Online Gambling is the act of wagering money on an event involving chance in exchange for the opportunity to win a prize. Online gambling is a global industry with significant social and economic impacts. It is regulated by laws at both the state and federal level.
A wide range of gaming options are available for online gamblers. Some require downloading software onto the user’s computer, while others are played directly at a Web site using high-technology software that creates the illusion of being in a real casino. In some cases, the software allows users to interact with other players in the same room.
In the United States, online gambling is governed by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). This law prohibits financial transactions between online casinos and U.S. residents, except when the casino is based in an offshore jurisdiction that does not recognize or honor U.S. bank laws. Despite the fact that the law is controversial, attempts to challenge it on constitutional grounds have failed. Attacks on the Commerce Clause and the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech have failed, as has an argument that the prohibition constitutes aiding and abetting crime.
The UIGEA has caused some Web sites to discontinue online gambling services. Some of them have responded by moving to new jurisdictions. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission, a regulatory body in Canada’s Mohawk Territory, grants licenses to many of the world’s largest online casinos and poker rooms.