Online Gambling Laws
Getting the legal green light to gamble is a process that takes time. In fact, it took a good deal of time for legal online sports betting to become available in the United States. That’s because federal law, particularly the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) made gambling online illegal.
There are several other federal laws that also make illegal Internet gambling illegal. In addition to UIGEA, there is the Wire Act, which prohibits gambling on sporting events, and the Unfair Trade Practices Act, which prohibits illegal gambling on interstate commerce. There are also Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions that make it illegal to run an illegal gambling business.
Some forms of Internet gambling are legal in a few states. Some provinces in Canada have also taken the lead and have legalized online gambling. However, there are other countries that have not taken the plunge. Some of these countries, including France, have proposed new laws that would tax online gambling.
Some of these laws have been challenged on constitutional grounds. However, attacks based on the Due Process or Commerce Clauses have not been very effective. One example of this is the case of the state-by-state lottery. In the United States, state-operated lotteries grew rapidly in the late twentieth century.
For example, the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) produced a report in 2002 titled Internet Gambling: Overview of Issues. This report, which is available in a downloadable, abridged version, includes citations to state gambling laws. In addition to the state laws, it cites the aforementioned UIGEA, which was enacted in 2006 and has made illegal Internet gambling a federal crime.
While the UIGEA is not the only federal law regulating illegal Internet gambling, it is the most visible and has the most direct impact on illegal Internet gambling businesses. Other federal laws that make illegal Internet gambling illegal include the Wire Act, the Unfair Trade Practices Act, and the Racketeer Influenced and Mobbed-Made Obvious Act.
The aforementioned UIGEA has been challenged on constitutional grounds, but not on the merits of its content. Rather, state officials have expressed concerns that internet gambling could be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.
The best way to avoid gambling problems is to raise awareness. The National Council on Problem Gambling recognizes gambling as a fun activity, but suggests that the best way to protect gamblers from themselves is to educate them about gambling. This includes not only the risk, but the rewards of gambling as well. In addition to educating gamblers, the best way to prevent gambling problems is to gamble responsibly.
One of the newest forms of Internet gambling is the betting exchange. In this case, a commercial establishment can capture a percentage of the money that its patrons wager. In addition, some gambling sites are considered aiding and abetting because they advertise on their website.
Other forms of Internet gambling include mobile gambling. Mobile gambling is defined as playing games of chance or skill for money while using a mobile phone or wireless Internet connection. In addition to mobile gambling, there are also several organized football pools. These pools are found in many European countries and in some African and Asian countries.