Online Gambling, also called E-Gambling, is the act of placing bets online. It includes sports betting, casinos, and virtual poker. The term is often used to refer to casino gambling, but there is more to it than that.
In the United States, federal criminal statutes have been implicated by illegal Internet gambling. These statutes include the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, the Interstate Communications Act, and the Travel Act.
The Commerce Clause and the First Amendment have been raised as concerns regarding the enforcement of federal laws governing gambling. While some states have adopted legislation that regulates online gambling, the majority have not. However, this does not mean that state laws are indefinitely unenforceable.
Since the introduction of the Internet, gambling revenues have increased dramatically. By 2008, revenues from the Internet gaming industry surpassed $21 billion. Meanwhile, the gross win in the gambling market reached $400 billion worldwide.
Several of these revenue sources have been subject to legal challenges. For instance, a law suit against the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association charges that it violated 18 U.S.C. 552, which prohibits money laundering. Also, federal prosecutors have warned PayPal that it could be prosecuted for accepting financial instruments from unlawful Internet bets.
However, these cases have not been successful. As for the Commerce Clause, questions about whether the government can regulate activities that take place abroad have been raised.
Despite these challenges, Internet gambling has become more transparent. Banks and other financial institutions can now supervise and regulate transactions. This has contributed to the rational planning of the online gamblers.