Online gambling is a growing industry that involves millions of people worldwide. Gambling includes sports betting, casino games, virtual poker and more. Many states have laws regulating these activities.
The United States Department of Justice has investigated how federal laws apply to online wagering. It has also explored how the Internet might be used to regulate gambling. Various bills have been introduced to soften the federal law.
The first internet gambling venue for the general public was in Liechtenstein. However, there are still many unanswered questions. For instance, whether the Commerce Clause enables Congress to regulate gambling.
While there have been a variety of arguments over whether the government can control the conduct of individuals via the Internet, the federal government maintains that all forms of Internet gambling are illegal. Some countries have felony-level penalties for accessing online casinos.
Although the government may take action against individuals and companies for engaging in illegal Internet gambling, the legal issues are not yet settled. One issue has been the definition of the Wire Act. As a rule, the term appears to encompass the entire telecommunications infrastructure.
Another is the fact that the Travel Act prohibits the use of interstate facilities for unlawful purposes. This act may apply to Internet casinos, however, it also applies to players who use interstate facilities for unlawful activities.
Those interested in investigating the legal status of online gambling may want to read a brief summary of the relevant federal statutes, such as the Gambling Act and the Wire Act. Also, consider reading a more comprehensive article on online gambling, such as the Marquette Sports Law Journal.