Generally speaking, online gambling is defined as gambling that is conducted, received, or transmitted over the internet. Online gambling includes betting on sports, playing casino games, and conducting virtual poker. However, the legality of these types of games vary from state to state. Some states have legalized gambling on the internet, while others have not.
Online gambling has been the subject of several legal and political battles. Some of these battles have been based on the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which prohibits Congress from passing laws that “deprive any person of property, or prohibit any person from engaging in any trade or commerce.” Others have focused on the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech. However, such attacks have largely failed.
One of the most significant and exciting elements of Internet gambling is the high-speed instant gratification it provides. For instance, a player can place a wager, receive a payout, and have the funds returned to their account all within a matter of minutes. The resulting thrill can often pull players away from setting limits on their own gambling activities. However, most online gaming sites offer tools to help their players maintain a reasonable level of responsibility.
While no federal law explicitly prohibits the conduct of Internet gambling, there are several federal criminal statutes that may be implicated. These statutes include the Wire Act, which prohibits the illegal gambling of sports and contests, and the Illegal Gambling Business Act, which prohibits the use of financial instruments in connection with illegal Internet bets.
There are several state laws that also prohibit illegal Internet gambling. In New York State, for example, the act of entering a bet, as well as the act of transmitting information from New York to the user’s computer, constitutes gambling activity. Some states allow their residents to run online gambling websites, while others have banned it entirely.
Similarly, the United States v. K23 Group Financial Services is a criminal case, charging that Internet poker operators have violated the 18 U.S.C. 1955 statute. In fact, this statute actually created several new crimes, including laundering with intent to promote illicit activity, concealing evidence of criminal conduct, and laundering for international purposes. This is a relatively new law that has caused a lot of debate and discussion in the legal community.
Other notable legal cases include the United States v. Nicolaou, which involved five people at all times for thirty days, and the United States v. Heacock, which involved layoff bettors. In both of these cases, the money that was won in the gambling was real money.
The Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Journal, while not discussing the Rewis case, does discuss the Travel Act, which is the law of the land when it comes to bringing illegal gambling into a jurisdiction. The article also discusses the “Mira-Mira” device, which is the best way to do something. This is a small sample, though, and does not cover the other possible uses of the “Mira-Mira” – namely, playing a game of poker over the Internet.