Online gambling is a form of gambling that involves playing games of chance or skill for money. It includes casinos, sports betting, and virtual poker. Some jurisdictions allow online gambling, while others restrict it.
Online gambling is legal in many countries, including the United States. However, some forms are illegal. In addition to the Wire Act, several federal criminal statutes are implicated.
The Internet Gambling Prohibition Act (IGPA), introduced in the US Senate in 1999, would have prohibited U.S. citizens from conducting online gambling. But it was blocked on constitutional grounds.
The UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act), introduced in May 2007, also prohibits illegal gambling. It includes a provision that bars financial institutions from accepting financial instruments from illegal Internet bets. Similarly, the Travel Act, which prohibits illegal gambling on interstate commerce, applies to online casinos.
The CRS Report RS21984 (“Internet Gambling: An Overview of Issues”), abridged version of which is available here, contains citations to several state gambling laws.
Another example is the Liechtenstein International Lottery. This was the first online gambling venue for the general public.
Many nations in the Caribbean Sea and European Union allow internet gambling. Several provinces of Canada also permit gambling.
Other countries have not been as quick to adopt online gambling. One of the first online poker rooms was established in 1998. Although it may be illegal in Maharashtra, it isn’t a major problem.
A report from Frost & Sullivan reveals that revenues from online gambling exceeded $830 million in 1998. And, according to the American Banker, some illegal transactions have occurred.