Laws Regarding Online Gambling

Internet Gambling Addiction

Why Do People Gamble?

Gambling Among Teens and College Students

Laws Regarding Online Gambling

Mental Health Issues and Treatment





























“It is a federal crime: (1) to use telecommunications to conduct a gambling business;
(2) to conduct a gambling business in violation of state law; (3) to travel interstate or
overseas, or to use any other facility of interstate or foreign commerce, to facilitate the
operation of an illegal gambling business; (4) to systematically commit these crimes in
order to acquire or operate a commercial enterprise; (5) to launder the proceeds of an
illegal gambling business or to plow them back into the business; (6) to spend or deposit
more than $10,000 of the proceeds of illegal gambling in any manner, or (7) since
passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, P.L. 109-347 (2006) (31
U.S.C. 5361-5367), for a gambling business to accept payment for illegal Internet
gambling.” (Taken from the Library of Congress)


While it is extremely hard to regulate online gambling, a great number of countries have passed legislation making it more difficult to gamble online. According to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, unlawful online gambling in America is defined as placing, receiving, or transmitting a bet online, but only if that bet is otherwise illegal in the place the bet is made or received. This is significant, because it does not make gambling online expressly illegal; it merely enforces the laws already in place. However, the bill does make it illegal for financial institutions to fund online gambling accounts, marking a new direction in online gambling legislation (Nelson 2007). One criticism of this legislation is that it “potentially discourages the more honourable providers attempting to work a legitimate business while ignoring or diverting attention from the unscrupulous and regulated, leaving unchallenged those possible involved in wider criminal activity or those merely running a poor service with inadequate protection for game users.(Hamilton 2008)” In addition, some sites have exploited loopholes in the bill, suggesting that games such as poker involve more skill than luck, and thus are not “games of chance,” and thus the new law does not apply to them (Nelson 2007).

Globally, over eighty countries have legalized online gambling. Great Britain is the first large government to allow online casinos to operate on their soils, and stand to gain a large amount in their regulation and taxation (Nelson 2007). Shortly after the U.S. passed the Gambling Enforcement Act, a conference was held with delegates from 30 countries looking to implement a uniform Online Gambling policy. The U.S. failed to send a representative (Nelson 2007).

One problem with legislating against online gambling is the sheer difficulty in controlling what goes on the Internet (Hamilton 2008). The Internet is an incredibly massive entity consisting of millions of smaller entities. One of the problems with this is the question of jurisdiction. Who controls the internet? In effect, this bill implies the ability of the U.S. government and banks to monitor and determine the legality of any and all activity on the Internet (Nelson 2007). Who has the right to determine what is or isn’t appropriate for the internet? Explore the links below for a brief commentary on these questions.

For an overview and commentary of our online gambling laws, see: (Abridged overview of federal online gambling laws from the Library of Congress) (Brief overview with commentary interspersed)