While most states haven’t legalized online gambling, Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada have begun the process. As more states join the fray, online gambling will likely continue to be regulated on a state-by-state basis. However, you should still know that there are several federal and state criminal statutes against Internet gambling. In addition to being illegal, gambling online is also vulnerable to scammers and hackers.
Unlawful Internet gambling involves at least seven federal criminal statutes
Unlawful Internet gambling involves at least seven different federal criminal statutes, including the Wire Act and Illegal Gambling Business Act. These federal statutes make illegal Internet gambling a federal crime, especially when it involves sports or contests, and is used to place wagers on interstate commerce. In addition, illegal gambling business activities are prohibited under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 outlines certain prohibited activities and penalties, including gambling businesses that accept payments by check, credit card, or electronic funds transfer. In some cases, violating this law can land you in prison for up to two years, but it does not cover the whole of the Internet gambling industry.
It is primarily a matter of state law
State laws are the primary determining factor as to whether or not online gambling is legal. These laws typically cover pool-selling, bookmaking, maintaining slot machines and roulette wheels, conducting lotteries, bolita games, selling chances, and maintaining dice tables. While federal law does not directly address the issue of online gambling, it frequently reinforces state law.
It is regulated by independent regulators
Online gambling is regulated in several ways. Some jurisdictions, such as the UK Gambling Commission, have their own independent regulators that monitor gambling sites. Others rely on laws imposed by their governments. In France, for example, the Regulatory Authority for Online Games (ARJEL) oversees online gaming. It was created by the French Gaming Act of May 2010 and is composed of seven permanent members. The ARJEL licenses three online gaming companies: fixed odds, poker games, and online sports betting.
These independent regulators are not required to join the International Association of Gaming Regulations (IAGR), but many do. This helps protect the interests of players and ensures that online casinos are safe and legal. IAGR members are members of a global think-tank that shares ideas on regulating online gambling.