Online Gambling involves the use of the internet to place bets on various events. This can be anything from sports betting to virtual poker. It is a growing industry that is increasingly becoming popular.
Using the Internet for unlawful gambling is a federal crime. The United States Attorney General has prohibited financial institutions from accepting financial instruments in connection with illegal Internet bets. Several federal criminal statutes are implicated.
Section 1956 of the Commerce Clause creates several distinct crimes. Among them are laundering to disguise, to evade taxes, and to promote illicit activity.
Another law that is involved in gambling online is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). UIGEA regulates commercial activity in the gambling industry. It also includes Congressional findings about the impact on interstate commerce.
State officials have raised concerns about the potential for the Internet to be used to illegally transport gambling into their jurisdictions. Many casinos donate tens of thousands of dollars to local charities and give back to their communities.
There are many questions about the constitutionality of the federal government’s power to enforce gambling laws. These questions have been discussed in the Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Journal.
One issue is whether gambling is protected by the First Amendment. It has been suggested that the commercial nature of the industry may satisfy the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. However, this argument has not been successful.
In addition to the Commerce Clause, the Due Process Clause has been questioned. However, it has been noted that such an attack fails when the financial transaction is conducted in the United States.