Online gambling refers to playing games of skill for money, including casino and poker, through the Internet. There are many sites that offer these types of gaming. Some include sports betting as well.
In some states, online gambling is legal. Those sites may or may not have licenses from state authorities. Others are not permitted to accept credit cards from customers who place bets on the Internet.
The federal government has tried to prohibit illegal Internet gambling. Under the United States’ Internet Gambling Prohibition Act (UIGEA), a person is guilty of violating the law if they transmit, receive or solicit a bet on the Internet that they know is unlawful. They are also guilty of using an electronic device, computer or wireless telephone to conduct the bet.
The UIGEA has been challenged on constitutional grounds. It has raised questions about the legislative power of the Commerce Clause and the free speech guarantee of the First Amendment. However, attacks have been based on these two Clauses have enjoyed little success.
Section 1956 of the United States’ Federal criminal code establishes the crime of laundering to conceal the identity of a person, or to disguise an intent to promote an illicit activity. Laundering, as defined in this section, includes evading taxes and other forms of money laundering.
The Free Trade and Processing Act of 1995 provided for licensing of online gambling companies. A number of states have introduced legislation that regulates the practice.