Online gambling is the process of betting in the virtual world. It includes casinos, sports betting, virtual poker, and lotteries. The laws governing these activities vary from state to state.
The United States has a federal criminal statute that can be used in cases of illegal internet gambling. This is Section 1956 of the U.S. Code. It creates several distinct crimes. It also makes laundering of cash or other valuables to disguise or conceal illicit activity a crime. This includes evading taxes.
The law can be enforced through the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC has authority over common carriers. It can also oversee the furnishing of facilities and the leasing of them. However, it can discontinue the maintaining of these facilities.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of states in PASPA. The decision opened the door for state-based retail sports betting. Several states have passed regulations, including Delaware and Nevada. Currently, the only states that have approved fully-operational online sports betting sites are New York and Illinois.
A recent decision by the United States Supreme Court in the United States v. K23 Group Financial Services provides for a criminal prosecution of Internet poker operators. The federal government asserts that the operators violated 18 U.S.C. 1955. They have accused the defendants of money laundering. The case has been heard in the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Tenth Circuit courts.
Those who wish to engage in online gambling must be over the age of 21. It is also important to know local regulations. Some countries prohibit access to online casinos. In the US, however, it is legal to play casino games online.