Online gambling is an industry that is booming with an increasing number of people willing to gamble online for a chance at bigger prizes or a more convenient way to play. The online casino business has grown significantly in the past decade. In fact, the industry is expected to grow even more. There are several types of gambling, including casinos, sports betting, virtual poker, and lottery. Those who choose to engage in these activities can use their computer to access a website or their laptop to download software and play games. Some sites specialize in just one form of gambling.
Online gambling is not prohibited under federal law, but it is unlawful to use the internet to engage in unlawful Internet gambling. Under Section 1956 of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), a person commits an unlawful Internet gambling crime when the person transmits bets or wagers by any means over the Internet. It is also illegal to accept or use financial instruments for an Internet bet or wager.
Illegal Internet gambling is a serious matter of concern to state officials. A number of states have expressed their concerns about the threat of illegal gambling to their jurisdictions. They also fear that Internet sites could be used to bring illegal gambling into their own jurisdictions. Several states have passed laws regulating the online gambling industry. One of the most prominent is Connecticut. This is a hotly debated topic amongst lawyers and politicians.
Many legal issues concerning gambling exist at the federal and state level. Amongst them, are the Commerce Clause, the Due Process Clause, and state criminal laws. While the Commerce Clause is generally believed to protect free speech in the United States, there are questions about whether it is sufficient to prevent gambling.
Other issues include the First Amendment, which is guaranteed to protect speech. However, the issue of the “Due Process” clause has not proved to be very useful in the case of gambling. Most of the attacks have failed to gain traction because of the commercial nature of the business. Although the Commerce Clause seems to be adequate to protect speech in the United States, questions arise over the extent of the law’s power to regulate interstate commerce.
There have also been a number of constitutional issues raised as a result of the UIGEA and other federal gambling statutes. These challenges have not proven to be very effective, but they have not yet been resolved. As of early 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth and Sixth Circuits have not yet issued any decisions on whether Section 1956 constitutes an unconstitutional invasion of free speech.
Another UIGEA issue is the definition of an Internet casino. According to the statute, an Internet casino is a place on the internet where an individual or organization may make a bet. Unlike a land-based casino, which requires a high-end entertainment facility and large deposits, an Internet casino does not require these requirements. Therefore, the cost of the service is lower. Furthermore, an Internet casino will often pass these savings on to its customers.