Online gambling is the practice of wagering on sports games, casinos, and virtual poker. The concept has been around for decades. It took off in 1994 when the internet began commercializing. Currently, there are hundreds of vendors that offer a variety of online gaming options.
First, there are legal issues. For instance, some states have enacted legislation that regulates online gambling. But these laws aren’t uniform. One state’s statute may be more restrictive than another’s. This has prompted due process concerns.
Secondly, there are federal criminal statutes that are implicated by illegal Internet gambling. However, these statutes have been challenged on constitutional grounds.
While there is no definitive answer, the best way to determine which laws apply to you is to contact the appropriate authorities. Some of the agencies with jurisdiction over these areas include the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Attorney General.
Specifically, the Travel Act applies to players who engage in gambling activities on interstate facilities. A similar act, the UIGEA, limits financial transactions related to Internet bets.
Another important law is the Lopez Amendment, which provides some elements to the weed out low-level gambling cases. These elements include Congressional findings on the impact of the amendment on interstate commerce.
There have been numerous apprehensions about whether federal legislation is adequate to prevent Internet gambling. The Commerce Clause has been questioned, but attacks based on this stipulation haven’t been successful.
There is also the K23 Group Financial Services case, which charges Internet poker operators with violations of the UIGEA. The company is alleged to have money-laundering and money-tracking devices.