• Home
  • The Legality of Online Gambling

The Legality of Online Gambling

Online Gambling

During the last ten years, online gambling has grown tremendously. There are now many websites offering the ability to place bets and wagers on games of chance, from sports to poker. These sites often offer promotional codes, bonuses, and other incentives. These advantages add value to the game and allow gamblers to enjoy a higher-quality experience.

The legality of internet gaming is a complex issue. In 2002, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued Internet Gambling: Overview of Issues. In that report, GAO found that some states were concerned that the internet would be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions. It also noted that interstate and foreign elements could make state enforcement policies difficult.

The federal government’s position is that gambling is a matter of state law. As a result, federal authorities must enforce the laws of the states where the gambling is conducted. However, there are some instances in which federal authorities have been able to strengthen state laws in court. These cases have included United States v. O’Brien, United States v. Heacock, and United States v. Mick.

Some of the laws that are involved in illegal internet gambling include the Wire Act, the Illegal Gambling Business Act, and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions. Despite the federal statutes that are implicated, the government has been unable to prosecute individuals for engaging in illegal internet gambling.

In 2005, the amount of money wagered on the Internet amounted to approximately $4 billion. Approximately one-third of that amount came from sports book betting. Similarly, another third came from other types of gambling, including lottery tickets and pari-mutuel race betting.