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Regulating Online Gaming Sites

Gambling Law: An Overview

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Gambling, though widespread in the United States, is subject to legislation at both the state and federal level that bans it from certain areas, limits the means and types of gambling, and otherwise regulates the activity.

Online Games Sites

Congress has used its power under the Commerce Clause to regulate interstate gambling, international gambling, and relations between the United States and Native American territories. For example, it has passed laws prohibiting the unauthorized transportation of lottery tickets between states, outlawing sports betting with certain exceptions, and regulating the extent to which gambling may exist on Native American land.

Each state determines what kind of gambling it allows within its borders, where the gambling can be located, and who may gamble. Each state has enacted different laws pertaining to these topics. The states also have differing legal gambling ages, with some states requiring the same minimum age for all types of gambling, while for others, it depends on the activity. For example, in New Jersey, an 18-year-old can buy a lottery ticket or bet on a horse race, but cannot enter a casino until age 21. Presumably, the age 21 restriction is due to the sale of alcohol in that location.

Finally, online gaming calls for regulation with just the right sense of balance. You have reached your weekly free article limit. To get full access, please subscribe.

A standard strategy for avoiding laws that prohibit, constrain, or aggressively tax gambling is to locate the activity just outside the jurisdiction that enforces them, in a more 'gambling friendly' legal environment. Gambling establishments often exist near state borders and on ships that cruise outside territorial waters. Gambling activity has also exploded in recent years in Native American territory. Internet-based gambling takes this strategy and extends it to a new level of penetration, for it threatens to bring gambling directly into homes and businesses in localities where a physical gambling establishment could not conduct the same activity.

Internet Gambling

Federal Regulation

In the 1990s, when the World Wide Web was growing rapidly in popularity, online gambling appeared to represent an end-run around government control and prohibition. A site operator needed only to establish the business in a friendly offshore jurisdiction such as the Bahamas and begin taking bets. Anyone with access to a web browser could find the site and place wagers by credit card. Confronted with this blatant challenge to American policies, the Department of Justice and Congress explored the applicability of current law and the desirability of new regulation for online gambling.

In exploring whether an offshore Internet gambling business taking bets from Americans violated federal law, attention was focused on the Wire Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1084 (2000). The operator of a wagering business is at risk of being fined and imprisoned under the Wire Act if the operator knowingly uses a 'wire communication facility' to transmit information related to wagering on 'any sporting event or contest.' 18 U.S.C. § 1084(a). An exception exists if that act is legal in both the source and destination locations of the transmission. § 1084(b). The Wire Act’s definition of “wire communication facility” appears to embrace the nation's entire telecommunications infrastructure, and therefore probably applies to online gambling. See § 1081.

The Department of Justice maintains that, under the Wire Act, all Internet gambling by bettors in the United States is illegal. U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Hearing on Establishing Consistent Enforcement Policies in the Context of Online Wagers, 110th Cong., Nov. 14, 2007 (testimony of Catherine Hanaway, U.S. Attorney (E.D. Mo.), Dept. of Justice). The Fifth Circuit disagreed, ruling that the Wire Act applies only to sports betting, not other types of gambling. In re MasterCard Int’l Inc., 313 F.3d 257 (5th Cir. 2002).

In 2006, Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which made it illegal for wagering businesses to knowingly accept payment in connection with unlawful Internet gambling (though it does not itself make Internet gambling illegal). 109 Pub. L. 109-347, Title VIII (Oct. 13, 2006) (codified at 31 U.S.C. §§ 5301, 5361–67). It also authorizes the Federal Reserve System to create regulations that prohibit financial transaction providers (banks, credit card companies, etc.) from accepting those payments. See 31 U.S.C. § 5363(4). This Act, along with threats of prosecution under the Wire Act from the Department of Justice, has caused several Internet gambling businesses to withdraw from the U.S. market.

