Online gambling is a form of gambling that can be done on the Internet. It includes casinos, sports betting, and virtual poker. However, these activities are not legal in all jurisdictions.
Although there is no federal law that specifically governs online gambling, some states allow it. In addition, a few nations in the Caribbean Sea and some provinces in Canada permit online gambling.
The first law that addressed internet gambling was introduced in the late 1990s. The bill, called the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, would have prohibited online gambling from U.S. citizens.
Another law that affects internet gambling is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. This law has been challenged on constitutional grounds.
Some of the laws that have been cited in these cases include Section 1956, which has been used to impose criminal charges on illegal Internet gambling. Section 1956 creates several crimes, including laundering, concealing, and promoting illicit activity.
Other attacks based on the First Amendment guarantee of free speech have not been successful. There are also issues with the Commerce Clause. These concerns are compounded when financial transactions take place in the United States.
As a result, there has been a proliferation of bills in Congress that propose to modify the UIGEA. One bill, called HR 2046, would require internet gambling facilities to be licensed by the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
Several other similar bills have been introduced in the House since 2007. In April 2007, Representative Barney Frank introduced a bill that would have prohibited the advertising of internet gambling. Google and Microsoft were fined for accepting online gambling adverts.