Online gambling is the betting of a game or sporting event by using a computer or other electronic device to place a bet. It includes both casinos and virtual poker.
Online gambling is primarily regulated at the state level. However, the federal government has a role in regulating the industry. There are federal criminal statutes that can be implicated by illegal Internet gambling.
The federal law that most often is challenged in court is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). This act is based on Section 1956, which provides for laundering with intent to promote illicit activity, concealing assets, and evading taxes.
The US Supreme Court overruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 in December 2018. As a result, there is no longer a federal ban on sports betting.
Several states have passed their own laws governing the legality of online gambling. Twenty states allow residents to wager on sports games through Internet sites.
A number of issues have been raised regarding the adequacy of the government’s power to regulate gambling. Some of these issues include whether the First Amendment prohibits prohibiting gambling and whether the Commerce Clause allows for legislation prohibiting gambling.
Various attacks have been made on the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. However, these efforts have had little success.
Aside from the Commerce Clause, other arguments have been raised regarding the Due Process Clause. For example, it was argued in the United States v. K23 Group Financial Services case that Internet poker operators violated 18 U.S.C.