The Federal Government’s Role in Regulating Online Gambling
Online gambling has become a major force in recent years. Despite its popularity, it carries with it a variety of risks. The ability to gamble online can be addictive, and it can also present a serious risk of fraud. Gambling is generally regulated by both state and federal legislation. Some states have stricter restrictions on the age at which adults can gamble than others. For example, New Jersey has a minimum age limit of 21 for its casinos. In the United States, there are a number of different forms of gambling, including sports betting, casinos, poker, and virtual poker.
While state legislation governs most forms of gambling, Congress has taken on the role of regulating certain types of gambling in Native American territories. The federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act is the primary federal statute governing gambling on tribal lands. It regulates several different kinds of gambling, including lottery tickets. However, despite the fact that federal law is on the books, it is unclear whether the federal government can preempt states from taking action in the Internet gambling arena.
Several bills have been introduced in the House of Representatives to soften some of the harsher aspects of the Federal Internet Gambling Law. One bill, the Skill Game Protection Act, would clarify the Wire Act to exempt some games from its jurisdiction. Another, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act, is a proposed act that would regulate and tax online gambling businesses. But these bills are merely the beginning of a long and winding road.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) is a piece of legislation that has been seized on by various groups to raise the ire of state officials. The legislation prohibits the acceptance of financial instruments from illegal Internet bets. However, the law hasn’t exactly gone down well with the Fifth Circuit.
Not only is the UIGEA a tad over the top, but it is not the only federal piece of legislation aimed at gambling on the internet. The Wire Act, on the other hand, appears to cover every part of the telecommunications infrastructure. There is also the Travel Act, which is the most obvious of all federal laws related to gambling.
There is also a slew of other federal laws that have been implicated by the illegal gambling occurring in the cyberspace. For instance, the Liechtenstein International Lottery was the first online gambling site to open for the general public.
However, there have been few other legislative innovations to truly stand out in the crowded field. The federal government has taken a few steps in the right direction with the creation of an online gaming safety program and a website that offers free information about gambling. Although the federal government has made strides in regulating the industry, it is unlikely that Internet-based gambling will become fully legal in the U.S. Until then, the best advice is to check the legal age requirements before placing any bets.