Despite the fact that the federal government has attempted to clamp down on online gambling, some states have made it legal. Gambling is an activity which involves betting, selling chances or maintaining roulette wheels and slot machines.
The First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech has been a strong defense against attacks based on the Commerce Clause. However, questions about the scope of the clause have been raised. In particular, the commercial nature of a gambling business may satisfy the Clause’s concerns.
There is also a plethora of state laws that regulate gambling. Some states allow only specific types of gambling. Others may even ban gambling altogether. Despite federal laws regulating gambling, state officials have expressed concern that the Internet may allow illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.
The federal government is pursuing a number of different tactics to clamp down on illegal gambling. They include blocking websites with advertising that promotes gambling, halting the furnishing of facilities, and dismantling illegal gambling businesses. However, these efforts have failed to gain any significant traction.
The most sweeping attack has been the Department of Justice’s announcement that the Wire Act applies to all forms of Internet gambling. This act prohibits illegal gambling on sporting events, contests, and other activities that take place on the internet.
Several other federal criminal statutes have been implicated. These include the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), the Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA), the Wire Act, the Travel Act, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions.