Online gambling is a form of gambling that takes place over the internet. It includes sports betting and casinos. Some forms of online gambling are legal in some countries, but illegal in many.
The first known online poker room was launched in 1998. According to a Frost & Sullivan report, online gambling revenues reached $830 million in 1998. Several European countries have regulated online gambling, and some nations in the Caribbean have allowed Internet gambling. However, in the U.S. it is illegal to gamble without a license.
As a result, the US government has taken steps to prosecute Internet gamblers. These actions have been met with mixed reactions. While some say it is the right thing to do, others claim the move has no basis in law.
First, it is unclear which parts of the law the US Justice Department has used to enforce federal gambling laws. Secondly, a federal criminal statute, the Wire Act, applies to all forms of Internet gambling. This may impede state enforcement policies. Third, there are some questions about the Commerce Clause.
Although the Federal Communications Commission has jurisdiction over common carriers, it is possible the commission will not have the ability to block illegal activity. On the other hand, the Federal Information Technology Rules, which were introduced in December, could be used to prevent activities on the Internet.
Finally, the most important of all, there have been several constitutional arguments to be made. Some have centered on the Due Process Clause, but these have proven to be less effective.