Online gambling is a booming business in the United States. This includes everything from casinos to sports betting. The question then is what’s legal in the United States and what’s not.
Illegal Internet gambling is defined under the Wire Act as gambling on contests and sporting events. It’s also illegal under the Illegal Gambling Business Act.
Other statutes implicated include the Travel Act, which prohibits illegal gambling on interstate commerce, and the Gambling Devices Transportation Act, also known as the Johnson Act. These laws are enforced by the Federal Communications Commission, which has jurisdiction over common carriers.
A few states have legalized online casinos. For example, Michigan launched an online casino in January 2021. Others, such as Illinois, may legalize one in the near future.
The most interesting legal development is that of state-by-state legalization of online sports betting. State officials have expressed concerns that the internet could be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions. While many Americans still prefer to gamble with their local friends and family, they are beginning to see the appeal of placing bets with strangers.
One of the most intriguing questions is how to balance the interests of both state and federal law. Some states have opted to enforce their own laws while others have chosen to implement federal legislation.
One notable example is the UIGEA, which requires gambling businesses to be licensed by the state. In Michigan, for instance, three major poker sites, PokerStars, BetMGM and WSOP, have gotten their businesses underway.