Online Gambling Legislation in the United States

Online Gambling

Online Gambling is the act of playing a game of chance or skill for money online. Generally, this includes casino games, virtual poker, sports betting, and bingo. However, in addition to these traditional forms of gambling, there is also mobile gambling, or gaming on your smartphone or tablet.

The growth of Internet-based gambling has posed a threat to businesses and homes alike. Some nations have already legalized gambling on the internet, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and several Caribbean nations. Yet, a number of states have resisted enforcing laws against Internet gambling.

In the United States, Congress has been debating the regulations to be applied to the industry. A bill aimed at regulating the industry, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, was introduced to the Senate. Meanwhile, the House has introduced a series of bills to restrict the activities of Internet gambling providers.

One of these is HR 2046. This bill would require licensing of Internet gambling facilities by the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

Another is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Several Internet poker operators have been charged with UIGEA violations. These companies include Sporting News, which agreed to pay a $4.2 million fine.

The US Department of Justice has explored the possibility of implementing federal regulations to prevent illegal Internet gambling. However, critics of the move say that there is no legal basis for it. While the commerce clause may suggest that such activity is illegal, the due process arguments against the crime facilitating speech are weakened by the financial transaction involved.