Increasingly, the Internet has become the medium of choice for gambling activities. This is partly due to the speed and ease of access, as well as the plethora of betting products available online. It also provides greater value for money. However, the increased availability of the Internet has resulted in a rise in disordered gambling. Consequently, a number of issues have been raised regarding the legality of the activities. These concerns are related to federal criminal statutes that apply to illegal gambling on the Internet. In this paper, we aim to provide an overview of these topics and highlight some of the most interesting findings.
The most obvious advantage to internet gambling is the accessibility. With the increase in the amount of gambling available on the Internet, it is possible for individuals to wager at any time, and for large sums. It is therefore important to find a legitimate gambling site. This can be done by making sure the site is licensed.
The federal government has taken several actions against illegal online gambling. These actions include levying civil and criminal penalties against the sites involved. In some cases, the sites are being charged with money laundering, which is a violation of the UIGEA. In other cases, the gambling sites are being charged with violations of the 18 U.S.C. 1955 law, which prohibits conduct that knowingly violates the laws of the United States.
The UIGEA is a federal law that prohibits the use of financial instruments for illegal Internet bets. This is in addition to the Wire Act, which makes it unlawful to place bets on any sporting event or contest, or to receive such bets through the Internet. This law is enforced by the Attorney General, who is prohibited from allowing financial institutions to accept such instruments for illegal bets.
Another federal criminal statute is the Travel Act, which prohibits interstate commerce in gambling. In addition, a number of state laws also make it illegal to conduct such activities. In 1998, the online gambling market reached $830 million. In 2008, the online gambling market grew to $21 billion. In 2007, 6 % of the British population used the Internet to place bets.
The Fourth Circuit’s opinion in the United States v. Nicolaou decision demonstrates that the Commerce Clause does not preclude enforcing a state gambling law. In this case, the defendants were five individuals who deposited and subsequently received over $2,000 in gross revenues on a single day. Moreover, the court found that the UIGEA does not preclude the prosecution of the defendants for violating the state law. In addition, the Nicolaou case emphasized the importance of the commercial nature of the gambling business to satisfy the constitutional concerns about the Commerce Clause.
A recent attack on the Commerce Clause based on the free speech guarantee under the First Amendment has failed to gain traction. However, the question of whether the state can regulate its own gambling industry on the Internet, as a way of protecting consumers from unsafe and fraudulent websites, remains unresolved.