Despite its popularity, there are few states that offer legal online gambling sites. It took time to develop the infrastructure for the legalization of online gambling, but the industry is now in full swing. In Illinois, residents can wager on sports, horse racing, and other events. However, they are not permitted to bet on non-sports events.
Illinois may legalize online gambling in the future. The state’s sports betting industry generated $1 million in revenues in its first month. Governor Laura Kelly signed legislation into law in May. Those who run illegal gambling businesses could be subject to five years in prison.
Illegal Internet gambling is illegal under the Wire Act and the Illegal Gambling Business Act. Specifically, the Wire Act prohibits unlawful gambling on sporting events. The Illegal Gambling Business Act prohibits gambling businesses from accepting payments for unlawful gambling. Those businesses are subject to Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions.
The law has been challenged on a number of constitutional grounds. The Commerce Clause and the Due Process Clause have both been attacked, but both have not received much success. Those attacks based on the First Amendment guarantee of free speech have been relatively unsuccessful.
In addition to regulating the gambling business, the law also prohibits the use of interstate or foreign facilities for unlawful activity. These include bartenders and managers of establishments that offer video poker machines. The Lopez Amendment also provides an element to weed out low-level gambling cases.