Aside from sports betting, online gambling encompasses a wide variety of options. These include virtual poker, casinos, and sports betting. Some sites focus on just one type of gambling while others offer a complete suite of online gaming experiences. Many are accessible through a web browser while others require downloading software and logging in.
The most popular deposit method is credit card. Several other methods of payment are also used, including PayPal, checks and money orders. However, there are some online casinos that only support one form of deposit.
In the United States, online gambling is illegal under seven federal statutes. These laws include the Illegal Gambling Business Act, the Wire Act, and the Travel Act. Other statutes include the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions. While the law prohibits the illegal gambling business, it does not make it illegal to conduct such a business in the privacy of one’s home. There are some exceptions, however.
Online gambling is a growing industry with many players looking to expand their revenue stream by offering a range of gaming options. This is not an entirely new phenomenon, however. Before the advent of the internet, a company in the Netherlands named Liechtenstein International Lottery was the first venue to offer online casino and poker games to the general public.
The legality of such activity has been the subject of much debate. It is not unheard of for state officials to raise concerns that the Internet may be facilitating illegal gambling within their jurisdictions. Additionally, the interstate and foreign elements involved can be a roadblock to state enforcement efforts. Although the First Amendment protects free speech, the Commerce Clause has been a hotly contested area.
For example, does a law preventing the receipt of a financial instrument from an illegal Internet bet meet the requirements of the First Amendment? Does a law regulating the manufacture of an object in the shape of a gambling chip satisfy the Commerce Clause? Despite the doubts, the commercial nature of the gambling business has a ring of legitimacy.
There are several other federal statutes that have been enacted to address the growing problem. These include the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which is intended to prevent the online facilitation of unlawful gambling, and the Racketeer Influenced or Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions. All of these federal statutes are aimed at preventing the operation of an illegal gambling business.
Of course, there is also the federal government’s ability to enforce those statutes. In fact, the government has the ability to shut down facilities or terminate services that are being used for such activities. As a result, a number of companies are facing the ire of the federal government. In some cases, the government has even been willing to fine them. One example was the $3 million fine Sporting News recently agreed to pay to the Department of Justice in return for launching a public service campaign to warn consumers about the pitfalls of illegal Internet gambling.