Whether you prefer to play at your own home, in your office, or in a casino, online gambling has become a popular pastime for many people. Internet gambling can be a good way to have fun while winning cash prizes. Online casinos offer a wide variety of gambling games to choose from, and some can offer enormous jackpots.
The United States Supreme Court’s ruling in the PASPA case has opened the door for states to permit state-based sports betting. This means that people living in these states will be able to wager on their favorite sports teams from the comfort of their homes. In addition, online gambling laws have become regulated in some states, such as Pennsylvania. In fact, Pennsylvania is one of the most progressive online gambling states. In addition to sports betting, players in the state can also enjoy slots, blackjack, and roulette. New Jersey also offers online gambling, and players can choose from live dealer table games and slot machines.
Although the Supreme Court ruling has opened the door for online gambling, there are still some areas of concern. First Amendment issues have been raised, as have questions about the scope of the Commerce Clause. In fact, federal criminal statutes have also been implicated in illegal Internet gambling. However, the commercial nature of the gambling business may help to satisfy doubts about the Commerce Clause.
Section 1956 of the Federal Communications Act enumerates several crimes that can be committed in connection with Internet gambling. These crimes include money laundering, concealing or evading taxes, and laundering for international purposes. Several states have laws prohibiting gambling activities that facilitate or promote other illegal activities, such as money laundering. The CRS Report RS21984 provides citations to the laws in each state that prohibit gambling. The report is available in an abridged form and contains text of the cited statutes.
Another concern has been the impact of federal laws on the state’s ability to enforce gambling laws. In fact, state officials have expressed concern that illegal gambling on the Internet can bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions. However, federal laws reinforce state law in cases where it is necessary. In addition, the Federal Communications Commission has jurisdiction over common carriers. The Commission can impose a ban on the leasing or maintenance of facilities, or the furnishing of facilities. In addition, the Commission has the authority to prevent financial transaction providers from receiving or transferring funds related to unlawful Internet bets.
One of the most recent cases involving Internet gambling is United States v. K23 Group Financial Services. In this case, an Internet poker operator was charged with money laundering and other UIGEA violations. The operator agreed to launch a public service campaign and pay a $4.2 million fine. It also was warned that it could face prosecution. The federal marshals also seized $3.2 million from Discovery Communications, which was providing advertisements for the Tropical Paradise casino in Costa Rica.
The United States Attorney’s Office is suing Internet poker operators in several cases. In addition to money laundering, these cases charge operators with violating the UIGEA and 18 U.S.C. 1955. The cases have been contested on constitutional grounds, but these attacks have had little success.