Online gambling is the process of placing bets or wagers on games of chance or skill, for money. This includes casinos, sports betting, online poker, and virtual poker.
The United States has a number of laws that regulate gambling. These include the Wire Act, which carries over to all forms of Internet gambling. Another law, the Travel Act, applies to players who use interstate facilities to participate in illegal activities.
As an example, the owner of a crypto-currency gambling site in the US was recently charged with violating the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. He argued that he is not an agent of the government, and that the cryptocurrencies he is using are not recognized as legal tender by the federal government.
Several bills have been introduced in the House and the Senate since 2007. One, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, or HR 2046, was introduced by Rep. Barney Frank in April 2007. It would require internet gambling operators to be licensed by the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
In addition, a number of states have laws on the books that ban or limit the ability of people under 18 to engage in gambling. Some jurisdictions also limit the types of gambling that can be offered.
While the United States has several federal criminal statutes that are implicated by illegal Internet gambling, the legality of such activity has been questioned on constitutional grounds. Questions have been raised regarding the Commerce Clause, which allows Congress to regulate commerce by restricting activities that could interfere with commerce.