During the past decade, Internet Gambling has become very popular. It offers a wide variety of gambling options, including sports betting, virtual poker, and casinos. However, the legality of Internet Gambling remains a concern. A number of constitutional arguments have been raised. These include the Commerce Clause, First Amendment, and the Due Process Clause. Despite these arguments, the Federal government has not prosecuted any Internet Gambling sites.
Online Gambling sites require players to provide personal information and deposit money. They also accept credit cards, electronic checks, and wire transfers. Some sites offer free play to give users a chance to try their luck before they start making money. The sites are also required to adhere to appropriate data security standards. Some sites also offer prizes for repeat business.
Online gambling has become popular in many countries. In the UK, gambling sites offer a large choice of games. Some of the more popular types of gambling include roulette, blackjack, and poker. The UK also has a large number of horseracing and pari-mutuel betting operations. In 2005, these sports betting sites accounted for one third of all Internet gambling revenue. The remaining revenue came from lottery tickets, other games, and pari-mutuel race betting. In addition to the legality of Internet Gambling, another concern is the safety of the sites’ users and the likelihood that their winnings are not fair.
In 1997, fifty to sixty Internet casinos were operating in the Caribbean. In 2000, there were about six hundred to seven hundred gambling sites operating in the United States. In March 2005, there were about 536 Internet gambling sites, including sites operated by Antigua and the British Isles. However, there is no reliable data on the size of the Internet Gambling industry. There are estimates that the industry is worth billions of dollars. Regardless of the size of the industry, the growth has been incredible.
The first legal online gambling venue was the Liechtenstein International Lottery. The site was opened in 1997. In 2000, online gambling revenue reached approximately two billion dollars. In 2005, the revenue from sports book betting was $4 billion. Similarly, the revenue from other games, including virtual poker, was less than half of the total Internet gambling revenue. However, the growth of Internet gambling has been astounding. Online gambling analysts agree that the growth has been staggering.
While online gambling may be legal in some countries, it is still illegal in the United States. The definition of unlawful Internet Gambling is outlined in 31 U.S.C. 5362(10). This section states that “unlawful Internet gambling” includes: “transmitting bets or wagers over the Internet, or using the Internet to receive, transmit or receive bets or wagers from another person.” The section also includes age verification and appropriate data security standards. In addition, Section 1956 also creates laundering to conceal, disguise, or evade taxes. Laundering is a serious crime.
The Federal Communications Commission also has jurisdiction over common carriers and has the power to stop the leasing or furnishing of facilities. They may also discontinue the maintenance of these facilities. In addition, the Federal Government has the power to prosecute any Internet Gambling sites. While these powers have not been used to prosecute Internet Gambling, it is a possibility.