When it comes to legal online gambling, it is important to look at the various federal statutes that are in effect. The UIGEA, or the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, is a piece of legislation that regulates gambling and commercial activities on the internet. However, it isn’t just the law that has caused controversy. There are constitutional issues that have arisen.
Some of the more common questions that have been raised involve the UIGEA, the First Amendment, and the Travel Act. While the UIGEA has been enacted to regulate commercial activity on the Internet, questions are still being raised about the extent of its regulatory power. Moreover, due process concerns have been raised in regards to how to enforce laws affecting certain gambling activities that occur outside the United States.
As for the UIGEA itself, it is one of the many federal criminal statutes that are implicated by illegal online gambling. Specifically, it prohibits accepting financial instruments from Internet bettors. It also prohibits the use of interstate facilities to conduct unlawful activities. Similarly, it prohibits the leasing of telecommunications and other facilities to conduct these types of activities. In some cases, the UIGEA even applies to the mere act of transmitting information via the Internet.
Other federal criminal statutes that are involved in the online gambling game are the Wire Act, the Illegal Gambling Business Act, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) acts. Each of these is relevant to the enforcement of federal gambling laws. Ultimately, the most important point to remember is that the UIGEA is only the beginning.
On the other hand, the CRS Report RS21984 is considered the abridged version of the Federal criminal code. Although it is not a comprehensive analysis of all of the statutes involved in the Internet gambling game, it does provide a concise and easy-to-read overview of the laws that are relevant. Among the items included in the aforementioned report are the aforementioned UIGEA, as well as the CRS Report RS22749, or the Unlawful Internet Gambling Legislative Expansion Act, or UIGLA.
Lastly, it is worth noting that while all of these laws are relevant to the regulation of Internet gambling, the most lauded law is the UIGEA. This is a measure to protect consumers from gambling fraud and abuse on the Internet, which is a huge concern to many state officials. At the same time, it is a bit of a hodgepodge. Nevertheless, the aforementioned UIGEA has been credited with weeding out low-level gambling cases.
Obviously, there are many more laws that are pertinent to the legality of Internet gambling, including the aforementioned UIGEA, the Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act, and the Wire Act. In addition to the above mentioned statutes, there are a number of federal statutes that directly and indirectly impact the legality of Internet gambling, such as the Travel Act.
The most important legal question is whether the United States has the power to impose criminal penalties on individuals or businesses that are engaged in illegal Internet gambling. A case like United States v. Heacock is just one of the more prominent cases that has been litigated in recent years.