The Federal Government’s Role in Online Gambling

online gambling

If you have been keeping up with the news of the past few years, you have no doubt heard about online gambling. It’s a new way for more Americans to enjoy their favorite casino games in their own homes. Some of the more popular offerings include sports betting, virtual poker, and casinos.

While not all forms of online gambling are permitted, some of the more popular are legal in many states. For example, Nevada was the first state to allow online sports betting. However, only a few other states have legal online casinos. If you live in a state that doesn’t permit this kind of activity, you’ll need to make sure that you have a land-based location nearby.

Despite the fact that state laws are responsible for most of the activity, federal law also enshrines them in case court cases are unable to resolve issues. In addition to the Travel Act, the Wire Act, and the Illegal Gambling Business Act, there are several other statutes that are implicated by illegal Internet gambling.

One of the most popular is the Sports and Gaming Act, which has been referred to as the “Grandmother’s Bill.” This law prohibits the unlawful offering of any game or contest for the purpose of gambling. In addition to that, there is a racketeer influenced and corrupt organization (RICO) provision that prohibits illegal gambling business activities. This particular provision also covers online sportsbooks, casinos, and lotteries.

The other main federal statutes that have been cited in some of the more popular legal online gambling cases are the Money Laundering Control Act (MLCA) and the Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA). The MLCA is a more general statute that applies to any form of money laundering, while the IGBA is a specific law that applies to the gambling industry.

Considering the sheer number of state and federal statutes that have been cited in this topic, it is no wonder that the topic has become a hot topic for state lawmakers. Those in charge of overseeing these matters are expressing their concerns about whether the Internet will help bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions. It’s true that a small number of states currently have legal online casinos and sportsbooks, and more are expected to follow in the coming years. In fact, Indiana beat Illinois to the sportsbook table almost a year ago. In Illinois, a person cannot wager on any event that occurs at an in-state college, and it will be at least a few more years before this restriction will go away.

As with any nebulous concept, there is a great deal of debate over the best approach to regulating this type of activity. Some argue that due process is best served by limiting such activities to only the most basic of gambling transactions. Others have argued that such a limitation would encumber free speech objections. In contrast, the commercial nature of the gambling industry has been said to help address these questions.