Using the Internet to gamble is considered illegal in many countries. In the United States, gambling is primarily composed of casino games. Casino games include blackjack, roulette, and poker. Some states also offer sports betting, which is legalized at the federal level in 2018.
Gambling laws vary from state to state. Some states require a certain minimum age to gamble. Others have different ages for different types of gambling. In New Jersey, the minimum age is 21. In other countries, the minimum age may be as high as 19 years.
Gambling laws are largely state laws, but some federal criminal statutes are implicated in illegal Internet gambling. The Wire Act and the Travel Act are federal laws that apply to wagering businesses. Depending on the jurisdiction, the Wire Act may apply to gambling businesses located on ships outside territorial waters. In Washington, websites advertising gambling are prohibited.
The Department of Justice has explored regulations relating to online gambling, and has asserted that all Internet gambling is illegal. There have been no successful attacks on the statutes based on the Commerce Clause. However, state officials have expressed concern that the Internet could be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.
Section 1956, which is arguably the smallest of the aforementioned citations, creates several crimes. It creates laundering to conceal and disguise transactions, and laundering to promote or facilitate illicit activities. In addition, it creates laundering to evade taxes.
The Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act would license and regulate Internet gambling businesses. It would also impose taxes on such businesses.