The Federal Government’s Challenges in Enforcing Online Gambling Laws

online gambling

The federal government has faced multiple challenges in enforcing federal laws governing Internet gambling. These challenges have centered on the Commerce Clause, the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, and the Due Process Clause. However, these attacks have not been successful, largely due to the commercial nature of the gambling industry. Commerce Clause doubts are answered by the fact that gambling is a business, while First Amendment objections are frustrated by the lack of protection for speech that is a crime. Due Process arguments are also hampered by the fact that financial transactions are conducted in the United States.

However, there are some ways in which these federal laws may be circumvented. For example, under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), it is illegal to participate in internet gambling outside the state in which you live. However, states can still prohibit internet gambling if it occurs on their own territory.