Illegal Internet gambling is an activity that is not allowed in the United States. It includes placing bets, receiving bets, and using at least some portion of the Internet for a gambling purpose. The laws in the US are mainly state-specific, but federal law imposes regulations on the use of the internet for illegal gambling. There are seven federal criminal statutes that apply to this type of activity.
The Wire Act, a criminal law that prohibits gambling on sporting events, also applies to the internet. Another law is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which makes it a crime to receive financial instruments from a person who engages in an illegal Internet bet. In response to the issue of internet gambling, a report was released by the Government Accountability Office. This report was published in December 2002.
Some of the most common forms of online gambling include sports betting and casinos. Online casinos feature software that allows players to place wagers, as well as to enter contests. These sites are compatible with any computer or laptop, as well as with mobile devices such as smartphones. Many of them have advanced features, including software that automatically enters bets and offers a range of options to adjust stakes.
A number of legal challenges have been raised in the U.S. on the basis of the Commerce Clause. However, such attacks have failed to gain much traction. One example is the lawsuit filed by the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Associations v. PayPal. Among other issues, the case questioned whether the government could enforce federal laws against an interstate financial transaction.
Another notable case relates to online gaming, specifically the UIGEA. An American Banker reported that several illegal Internet gambling transactions had taken place. Federal prosecutors warned PayPal that it may face prosecution. That case was the first of its kind.
While the UIGEA is one of the most well-known laws affecting internet gambling, there are other laws that are equally important. Other statutes that should be considered when dealing with online gambling are the Travel Act and the RICO provisions. Both of these are federal criminal statutes, and therefore entail constitutional objections.
Aside from these federal laws, there are several state-specific statutes that have been used to defend against a variety of online gambling practices. For instance, in New York State, an act of transmitting information from the state via the Internet constitutes gambling. On the other hand, in the District of Columbia, the act of entering a bet, or making a wager, constitutes the same sort of action.
Finally, there is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provision, which bans illegal gambling businesses. Section 1956 of the U.S. Code defines several crimes related to laundering, including concealing and evading taxes, as well as laundering with the intent to promote illicit activities.
The simplest form of online gambling is sports betting. A sports betting site will typically have a list of all the sports covered, as well as upcoming events for those games. Using this information, a player can choose to bet on a particular sport, as well as on the outcome of the event. Most online casinos will also offer “instant” versions of their game, meaning that a player does not need to download any software.