The online gambling industry has grown tremendously in recent years. Approximately two-thirds of the gaming market now originates from these online casinos. Revenues amounted to more than $400 billion in 2015 and more than 8 million people participated in some form of online gambling. There are dozens of reputable casinos that offer an array of games and services, as well as generous welcome bonuses and fast banking options.
Several laws have been passed to regulate the industry. In addition to state laws, there are federal statutes that may be implicated in a case involving illegal Internet gambling. While the law is not a silver bullet, it has been shown to provide a level playing field for businesses and has the potential to stymie online fraudsters.
Of course, one of the most popular forms of gambling is sports betting. These bets are generally based on the outcome of a match or tournament. Depending on the sport, you can place a bet on the number of points a team will score or the total number of goals that will be scored in the game. Similarly, you can wager on the winner of a race or the amount of money that a particular player will win.
In the past few years, there have been several high-profile lawsuits that have challenged the legality of some of these activities. One case involved a $3.2 million seizure by federal marshals from Discovery Communications. Another involves an alleged money-laundering scheme involving Internet poker operators. Other cases cite the UIGEA as a possible reason to scotch the good time, while others point to the commercial nature of the gambling business as a means to satisfy the Commerce Clause.
As for the UIGEA, it is a complex statute that focuses on the commercial aspects of gambling. It enumerates factors such as age verification, location verification, and data security that should be considered in determining whether an internet gambler has met the law. Additionally, the statute does not allow financial institutions to be used in transactions involving illegal Internet gambling.
One of the first legal online gambling venues for the general public was the Liechtenstein International Lottery. This casino was the first to use the Internet for its offerings, which include online roulette and bingo. Since that time, the industry has flourished, and many companies have joined the ranks of the established players. Some of the best online gambling sites use a number of measures to ensure the safety and integrity of their users’ information. Those measures include industry-standard 128-bit encryption, independent auditors to test software, and reputable security standards to keep players safe.
There is a fair amount of controversy about the laws that govern the online gambling industry, especially since the industry has been growing so rapidly. A number of states have expressed concerns that the Internet could be used to expand illicit gambling into their jurisdictions. However, some of these concerns appear to be unfounded, as the Commerce Clause seems to be a sufficient guarantor of constitutional legitimacy.