During the late 1990’s, the Internet exploded with gambling websites. In 1997, there were over two hundred gambling websites on the Internet. In 1998, gambling revenues hit $830 million. In 1999, multiplayer online gambling was introduced. These websites allowed players to compete for cash and prizes.
In April 2007, Congress introduced the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, or HR 2046. It would require online gambling facilities to be licensed by the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The act would also require that advertising of such facilities be prohibited.
As of the second quarter of 2021, the gambling industry in the United States has reached a record of $13.6 billion. This is a record for the gambling industry and one of the largest in the world. The United States Department of Justice announced that it will enforce the Wire Act in cases of online gambling. It is important to note that online gambling is largely regulated by state laws. Several states have passed laws to allow or prohibit online gambling, while others have not.
As of January 2016, the United States Department of Justice filed charges against the three largest online poker companies, alleging violations of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. The charges are based on an assertion that the founders of these companies engaged in money laundering.
According to the Department of Justice, this is the first case where online gambling is being charged as a federal crime. The owner of Seals with Clubs, a bitcoin poker site, argued that cryptocurrencies are not considered a currency by the federal government.