Generally, gambling is defined as activities involving the purchase of chances, such as gambling on sports, or the sale of lottery tickets. Other examples of gambling include casinos, poker, lotteries, and pool-selling. Nevertheless, the legality of online gambling differs from country to country. Several European countries have banned the activity, whereas the United States is one of the few jurisdictions where the practice is legal.
In 2002, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report entitled Internet Gambling: Overview of Issues. The report, which is now available in abridged form, provides an overview of federal and state laws regarding gambling.
The GAO outlined three main categories of gambling, each of which can be played in different locations. Depending on your jurisdiction, you may be able to engage in virtual reality gambling, sports betting, or even casino games. These activities, however, come with mixed reviews.
In the United States, the act of entering a bet on an online site is considered gambling in New York, for example. The act of transmitting information from the State of New York to an online betting site is also considered gambling.
A number of other countries have introduced legislation or regulations to protect their online gambling businesses. In some cases, the law requires an online gambling service provider to obtain a license from a state to advertise. Similarly, online gambling is regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
While the United States has no specific federal law that prohibits online gambling, the commercial nature of the industry has led to some questioning of the Commerce Clause. Some have argued that state and federal enforcement policies would be frustrated by interstate or foreign elements.