Illegal Internet gambling is a federal criminal law. It is illegal under the Wire Act and the Illegal Gambling Business Act. It also implicates seven other federal criminal statutes.
The simplest definition of illegal Internet gambling is placing bets and receiving bets on the Internet. In some cases, these activities can be performed entirely on a home computer, but that is not always the case.
The most popular online gambling activities are virtual poker and sports betting. Nevertheless, the UIGEA does not prevent a legitimate gambling business from facilitating its activities through Internet technology.
Several state laws prohibit gambling. However, some states have passed laws to allow their residents to wager on online sports games. In Nevada, for example, citizens may bet on sports. They must register at a casino or online, and make a deposit at least once. In Michigan, a number of casinos and poker rooms offer action on the Internet.
The legality of online gambling has been a hot topic in the United States for years. In 2002, the General Accounting Office (GAO) issued an analysis of issues related to Internet gambling. It was followed by a more detailed report in December 2006. The GAO and the Department of Justice have reaffirmed their support for state laws limiting unlawful Internet gambling.
In addition, the Federal Communications Commission has authority to block certain facilities, like those used by a gambling establishment. The agency’s regulations are subject to change, but it is unlikely that it will.