The Federal Government and Online Gambling
Online gambling refers to the use of the Internet for betting. This includes sports betting, casinos, virtual poker, and lottery games. Whether the transactions are legal is largely dependent on state law. The federal government has the power to enforce the laws against gambling.
There are two main statutes that govern unlawful internet gambling. One is the Travel Act, which applies to Internet casinos. Secondly, there is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Both of these statutes define illegal internet gambling.
As a result, federal prosecutors have warned PayPal that they may face prosecution if it does not take action. However, this has not prevented a variety of attacks against the federal government’s ability to enforce the law.
In one of the more recent cases, the United States government charged several Internet poker operators with violations of 18 U.S.C. 1955.
Those who are convicted of violating the law will face a fine. In some instances, the punishment may be as high as a lifetime imprisonment. If you have questions about online gambling, consult a reputable casino. A safe and regulated casino can ensure that you are protected.
It is important to understand that while the Travel Act applies to Internet casinos, it does not apply to land-based casinos. Consequently, the federal law reinforces state law in these cases.
Furthermore, the commercial nature of the gambling business appears to address some of the Commerce Clause concerns. The First Amendment, however, has not been a strong argument in the attacks.