Various federal statutes have been cited in various cases to justify the prosecution of illegal Internet gambling. Some of these statutes include the Federal Wire Act, the Gambling Devices Transportation Act (also known as the Johnson Act), the Travel Act, and the Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA). Other statutes that have been implicated in cases involving illegal Internet gambling include the Age of Majority Act, the National Gambling Act, the National Lottery, and the National Parimutuel Act.
The Federal Communications Commission has a lot of power over common carriers. It has the authority to shut down facilities, lease facilities, and to discontinue furnishing facilities. It also has the authority to enforce its laws in cases involving common carriers. However, it is difficult to enforce these laws when the facility is not within the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission.
Besides the federal statutes, state laws have also been implicated in cases involving illegal Internet Gambling. The State of New York has a state law that criminalizes gambling, which includes the act of entering a bet, sending information from New York to another location through the internet, and providing services to customers in New York. In addition, New York State prohibits illegal gambling on contests, sports, and contests. In one case, the Federal Marshalls seized $3.2 million from a company called Discovery Communications that was advertising on Tropical Paradise, a Costa Rican online casino.
Despite the fact that illegal Internet gambling has been implicated in numerous cases, the federal government has not made any significant efforts to enforce the laws in this area. However, state officials have voiced concerns about the possible influx of illegal Internet Gambling into their jurisdictions. This may frustrate state enforcement policies. However, the commercial nature of the gambling business seems to satisfy Commerce Clause objections.
The first general-public online gambling venue was the Liechtenstein International Lottery. This was followed by a series of cases in the 5th, 10th, and 6th Circuits. These cases involved bartenders and managers of establishments with video poker machines. Some of these cases involved the simplest form of Internet gambling, namely sports betting. Others involved more complex forms of gambling, such as horse racing. However, none of these cases has been decided in the Supreme Court.
The CRS Report RS21984 cites a few statutes and other relevant information. It also includes citations to state gambling laws. It also identifies a number of interesting facts and statistics. Some of these facts and statistics are related to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). A summary of the findings in the CRS Report RS21984 is available in an abridged form.
One of the most important things to know about gambling is that it is not protected by the First Amendment. However, a limited First Amendment protection has been granted in cases involving crimes that facilitate speech. This limited protection encumbers free speech objections in a number of cases. Similarly, a limited First Amendment protection has been used in cases involving crimes that facilitate concealment or disguise.