Online gambling is a form of wagering that is conducted through the internet. It includes sports betting, casinos, and virtual poker. Unlike traditional casinos, internet casinos are largely automated. They are designed to provide quick and easy access to an expansive array of betting options.
Several federal criminal statutes are implicated by illegal Internet gambling. These include Section 1956 (money laundering) and 18 U.S.C. 1957 (spending more than $10,000 from a single illegal gambling transaction). In addition, the Travel Act applies to players who use interstate facilities for unlawful activities.
Some states are concerned that the use of the Internet to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions will be a problem. This has led to questions about legislative power under the Commerce Clause.
The United States has been challenged on constitutional grounds in cases regarding the enforcement of federal gambling laws. However, these attacks have so far been ineffective.
A recent criminal case involves a money laundering charge against K23 Group Financial Services. As a result, the Attorney General has prohibited financial institutions from accepting funds for illegal Internet bets.
In another case, the Federal Marshals seized $3.2 million from Discovery Communications. The company agreed to launch a public service campaign.
There have also been challenges to the federal gambling laws based on the First Amendment. While there is limited protection of free speech, the presence of an interstate element has complicated the enforcement policies of state law.