The Federal Government’s Role in Online Gambling


Online Gambling

One of the fastest growing industries in the world is online gambling. This industry is expected to grow even more in 2022. However, there are a few laws you should be aware of before you start gambling. Regardless of the country you’re from, you should know the laws in your state before you play.

In the United States, gambling is primarily a state issue. However, federal law may be able to reinforce or complicate state enforcement policies.

There are many facets to online gambling, from sports betting to virtual poker. The federal government has created several statutes that have been used to enact regulations. For instance, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is a criminal law that prohibits financial institutions from accepting financial instruments from illegal Internet bets.

Another is the Federal Communications Commission’s jurisdiction over common carriers. The FCC has the ability to shut down facilities or discontinue the lease of those facilities. Similarly, state officials have raised concerns that the internet could be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdiction.

In December of 2002, the General Accounting Office released a report entitled Internet Gambling: An Overview of Issues. Among other things, the report mentions the aforementioned CRS Report RS21984 and CRS Report RS22749.

While the aforementioned CRS Report RS21984 is abridged, the aforementioned CRS Report RS22749 is full of text citations to state gambling statutes. The report also mentions the UIMEA and other similar statutes, such as the corresponding CRS Report RS22749.