Among the various gambling activities that are facilitated by the internet are sports betting, casino games, poker, and virtual poker. Several jurisdictions are attempting to legalize and regulate the industry. However, the issue has also been challenged on constitutional grounds.
The United States has faced attacks on the Commerce Clause and the First Amendment in relation to enforcing federal laws against illegal gambling. The arguments based on the free speech guarantee have failed to make much headway. In addition, due process objections have suffered when financial transactions are involved.
While gambling is a matter of state law, the commercial nature of the industry has prompted questions about whether it can be regulated at the federal level. In addition, the Commerce Clause has raised a number of concerns, particularly in light of its ability to affect interstate commerce. In addition to this, federal law reinforces state law in some cases.
In the past 15 years, online gambling has dramatically altered the gambling landscape. In fact, in 1998, revenues from online gambling exceeded $830 million. By 2008, revenue had risen to over $21 billion.
Online casinos and gambling sites are governed by gambling authorities to ensure they are responsible and follow certain regulations. The licensing and regulation of gambling sites is a way to increase consumer protection and taxation revenue. Some jurisdictions have even gone as far as to require that gamblers be at least 18 years old.
Although the use of the internet to conduct gambling is legal in some countries, the practice is still considered to be unlawful. Hence, players may be charged with money laundering and other criminal violations.