Online gambling involves using the internet to place or receive bets. This includes virtual poker, casinos, and sports betting. In the United States, it is illegal to conduct illegal Internet gambling.
There are seven federal criminal statutes that are implicated by illegal Internet gambling. These include the Wire Act, the Interstate Commerce Act, and the Illegal Gambling Business Act. The statutes include provisions for age verification, location verification, and appropriate data security standards.
Section 1956 of the Illegal Gambling Business Act prohibits money laundering of illegal gambling proceeds. It also creates laundering to conceal or disguise the source of the funds and to evade taxes.
Section 1956 also prohibits a gambling business from accepting payment from customers for illegal Internet gambling. Owners of illegal gambling businesses can be imprisoned for up to five years. They are also required to have substantial continuous operation of their business for thirty days or more.
Several states have enacted legislation to make online gambling legal. These laws are generally in line with state gambling laws, but they have been challenged on constitutional grounds. State officials have raised concerns about how the Internet could be used to transport illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.
Some attacks have been successful on the basis of the First Amendment, which guarantees free speech. However, the Commerce Clause and Due Process Clause have also been criticized.
UIGEA is a more commercially driven statute. As a result, there are factors that will weed out low-level gambling cases.