Online Gambling is the act of placing bets through the internet. It is considered to be legal in some countries. Some examples include casinos and virtual poker.
In the United States, there is no federal law prohibiting the use of the Internet to conduct gambling. However, state law does apply. For example, in New Jersey, online sports betting is legal for residents.
Although federal law is not specifically aimed at regulating Internet gambling, it is likely to reinforce state law in cases where it is necessary. This is the case with the Wire Act. The Act’s definition is broad and reaches beyond the confines of the telecommunications infrastructure.
While the law has been questioned on constitutional grounds, the Department of Justice announced that the Wire Act applies to all forms of Internet gambling. As such, players may be fined or imprisoned if they are caught doing something illegal in their home state.
Another law is the Travel Act. It applies to Internet casinos and other Internet venues for unlawful gambling.
While this law is not as far reaching as the Wire Act, it has raised similar constitutional questions. State officials have expressed apprehension that Internet gambling could be used to infringe upon their jurisdictions.
While the Wire Act was the first federal law to apply to Internet gambling, it has not been the last. In fact, there is a growing list of bills in the House that would soften the federal rules.