The Federal Government’s Role in Regulating Online Gambling
The gambling industry has changed in recent years as technology advances and people are able to access information more quickly. While traditional land based casinos may still be popular, the Internet has allowed gambling enthusiasts to bet on virtually any sporting event they can think of. Whether it’s horse racing, football or basketball, people are able to make bets on the outcome of the game.
Several federal laws have been enacted to regulate the industry. One of these is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Another is the Wire Act. Both of these are aimed at preventing the spread of illegal gambling. As of September 2015, the UIGEA has been used in some 30 prosecutions, including one involving the use of PayPal. Other federal statutes include the Illegal Gambling Business Act and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
Some of the more interesting parts of the law are the ancillary legal and regulatory responsibilities that have been imposed on casinos and gaming companies. Some of these responsibilities include implementing adequate security measures to protect player data and funds. Others involve state regulation of the industry, including the issuance of licenses and certificates to licensed businesses. In addition to these duties, state officials have also expressed concerns that the Internet will be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.
It is also no secret that the federal government has its fingers in the online gambling pie. According to Internet Gambling: Overview of Issues, in 2008 the internet gambling industry earned a whopping $21 billion in revenue. This figure represents almost one-third of the overall gambling market. However, this figure is only a fraction of the nearly $400 billion in gross wins that occurred in 2015.
A number of different types of gambling are available online. These include casino games, virtual poker and sports betting. Online casino sites are also home to several live dealer games that allow players to interact with a live dealer. Additionally, online slots are available, and there are even mobile gambling apps that let you play at your fingertips.
There are hundreds of gaming vendors, all of which offer a range of games. Many small software developers use the Microgaming Quickfire platform to launch games. You can find them by typing in a name into the search box.
The UIGEA has been an effective weapon in the battle against illegal online gambling. Among other things, the UIGEA prevents financial instruments from being used in illegal Internet bets. But the best part of the UIGEA is the fact that it is reinforced by a handful of state laws. For example, the Illegal Gambling Business Act makes it illegal to operate an online gambling business within a state, even if it is incorporated outside the borders of the state.
Although not specifically aimed at the Internet, the First Amendment has its own fair share of objections to the law. On the other hand, the Commerce Clause seems to have quelled the fears of many.