Federal Enforcement of Online Gambling Laws

online gambling

The enforcement of federal laws regarding online gambling has faced significant challenges. These challenges have focused on the UIGEA, First Amendment guarantees of free speech, and the Commerce Clause. However, these challenges have met with limited success. Commerce Clause concerns appear to be satisfied by the commercial nature of gambling; free speech objections are weakened by the fact that only certain types of speech are protected by the First Amendment. In addition, due process arguments are weakened by the fact that financial transactions are taking place within the United States.

While the Travel Act is applicable to Internet gambling, state and local laws also apply. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) prohibits players from using interstate facilities to engage in unlawful activities. However, these laws do not apply to remote gaming. Therefore, players must follow state laws. Even if the state does not have laws governing online gambling, state governments can still impose fines for violating these laws.