The Federal Government’s Role in Regulating Online Gambling

Online Gambling

Online gambling is the use of the Internet to place bets. This includes sports betting, casinos, and virtual poker. Some states have laws governing the conduct of online gambling, and others have not.

In most states, the crime of gambling is based on state law. However, some federal criminal statutes are implicated by unlawful Internet gambling. For instance, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, or UIGEA, prohibits accepting financial instruments for the purpose of placing illegal Internet bets.

Some other federal statutes include the Travel Act, which covers gambling players who utilize interstate facilities for unlawful activities. The Free Trade and Processing Act grants licensing to Internet gambling companies.

Several attacks have been made against the federal government’s power to regulate the Internet. Some have argued that the Commerce Clause prohibits government from regulating foreign commerce, and that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting free speech. These attacks have largely failed, however.

Aside from the Commerce Clause, some due process objections have been raised, as some online gamblers use the Internet to conduct financial transactions in the United States. Additionally, state officials have cited concerns that the Internet can be used to promote illegal gambling in their jurisdictions.

Online gambling is a growing industry. It has seen explosive growth in the past decade, with a total of $21 billion in revenues in 2008. One of the more famous forms of online gambling is poker. Poker is played by individuals from different nations, who can participate in tournaments and actual cash games.