With the advent of technology and the expansion of the Internet, the gambling industry has changed. While many people still visit casinos, betting sites, and online sportsbooks, the nature of the business has changed as well. The games offered are more varied, as are the payouts. There are a variety of options for casino gamblers, including bingo, virtual poker, and sports betting.
In addition to state law, federal criminal statutes are implicated by illegal Internet gambling. These include 18 U.S.C. 1955, the Gambling Devices Transportation Act (GDTA), the Johnson Act, the Travel Act, and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
The UIGEA, which was passed in response to a report by the American Banker, is designed to stop the use of financial instruments by individuals who are placing illegal bets on the Internet. The Travel Act, which applies to players who place bets through interstate facilities, also applies to Internet casinos.
Whether the Commerce Clause can be used to prosecute a gambling operation that is conducted largely overseas has been a controversial issue. Many argue that the commercial nature of the gambling operation can satisfy Commerce Clause concerns. However, this argument has been unable to generate significant success.
Another area of controversy is the First Amendment. The government’s ability to prohibit gambling based on free speech objections has not been able to generate much success. Other attacks, based on the Commerce Clause, have also been unable to generate substantial success.