Online gambling is a multifaceted and rapidly growing industry. In fact, it has skyrocketed over the past five years. It includes traditional casino games, sports betting, virtual poker and more. A number of state officials have expressed concerns that the Internet could be used to transport illegal gambling activities across state lines.
The most obvious form of online gambling is betting on sports. You can wager on the outcome of a match or total number of goals scored. However, the best place to place your bet is in a reputable online casino. These establishments are regulated by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) or the Curaçao Gaming Authority (CGA). Many of the most reputable casinos also offer fast banking options.
The first online gambling venue was the Liechtenstein International Lottery. This was the first commercial online gambling venture for the general public. The site reportedly paid out a little more than $3 million. Other venues have since followed. Some of the most popular include Bodog, BetOnline, Bet365, FanDuel and PokerStars. All these venues offer the same basic features. Moreover, some sites offer live dealer games.
While gambling is not necessarily a constitutionally protected activity, many state laws protect it. However, it is not protected by the right to privacy. Therefore, a gambling problem can become a major problem very quickly. Those who have a problem should talk to a family member, friend, or professional counselor. There are also campus resources that can help. Depending on the level of your concern, you may want to consult an NCAA brochure or read the National Council on Problem Gambling’s “Positive Actions for College Students with Gambling Problems” booklet.
There are a number of other federal statutes that are alleged to have been implicated by unlawful internet gambling. These statutes have been subject to numerous challenges on constitutional grounds. Although they have had limited success, the ensuing debates have raised questions about whether the Commerce Clause allows for such regulation. Additionally, there have been some attacks based on the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. Despite the fact that these have had little success, however, the statutory and regulatory framework for these types of activities does appear to be on the books.
As the Internet continues to develop, the boundaries of legal gambling continue to expand. While the UIGEA does not specifically prohibit Internet gaming, it does prohibit the acceptance of financial instruments from illegal Internet bets. If you are unsure about whether you are playing within the law, a quick Google search should tell you.
Other notable statutes are the UISC Act, which defines an “unlawful Internet gambling establishment” as one that engages in gambling or wagering, or receives bets or offers to provide bets, through the Internet. The statute contains a number of requirements, including age verification, data security standards, and location verification. Finally, the aforementioned CRS Report RS21984 is a good resource to find out if you are legally permitted to play online.