Online Gambling is a growing industry. It provides gamblers with the chance to place bets and play poker or other games. Many countries allow online gambling, while others restrict it.
The United States has legal gambling in some forms, but it has not been particularly proactive in enforcing Internet-based laws. A federal law known as the Wire Act, which prohibits wagering businesses from making illegal communications, applies to all forms of Internet gambling. Operators of illegal wagering businesses can be fined and imprisoned.
Some state officials have expressed concerns that the internet could be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions. However, it is unclear whether federal gambling laws preempt state action in the Internet arena.
In the late 1990s, online gambling gained popularity. There were about fifteen websites that offered gambling services. These included betting exchanges and casinos. By the end of the decade, revenues from online gambling had surpassed $830 million.
However, the Department of Justice determined that the Wire Act applied to all forms of Internet gambling. This led to the Department of Justice launching a legal attack against the three largest Internet poker companies. They have been accused of money laundering and violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.
The Internet Gambling Prohibition Act was introduced in the US Senate in 1999. The bill was introduced by Senators Bob Goodlatte and Jon Kyl.
Several bills similar to this one have been introduced in the House. HR 2046, an acronym for the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, was proposed in 2007. This bill would modify the UIGEA to require that online gambling facilities be licensed by the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.