The Federal Government and State Laws on Online Gambling

Online Gambling

Online gambling is a popular form of entertainment in the United States. Despite its popularity, however, online gambling is still not without its legal problems. The federal government has taken action to curb the activity. While the United States has no specific laws prohibiting online gambling, it has cracked down on the practice through various enforcement actions.

While the federal government is largely involved in fighting illegal gambling activities, state law still plays a significant role. In some cases, federal law reinforces state law. For example, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act prohibits players from using interstate facilities to engage in illegal gambling. Despite this, however, state officials are increasingly concerned about how online gambling activities may compromise their jurisdictions.

While illegal Internet gambling is not generally illegal, it is a significant risk to consumers and operators. It implicates seven federal criminal statutes. The Wire Act and the Illegal Gambling Business Act prohibit wagering on interstate commerce, while the Travel Act prohibits betting on sporting events. RICO provisions also make it illegal to conduct such activities.

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