If you are an avid online gambler, you know that there is a wide variety of games available. Whether you want to play virtual poker, play in a bingo room, or bet on the outcome of a game of basketball, there are plenty of options. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you want to gamble legally.
First, you should understand the difference between sports betting and online gambling. While betting on the outcome of a sporting event is legal in most states, the act of transmitting information from one state to another via the Internet constitutes gambling activity in that state. There are several other laws on the books that make this sort of gambling illegal, such as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). You should also be aware that online gambling is not protected by the right of privacy. So, you have to be very careful when choosing the casino you are going to play at.
In addition to the UIGEA, you should be aware of other federal criminal statutes related to gambling. Some of these statutes include: The Travel Act, which imposes a fine on any person who conducts unlawful activities in a foreign country through an interstate communications facility; 18 U.S.C. 1957, which bans the expenditure of more than $10,000 of illegal gambling proceeds in a single year; and 18 U.S.C. 1956, which prohibits money laundering for unlawful gambling.
Another issue to consider is whether the Commerce Clause provides enough power to enact a law regulating the commercial activity of gambling. This question was raised in United States v. K23 Group Financial Services. Here, the government argues that the UIGEA violates the Commerce Clause. Nonetheless, it appears that the commercial nature of the gambling industry seems to address any questions regarding the Clause.
The issue of whether the Commerce Clause provides enough power to prohibit unlawful Internet gambling is a complicated one. In particular, due process arguments have been challenged in several court cases. These challenges have largely failed.
Several other constitutional objections have been raised to the enforcement of federal gambling laws. These include the Due Process Clause, the Commerce Clause, and the First Amendment. Those arguments have largely fallen on deaf ears.
However, in the case of the K23 Group Financial Services, the court did find some basis for prosecuting an Internet poker operator. This is because of the UIGEA, which prohibits the acceptance of payment for unlawful Internet bets. Similarly, in the United States v. Nicolaou, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the act of placing bets is gambling.
Although the issue of Internet gambling hasn’t been fully resolved, it is clear that some of the major federal crimes are being implicated by the crime. Several state officials have expressed concerns that the internet could be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.
A third issue is the use of financial transactions in the United States to facilitate gambling. Various forms of Internet gambling, including sports betting, have been reported to the American Banker. Federal prosecutors warned PayPal that it could face prosecution.