It is illegal to engage in gambling on the Internet. Specifically, the Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA) prohibits the transmitting, receiving, or facilitating of bets or other financial instruments on the Internet. Other federal criminal statutes that are implicated are the Wire Act, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), and the Travel Act.
The Wire Act is a federal law that prohibits people from engaging in illegal gambling on contests or sporting events. The law applies to casinos, sportsbooks, and other types of betting operations. In addition, the law also prohibits the unauthorized use of electronic communications, such as cell phones and land-line telephones, to place bets or conduct other forms of gambling.
Some of the most common forms of gambling are online casinos, sportsbooks, and lottery games. However, there are several more forms of gambling. For example, some people play bingo or poker. Another type of gambling is pool-selling. Lastly, there are games of chance, such as lotteries and roulette.
A number of constitutional issues have been raised about the legality of Internet gambling. These concerns include the Constitution’s protection of free speech, the due process clause, and the Commerce Clause. As a result, a number of attacks have been made on these grounds, but have largely failed to find traction.
Federal law, in turn, reinforces state law in certain cases. In one case, the Tenth Circuit held that an act of entering a bet, or sending information about the bet, constitutes gambling activity in New York. Another, the Sixth Circuit, ruled that a bartender and manager of an establishment that had video poker machines had to pay a fine for knowingly using the machine to facilitate illegal betting.
In other instances, the United States has attempted to prosecute gambling activities that are in part performed overseas. This has led to the question of whether legislative power can be used to regulate these activities. In response, Congress passed the Lopez Amendment, which contains elements that aim to curb low-level gambling cases.
Similarly, state officials have expressed concerns about the potential for the Internet to carry illegal gambling into their jurisdictions. The issue is further complicated by the fact that it is hard to determine if certain actions taken on the Internet are truly within a state’s jurisdiction. Moreover, the Travel Act applies to players who use interstate facilities for illegal activities. Thus, the FCC, the DOT, or other governmental bodies could stop providing or leasing facilities, and/or discontinue furnishing them.
Finally, there are other laws that limit the way that federal enforcement can proceed. For example, the Federal Communications Commission can prevent the lease or furnishing of facilities for internet use if they are used to violate the law. Additionally, the Lopez Amendment contains elements that seek to limit the commercial impact of gambling.
One example of the commercial nature of gambling is the recent decision of Sporting News to pay a $3 million fine and launch a public-service campaign to discourage gamblers from using its sports coverage to place bets.