Internet Gaming Lawyers
What Qualifies as Online Gambling?
The most common forms of online gambling include the following:
- Online Lotteries
- Online Casinos
- Online Sports Betting
I Am a User of an Online Gambling Site. Am I at Risk for Either State or Federal Prosecution?
In the U.S., the legality of online gambling is dictated by both the federal and state laws that regulate gambling. Because most states have yet to specifically regulate internet gambling, it is necessary to follow state law as it applies to gambling in general. State gambling laws vary from complete abolition to almost a complete tolerance of gambling. Federal laws have also yet to adapt specifically to online gambling. Although existing gambling statutes have been successfully applied to offenders, it is rare that these regulations are used to prosecute mere users, and are more widely applied to those who facilitate these businesses.
I Want to Start an Online Gambling Site, How Do I Know if these Businesses Are Legal?
- U.S. State Gambling Laws - The legality of a particular site is dictated by the forms of gambling that are allowed in your state. In states where all forms of gambling are illegal, an internet gambling site headquartered in that state is also illegal. On the other hand, in a state that has legalized certain forms of gambling, an internet site that provides only acceptable forms of gambling are legal.
- U.S. Federal Gambling Laws - Because previous attempts to regulate or ban online gambling have not passed through Congress, existing federal legislation serves as the only applicable guide on this issue. For internet gambling sites the most widely used federal gambling regulation is the The Wire Wager Act (18 USCS §1084 (a)).
- The Wire Wager Act - The Wire Wager Act prohibits the use of a wire transmission facility to foster gambling. In order to prove a prima facie case, the government must show all of the following:
- the person was engaged in the business of betting or wagering
- the person transmitted in interstate or foreign commerce
- bets or wagers
- information assisting in the placement of bets or wagers
- a communication that entitled the recipient to receive money or credit as a result of a wager or bet
- the person knowingly used a wire communication facility to engage in one of the three prohibited forms of transmission
Who Does the Wire Wager Act Apply to?
The Wire Wager Act is typically applied to those engaged in the business of betting and wagering, not the gamblers themselves. Because a key distinction at the federal level seeks to separate those that merely bet from those that benefit from the betting, the application of federal law mostly focuses on those affiliated with the business of facilitating these various games.
Should I Contact a Lawyer for My Internet Gambling Legal Matters?
Violations of internet gambling regulations can have serious civil and criminal consequences. An experienced business lawyer can help you understand how existing gambling laws impact your business. A business lawyer can also represent you in court if you are prosecuted by the government.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 05-04-2011 04:08 PM PDT