Federal Laws and Online Gambling

Online Gambling

Whether you’re gambling on the internet, or gambling at the local casino, there are a number of risks involved. You’ll need to be responsible and avoid deceivers. Gambling can lead to big financial losses and can also be an addiction.

The federal laws that prohibit gambling in interstate commerce are contained in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and the Wire Act. These laws are the subject of litigation. Some attacks have been based on the Commerce Clause and the First Amendment guarantee of free speech. However, these arguments have had little success.

While it is important to understand how the federal law is interpreted, the state laws that govern gambling are still the primary matter of legal concern. Some states have expressed concerns that the internet could be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.

However, the question of whether a state may enforce federal laws against online gambling has not been fully resolved. In some cases, the state law is strengthened by the federal law. In other cases, the federal law can frustrate state enforcement policies.

One of the most significant federal criminal statutes that accompanies illegal internet gambling is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provision. RICO prohibits illegal gambling business activities.

There are other federal laws that have been implicated by illegal internet gambling. For example, the Illegal Gambling Business Act prohibits the sale, use, or possession of any financial instrument or device used in the transmission of bets or gambling information over the Internet. The Wire Act, on the other hand, prevents illegal gambling on sports events and contests.