Online Gambling has become one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Millions of people gamble on various platforms every day. However, online gambling is also illegal. There are seven federal criminal statutes that prohibit gambling.
Illegal gambling businesses can be punished by fines. The owners of these businesses are subject to up to five years in prison. These statutes include the Gambling Act, the Wire Act, the Illegal Gambling Business Act, the Travel Act, and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions.
In the case of the Wire Act, operators can be fined and imprisoned. This law is used to prevent illegal wagering on contests and sporting events. The exception to this law applies if the act is legal in both the source and the destination locations.
The Travel Act is another federal law that prohibits interstate gambling. The Act also applies to Internet casinos. It was passed in order to protect players from using interstate facilities to engage in unlawful activities.
The Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act would regulate internet gambling business operators. It would also tax the activities of internet gambling businesses.
The Department of Justice has been investigating the online gambling industry. While the federal government maintains that all forms of online gambling are illegal, there have been attempts to soften the laws. Several House Representatives have introduced bills to make the laws more lenient.
Another issue is the use of the Commerce Clause. Although the Constitution guarantees free speech, attacks based on the Commerce Clause have not yet had much success.