The online gambling industry has taken off and become quite popular. It has a wide variety of games to choose from, including casinos, virtual poker and sports betting. Some of the games offer free spins, while others offer lucrative welcome bonuses. Online casinos are also available on mobile phones, allowing you to enjoy your favorite casino games on the go.
Despite its popularity, online gambling has not been totally unregulated. However, federal laws like the Wire Act, the Illegal Gambling Business Act, and the Money Laundering Control Act all prohibit the unlawful activity of internet gambling. These laws were passed to combat the growing problem of illegal online gambling, which is a serious concern for state officials.
There are several reasons why the laws have been a contentious issue. First, the commercial nature of the gambling business raises doubts about the ability of Congress to pass a law aimed at the activity. Second, questions arise concerning the scope of the legislative authority under the Commerce Clause. Finally, there is an argument that the presence of an interstate element in the gambling business frustrates enforcement policies adopted by state laws.
Various statutes have been cited in the debate, with some of the more notable examples being the Uniform Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), the Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act (UGEA), and the Wire Act. Each is unique in its own way, but together they make a strong case for preventing the illegal activity of internet gambling from taking hold in the United States.
The UIGEA has the advantage of providing a set of factors to weed out low-level gambling cases. While there is no legal definition of the “legal” Internet gambling industry, it is believed that regulated gambling sites follow industry standards for encryption, security, and auditing. In addition, online gambling sites typically require some form of ID verification before you can start playing.
For example, the UIGEA states that “A person who knowingly accepts, or facilitates the acceptance of, a financial instrument for the purpose of making a bet on an Internet site or through a wireless telephone is committing a crime under this title.” This act has been a source of controversy since it was first enacted, despite Congressional findings that the act does not have a significant impact on the overall Internet gaming industry.
The UIGEA has also been the subject of a lawsuit. A company called K23 Group Financial Services is facing a pending trial for allegedly violating the UIGEA and 18 U.S.C. 1955. At the same time, the company is also battling allegations that it has been used to launder money.
Interestingly, the first online gambling venue for the general public was the Liechtenstein International Lottery. The company claims that the website, which offers lottery tickets and a wide array of casino games, was launched in 1999, and has generated revenues of more than eight billion dollars since then.
Several of the most popular games have been designed with graphics and features to increase the gaming experience. These include slots and video poker. Moreover, there are several apps available that allow you to play the games from your phone, including the casino and sports betting features.