Online gambling is a form of gambling that takes place over the Internet. It includes casino games, sports betting, and virtual poker. In some states, online gambling is legal, while in others it is illegal.
During the 1990s, online casinos and poker rooms were very popular. Many were created, and about 200 websites existed. But then, the United States Department of Justice issued a statement that all forms of Internet gambling were illegal.
The Wire Act, a federal law, applies to all wagering businesses. These include online and land-based casinos, racetracks, and sports books. However, the act does not apply to financial transaction providers, such as banks.
There have been several attempts at legislation on Internet gambling. One such bill was introduced in the House of Representatives in 2007. Another, introduced in the Senate, would have restricted internet gambling activities to horse racing betting markets and state lotteries.
After the passage of the bill, several similar bills have been introduced in the House. Some of these, such as the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act, would regulate and tax internet gambling businesses, while the Skill Game Protection Act would clarify the Wire Act to exempt certain games.
The US Department of Justice charged three founders of the three largest online poker companies with violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. They were also accused of money laundering and bank fraud.
In the meantime, some state officials expressed concern that Internet gambling could be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions. In response, Google removed all online gambling advertising from its site.