The Legality of Online Gambling
Online gambling is a growing industry that has been facilitated by a variety of technological innovations. A number of different forms of online gambling can be found, including casinos, sports betting, and virtual poker. Some sites specialize in a particular form of gambling, while others offer a wide array of games. Most online casinos will publish instructions on the site for each game, and allow players to select between different types of wagers. Typically, a player will need to type in an address or click on a link to access the site.
In the early days of the Internet, some states considered the practice to be a form of gambling. While most state laws do not cover this activity, the presence of an interstate element has frustrated the enforcement policies of some states. For example, some state officials have expressed concern that internet-based gambling could be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.
There are several statutes pertaining to gambling in the United States, but none of them are particularly relevant to the legality of online gambling. The main issue is whether a state can enforce a law against an Internet gambling company without a corresponding state law against gambling in general. One statute that has been seized on is the Wire Act, which prevents persons from using the Internet to conduct gambling on sporting events. Similarly, the Travel Act prohibits the operation of an Internet gambling establishment from engaging in conduct that is unlawful in other states.
Another statute that may be of interest to the Internet gambler is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which makes it a crime to accept or provide financial instruments for the purpose of illegal Internet bets. This statute comes with a bit of a warning. Specifically, PayPal, a payment service that works with Internet-based gambling companies, was warned by federal prosecutors that it may face prosecution.
The most popular form of online gambling is sports betting, which includes bets on sporting events and wagers on specific teams or individuals. In addition to wagers on individual athletics, there are also daily fantasy sports sites that allow users to draft a team and participate in fantasy matches. These sites offer several features that are not found at the majority of other online gambling establishments, such as the option to change stakes, and the ability to place bets in real time.
Other statutes that have been implicated in the legality of online gambling include the Illegal Gambling Business Act, the Wire Act, and the UIGEA. Although the UIGEA does not directly affect state-level laws, it does contain a number of factors that will help to identify low-level gambling cases.
The best part of all of this is that most gambling sites are easy to access, and can be accessed by any computer with an internet connection. These sites usually include software that will allow users to play the various casino and sports betting games available. Typical game features include a lobby showing all the available games, and an option for players to place a bet or start a new game.