The Federal and State Laws That Regulate Online Gambling

online gambling

Internet gambling is a recent phenomenon that has surged in popularity. These days, online gambling is a thriving industry, with hundreds of gaming vendors offering a wide array of casino games. While traditional titles such as video slots are still popular, many people are looking for more interactive experiences. In fact, a growing number of online casinos are also offering live games and score apps. This is because the competition is fierce and game makers are trying to keep up.

There are several federal statutes that govern the operation of an illegal online gambling site. These include the Wire Act, the Illegal Gambling Business Act, the Travel Act, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Each has a small but important role to play in regulating online gambling operations. However, the most significant role may be played by the aforementioned Travel Act, which imposes a ban on a variety of unlawful gambling activities.

The aforementioned Travel Act is particularly interesting because it applies to players engaging in interstate facilities in order to participate in an activity prohibited by law. This may prove to be more than just an inconvenience, as the Federal Communications Commission has the authority to discontinue providing facilities and to rescind or lease facilities. If the FCC takes a harder stance on the issue, the entire industry may come under a lot more scrutiny.

In addition to these federal laws, there are a host of state laws that are relevant to the legality of online gambling. Several state officials have expressed concerns that internet use can bring illegal gambling to their jurisdictions. To combat this, the National Conference of State Legislatures published an overview of online gambling in December 2002. Among the notable mentions:

As a result of these federal and state laws, there has been an increasing number of litigation involving legal and regulatory challenges based on constitutional and/or statutory principles. This has ranged from state-level legal disputes to arguments based on the merits of First Amendment free speech and due process.

Although the commercial nature of a gambling business has been praised by many, the Commerce Clause has been a source of controversy. Specifically, questions have been raised as to whether the United States has the authority to regulate a gambling business that is conducted overseas, as well as whether state law is adequately enforced in the face of foreign elements.

The best of all worlds is the combination of a legal and commercial system that effectively addresses these issues. For example, there are a variety of campus resources that can address these problems. Additionally, there are a number of reputable online casinos that offer fast and safe banking options. Choosing one of these venues is a crucial step for those hoping to participate in online gambling.

While there are a lot of other enticing aspects to online gambling, the most compelling is the convenience. For many, the ease of participation and the higher odds offered by an online casino are more appealing than the prospect of having to travel to a land-based venue. Online sports betting is another appealing option. With just a few clicks, a bettor can place a wager on the outcome of a game or sporting event.