Gambling is the act of betting for money. It includes playing games of chance, such as blackjack, or poker; betting on sports; and buying and selling chances. These activities can be conducted in a number of ways, such as in casinos, on the Internet, or at bingo parlors.
Using the Internet to gamble is illegal under the Wire Act and the Illegal Gambling Business Act. It is also illegal under the Travel Act, which prohibits gambling on interstate commerce. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions prohibit any unlawful gambling business activity.
Online gambling is also regulated under the Online Gambling Regulation Act of 2001. This act was enacted by the U.S. Congress to regulate the industry. It is commonly abbreviated OGRA. It contains provisions regarding the calculation of winnings, and the verification of age.
It also contains a section that allows the Federal Communications Commission to restrict the leasing or furnishing of facilities for gambling. In addition, it requires online gambling sites to use a 128-bit encryption system to prevent the tampering of data.
The online gambling industry is worth approximately C$50 billion. In an effort to ensure the safety of their customers, some online casinos have begun employing independent auditors to test their software before allowing it to be made available to the general public.
Although a large portion of the federal criminal statutes implicated in illegal gambling are based on the commerce clause, some of the cases have raised questions about whether the federal government may enforce these laws. Some of the challenges have been based on the First Amendment, due process, and the fact that gambling does not involve an individual interest of the same constitutional magnitude.