The Federal Government’s Role in Regulating Online Gambling

Online Gambling

Internet gambling can be defined as the practice of placing bets over the internet. This includes betting on sports games and casinos. There are many websites that offer this service. However, some states have passed legislation prohibiting these activities.

The federal government has made efforts to prosecute Internet operators for violating laws. However, it is unclear if the government can preempt state action in the Internet arena. Moreover, some state officials have expressed concerns that the internet could bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.

According to the Department of Justice, all Internet gambling in the United States is illegal. Various bills have been introduced to soften the federal law.

While these actions have not been successful so far, they have raised questions regarding the power of the Commerce Clause. A “Commerce Clause doctrine” theorizes that the power lies with the federal government.

In fact, UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) came into being to control commercial activity. It regulates gambling businesses, and includes factors to help weed out low-level cases.

Section 1956 of the United States Code creates several separate crimes for laundering, including laundering with intent to promote illicit activity. It also imposes a penalty for evading taxes.

The Wire Act is another federal law. Under the act, operators of wagering and wagering businesses can be fined and imprisoned. Although not explicitly targeted at Internet gambling, it seems to cover the entire telecommunications infrastructure.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, on the other hand, does not include online gambling. However, it governs gambling on Native American reservations.