Online Gambling and the Constitution

Online Gambling

Despite the fact that online gambling is legal, there is still risk involved. Gamblers may find themselves on the wrong end of debts and depression. Online casinos and other websites may become fronts for fraudulent operators. Some banks may also refuse to process online gambling transactions in certain countries.

The Internet Gambling Regulation Act (OGRA) was enacted in 2001 to regulate the online gambling industry. This act contains provisions regarding the calculation associated with the online gambling activities. A number of state officials have expressed concern that the internet could be used to facilitate illegal gambling in their jurisdictions.

There are seven federal criminal statutes that are implicated by illegal internet gambling. These are: UIGEA, Wire Act, Illegal Gambling Business Act, Gambling Devices Transportation Act, Interstate Commerce Act, and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO).

According to the CRS Report RS21984 in abridged form, Section 1956 creates laundering for international purposes, laundering to conceal, laundering with intent to promote illicit activity, and laundering for law enforcement stings. These statutes are cited in state gambling laws.

However, a number of constitutional issues have been raised regarding the enforcement of federal gambling laws. The Commerce Clause, Due Process Clause, and First Amendment guarantee of free speech are some of the factors being discussed. The arguments have been met with little success.

Although the Internet Gambling Regulation Act (OGRA) aims to curb the practice of illegal gambling, there are still questions surrounding its enforcement. Some argue that it is unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause. Others contend that the commercial nature of gambling businesses is sufficient to satisfy the Commerce Clause.

Posted in: Gambling