Internet Gambling is a new form of gambling facilitated by the Internet. It allows for instant access to vast betting options. This change in the way gamblers engage in gambling has changed the gambling environment in the last 15 years.
Several laws prohibit illegal gambling. The Federal Wire Act, the Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA), and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) all make it unlawful for anyone to conduct gambling activities on the Internet.
The UIGEA also prohibits individuals or entities from accepting financial instruments from Internet bets. Additionally, it prohibits commercial activity. While the laws in this area are relatively new, they have already been challenged on constitutional grounds.
Another statute that is relevant to online gambling is the Travel Act. The Travel Act applies to individuals who use Internet casinos or other facilities to engage in unlawful gambling.
Regardless of whether these laws are effective, the presence of an interstate element frustrates state enforcement policies. State officials have expressed concern that Internet gambling could be used to bring unlawful gambling into their jurisdictions.
In response, the Attorney General has taken a stricter stance on Internet bets, requiring payment processors and other financial institutions to verify that customers are of legal age and in compliance with the law. These measures are meant to weed out the low-level gambling cases.
There has also been a lot of discussion about the extent to which the First Amendment protects speech facilitating criminal activity. The Commerce Clause, however, raises questions about the amount of legislative power that the federal government has over states.