Despite a plethora of state laws regulating gambling, the legality of online gambling has been a matter of contention. Federal law reinforces state law in certain cases, while state officials are concerned that the internet may be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions. The legality of online gambling is also a matter of ambiguity if it’s based outside of the United States.
There are three major types of online casino gambling: poker, sports betting, and casinos. Poker is the most common type of online gambling, with games ranging from Stud to Badugi. Most online gaming sites have policies in place to help responsible players and limit the amount of money that is deposited. There are also self-exclusion programs in place to help players set limits on how much they gamble.
The United States Department of Justice determined that real money casino games are legal. The same is true of fantasy sports betting. The government has also taken some steps to discourage gambling, including restricting advertising targeted at disadvantaged people, and enforcing certain state laws. It is not clear what legal steps the federal government will take to combat gambling, though. The Federal Communications Commission has jurisdiction over common carriers, and may decide to restrict the leasing of facilities.
In December 2002, the US Department of Justice released a report entitled Internet Gambling: Overview of Issues. This report was the first to examine legal issues surrounding online gambling. The report included a number of state gambling laws, as well as other related laws. It also included a discussion of the Travel Act, which prohibits illegal gambling on interstate commerce. It also noted the existence of the Liechtenstein International Lottery, which was the first online gambling venue for the general public.
There are also a number of other laws relating to online gambling. These include the Wire Act, which bans illegal gambling on contests, as well as the Illegal Gambling Business Act, which prohibits individuals from running gambling websites or accepting financial instruments in exchange for making illegal Internet bets. In addition, there are Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions aimed at prohibiting illegal gambling business activities.
The US Department of Justice has also been involved in the prosecution of online poker operators, including K23 Group Financial Services. K23 Group Financial Services, a Canadian company that operated an online poker site, has been charged with violations of 18 U.S.C. 1955. In addition to the usual fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering charges, K23 Group Financial Services has also been charged with violating the Illegal Gambling Business Act.
The CRS Report RS21984 cites several laws that are related to the aforementioned “Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act” and its related statutes. The report also contains a brief review of the various state gambling laws, and a list of the “coolest” state laws relating to online gambling.
Other laws relating to online gambling include the Gambling Devices Transportation Act (also known as the Johnson Act), which bans the transportation of gambling devices. In addition, the US Department of Justice has also seized several million dollars from online gambling operators, including PayPal, which was warned that it could face prosecution.