Online gambling is a practice where people bet on the outcome of a sporting event or game. It can be anything from placing bets on the total number of goals scored in a match, to wagering on the final result of a race.
Although gambling has always been popular, advances in technology have made it more widespread. Today, online casinos are available with a huge variety of games. Some include traditional casino games such as poker and roulette, while others feature virtual poker or sports betting. There are even bingo rooms attached to many of these sites.
There are several federal criminal statutes that are implicated in illegal Internet gambling. These crimes can include laundering for purposes of concealing, disguising, or evading taxes, and laundering to promote illicit activity. Those who engage in any of these crimes will be subject to the Federal Wire Act, the Bank Secrecy Act, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, and the Interstate Commerce Act.
The United States Department of Justice has announced that it will pursue criminal charges against online gaming operators. K23 Group Financial Services, an Internet poker provider, was charged with violating 18 U.S.C. 1955, the statute regulating the operation of Internet poker.
In December 2002, the General Accounting Office published an overview of the issues involved with Internet gambling. It noted that the “commercial nature of the gambling business” seems to satisfy doubts about the government’s powers under the Commerce Clause. However, questions remain regarding the “legislative power” of the Clause.