Among the most lucrative online businesses are those involving gambling. These include sports betting, virtual poker, and casinos. Various states permit in-person betting, while some only allow wagering over the internet.
The United States has a number of laws on the books that enact penalties for gambling. The Illegal Gambling Business Act is one such statute. In addition to the usual criminal penalties, the statute prohibits any person from engaging in a business that involves ‘illegal gambling’.
The CRS Report RS21984 enumerates several laws pertaining to the legal and illegal aspects of gambling. These laws include the aforementioned Illegal Gambling Business Act, the Travel Act, the Wire Act, and the Gambling Devices Transportation Act. The Report also provides citations to state gambling laws.
The best way to find out if gambling is legal in your state is to read your state’s laws. Many states allow gambling in a variety of forms, including poker, keno, bingo, and sports betting. Generally, there is a minimum age requirement for these activities. Some states, such as New Jersey, allow gambling at casinos, while others permit in-person betting only.
The US Department of Justice has determined that online poker is legal. However, the legality of real money casino games is more of a grey area. Most sites have self-exclusion programs to help players manage their gambling.
The US Department of Justice has also determined that fantasy sports betting is legal. These games are a newer addition to the list of legal online activities.