmission of information from a state to another.

Other federal criminal statutes involved in the online gambling arena are the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions, the Wire Act, and the Illegal Gambling Business Act. They are listed below.

Several different constitutional issues have been raised as a result of the existence of these statutes. For example, it has been argued that the Commerce Clause, the First Amendment, and the Due Process Clause have all been implicated. Nevertheless, these arguments have largely failed to make a positive impression on the court.

Despite the controversies, the Internet is becoming a popular way for people to gamble. Although gambling on sports has been around for quite some time, the advent of the internet has allowed people to bet on sporting events that they can watch in real-time. Depending on which site you visit, you can bet on the total number of goals scored or the outcome of a match. If you prefer, you can also bet on the number of points that a team scored.

Another relevant statute is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. It is a broad statute that includes seven federal criminal statutes that can be used against those engaging in Internet gambling.

Finally, the CRS Report RS21984 contains a list of citations to various state gambling laws. This list is also available in abridged form.

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