The Legality of Online Gambling in the United States
Online gambling is a rapidly growing industry. While it’s unclear how much of the money involved in the business actually goes back to consumers, it’s clear that gaming platforms are contributing to the economy. The Internet has also helped spur the creation of new employment opportunities for the gaming industry.
Many people perceive gambling as a fun and entertaining activity, whereas others see it as a threat to their health and well-being. As a result, the debate over the morality of gambling rages. In fact, the United States Supreme Court recently overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992.
However, while gambling is legal on the federal level, there are still questions about the legality of online gambling in the U.S. Most states permit gambling in some form, though not all. For instance, New Jersey is one of the few states that has legalized Internet casinos. It also permits internet wagering on fantasy sports. This is a big step forward for the industry, and lawmakers in the Garden State are taking note.
While the United States does not yet have any comprehensive online gambling laws, it does have a number of statutes that have been used to regulate and prosecute illegal internet activities. These statutes have been challenged in court on constitutional grounds.
One of the most common objections to online gambling has been that the activities involved are illegal. This is not necessarily the case, however. There are a number of exceptions to the federal criminal statutes that have been cited by proponents of the legalization of Internet gambling. Nevertheless, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has the power to bar the furnishing of facilities and may discontinue the operation of facilities.
Another potential legal obstacle for online gambling is the First Amendment’s Due Process Clause. Some argue that regulation of gambling activities that occur in part overseas would violate the Constitution’s protection of free speech. But while these arguments are sound, they’re not always a sure bet.
Likewise, the Commerce Clause has been cited in some cases. However, these attacks have fallen flat. A more promising approach is to focus on the commercial nature of the gambling business, and the fact that these activities have a significant impact on interstate commerce.
Despite the legality of gambling on the Federal level, there is a growing concern among state officials about how the Internet may be used to transport illegal gambling across their borders. One possible solution is to enact legislation to prohibit Internet casinos or poker sites from accepting financial instruments from individuals in states that have banned them.
Although these legalization efforts have been met with varying degrees of success, it’s important to remember that the US Supreme Court has already overruled the federal ban on sports betting. As such, it’s not unlikely that internet-based gambling will soon become fully legal in the U.S. That being said, no one can be certain about whether or not the industry will ever truly become lawful in all territories.