Online Gambling

The enforcement of federal gambling laws has been criticized on various constitutional grounds. However, such challenges have been largely unsuccessful. Attempts to block gambling laws have been based on the Commerce Clause, the First Amendment guarantee of free speech, and the Due Process Clause. The Commerce Clause concerns are largely satisfied by the commercial nature of gambling. Free speech objections are stymied by the limited protection the First Amendment affords against crimes facilitating speech. Additionally, due process arguments have been compromised by the fact that gambling involves financial transactions that take place in the United States.

However, despite these legal issues, illegal internet gambling is still prohibited. Under federal law, gambling is considered an activity in violation of the Wire Act, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, and the Travel Act. These laws prohibit online gambling as well as wagering on sports and contests conducted through interstate commerce. In addition, there are provisions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act that make it illegal to conduct gambling business activities through the internet.