Legal and Ethical Issues Associated With Online Gambling

Online Gambling

Whether you are gambling online or in a land based casino, you may want to be aware of the legal and ethical issues associated with the industry. The following are a few general considerations:

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA): The UIGEA prohibits the transfer of money to or from a gambling site, and prohibits the payment of a fee to a site for facilitating an illegal Internet bet. It also imposes age verification, location verification, and appropriate data security standards.

The First Amendment: While the Constitution guarantees the right to free speech, its application to facilitating illegal Internet gambling has been challenged on constitutional grounds. In many cases, however, the attacks have failed to prove a point.

The Commerce Clause: The Commerce Clause has been the subject of a number of debates, particularly as it relates to the gambling industry. Several states have questioned whether the Internet can be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions. Some have argued that the commercial nature of the gambling industry satisfies the Commerce Clause, while others have raised questions about legislative power under the Clause.

The Travel Act: This act, which was passed in 1997, grants the federal government the power to regulate interstate commerce, but does not discuss the issue of online gambling. Interestingly, it does not mention the Rewis case.

The CRS Report RS21984: This report, which has been made available in abridged form, provides a brief description of the law, the text of cited statutes, and citations to state gambling laws.

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