Using the internet for illegal gambling is a felony under seven federal statutes. These statutes include the Wire Act, the Money Laundering Control Act, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, and the Illegal Gambling Business Act.
The UIGEA is the law’s main tool to enact penalties on illegal Internet gambling. It prohibits financial transactions and financial institutions from accepting financial instruments from a person or entity engaged in illegal Internet gambling. It also includes age verification, location verification, and appropriate data security standards.
The Travel Act is another statute that prohibits the use of the Internet for illegal gambling. The law also prevents the placement of illegal bets on sporting events. The iLottery is a virtual lottery that has already garnered rewards for its early investors.
The law has been challenged on constitutional grounds as well. Questions about the legislative power of the Commerce Clause have arisen, but these have not yet been answered. The commercial nature of the gambling business appears to be the most plausible approach, despite the fact that it does not involve an individual interest of equal constitutional magnitude.
In December 2002, the General Accounting Office issued an overview of Internet gambling issues. The report also included a number of citations to state gambling laws.
The Liechtenstein International Lottery was the first venue to offer online gambling to the general public. This was a technological feat that was a significant achievement, although the actual implementation of this technology has received mixed reviews.