The First Amendment Concerns Online Gambling

Online Gambling

Whether you prefer gambling at online casinos, sportsbooks, or card games, you should be aware that illegal Internet gambling is punishable by federal law. This is due to Section 1956 of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. This section establishes several distinct crimes that can be committed when gambling on the Internet.

These crimes include illegal Internet gambling, law enforcement stings, and laundering for international purposes. While these laws are important, they raise some constitutional questions about their power. In particular, they raise concerns about the First Amendment’s “free speech” clause.

A valid gambling license proves that a site is legitimate, and that it is not engaged in illicit practices. If a site does not provide proper security, then the personal information of players is at risk.

Another problem is that some banks may not process online gambling transactions in certain countries. This could create an obstacle to state enforcement policies.

The Federal Communications Commission may also discontinue providing or maintaining facilities. The Federal Communications Commission has jurisdiction over common carriers. In addition, state officials have raised concerns about Internet gambling, and many have stated that they do not want illegal Internet gambling to enter their jurisdictions.

Finally, there are a number of questions about the legislative power of the Commerce Clause. While this has not been conclusively addressed, it has been suggested that the commercial nature of gambling business is sufficient to satisfy constitutional concerns.

The first general-public venue to offer Internet gambling was the Liechtenstein International Lottery. That site was fined $4.2 million in 2008, and Sporting News agreed to launch a public-service campaign to educate the public about gambling.