The United States government has made numerous efforts to criminalize the activity of illegal Internet gambling. These efforts involve the use of the wire act, the travel act, the UIGEA, and various federal criminal statutes. In addition to federal law, state officials have expressed their concern that the Internet might be a channel for the transport of illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.
For example, the Travel Act imposes a penalty on players who engage in unlawful activities while using an interstate facility. This applies to internet casinos, sports betting sites, and other online betting and gaming venues. In addition, the Wire Act prohibits illegal gambling on sporting events and contests.
The UIGEA, on the other hand, is a comprehensive set of regulations to combat commercial activity involving online gambling. Its key features include age verification, data security standards, and location verification. Additionally, the UIGEA contains several factors to help weed out low-level illegal gambling cases.
The best way to think of the UIGEA is as a tool to enforce the federal criminal statutes that are most relevant to the Internet gambling industry. There are seven federal criminal statutes that relate to illegal Internet gambling. A look at these laws can be found in the aforementioned article.
The aforementioned article also discusses the UIGEA in some detail. It explains the UIGEA’s sweeping implications, as well as the role played by state and local governments in promoting its enforcement. As a result, the UIGEA has become a major issue in the national debate on online gambling.
One of the most exciting aspects of the UIGEA is that it can be a legal and practical solution to the problem of illicit Internet gambling. This is because the law prohibits financial transaction providers from accepting or processing any payment for a bet that is not legally sanctioned. Similarly, the law prohibits players from receiving or transmitting bets over the Internet.
Other federal statutes involved with illegal Internet gambling include the Wire Act and the Illegal Gambling Business Act. Although these statutes do not explicitly address gambling, they are closely linked to it. Another interesting aspect of the UIGEA is its ability to cite state and local laws that have a direct impact on the activity. Moreover, the statute is not without its controversy. Specifically, some have challenged the constitutionality of the law on the grounds of the Commerce Clause. Others have focused on the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. Despite these arguments, attacks based on the commerce and due process clauses have failed to sway the court.
On the plus side, the UIGEA has helped to bring a much needed facelift to the Internet’s gambling scene. While the legislation has not changed the overall online gambling market, the industry is expected to reach a staggering $440 billion by 2015. Also, the UIGEA has prompted some states to investigate their own gambling laws. Nonetheless, the federal laws that govern this industry have made it difficult for states to prosecute online gambling.