In response, House Representatives introduced multiple bills in 2007 to soften federal Internet gambling law. If passed, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act and the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act would license, regulate, and tax Internet gambling businesses rather than prohibit them from taking bets from the United States. Alternatively, the Skill Game Protection Act would clarify the Wire Act to exempt certain games such as poker and chess.

State Regulation

In addition to federal measures, some states have enacted legislation to prohibit some types of Internet gambling. In 2006, Washington State amended its Code to make knowingly transmitting or receiving gambling information over the Internet a felony. See Wash. Rev. Code § 9.46.240 (2006). Other states with similar prohibitions have made it a misdemeanor instead. See e.g., 720 ILCS 5/28-1 (2007).

States have not been particularly active in enforcing these laws, possibly due to a conflict with the dormant Commerce Clause doctrine. That doctrine theorizes that state law applying to commerce outside the state’s borders is unconstitutional because that power lies with federal, not state, government. In particular, federal preemption has obstructed states’ attempts to regulate gambling activity on Indian reservations within state borders. See Missouri ex rel. Nixon v. Coeur D’Alene Tribe, 164 F.3d 1102 (8th Cir. 1999). The federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 25 U.S.C. § 29 (2000), governs gambling activity on Indian reservations, but the extent to which it and other federal gambling laws preempt state action in the Internet arena is uncertain.

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Federal Material

U.S. Constitution and Federal Statutes

  • U.S. Code: Title 15, Chapter 24: Transportation of Gambling Devices
  • U.S. Code: Title 15, Chapter 57, Interstate Horseracing
  • U.S. Code: Title 18, Chapter 50: Gambling
  • U.S. Code: Title 18, Chapter 61: Lotteries
  • 18 U.S.C. §1953 (Interstate Transportation of Wagering Paraphernalia Act)
  • 18 U.S.C. §1955 (Illegal Gambling Business Act of 1970)
  • 25 U.S.C. §§2701-2721 (Indian Gaming Regulatory Act)
  • U.S. Code: Title 28, Chapter 178: Professional and Amateur Sports Protection
  • Code of Federal Regulations: Title 25, Chapter 3: National Indian Gaming Commission, Department of the Interior
  • Proposed Internet Gambling Prohibition Act of 1997 (not passed)

Federal Judicial Decisions

  • Greater New Orleans Broadcasting Association, Inc. v. United States, 527 U.S. 173 (1999)
  • Ratzlaf v. United States, 510 U.S. 135 (1994)
  • Chickasaw Nation v. United States, 534 U.S. 84 (1999)

Regulating Online Gaming Sites For Teens

State Material

Other References

  • '14 Charged in Internet Betting' (Washington Post, March 5, 1998)

Regulating Online Gaming Sites For Money

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There are countless websites, offering unlimited gaming opportunities for players. According to statistics, there are more than 1 million gaming sites worldwide, which contribute billions of dollars to the gaming industry every year. Of these sites, some operate illegally, without a license or any form of regulation from the appropriate authorities. In fact, statistics indicate that the majority of websites offering games to play online are not licensed or regulated by anybody.

Experts warn players against participating at such websites. It is a good idea to ensure that your website is licensed and regulated before you beginning gaming at that site.

Regulating Online Gaming Sites For Real

Online Licensed and Regulated Gaming Sites–what Does it Mean?

Gaming sites primarily offer games to players who want to play video games online. These websites usually have a wide selection of games from which players can select and play remotely on their mobile devices. Some of the games are single-player whereas others are multi-player, where 2 or more players can compete against each other. Some websites offer players a chance to win money and other rewards if they play and win a game.

Usually, before players can play games with cash or other rewards, most websites require them to set up their accounts and make specific deposit amounts. The amount you will need to deposit in order to play a particular game depends on the particular gaming site you choose. But everything that involves money also involves a lot of risks.

Pick 4 archive va lottery. Some gaming sites are scams. If you deposit your hard-earned cash on a scam site, purporting to offer games with cash rewards, trust me, you are going to play at that site and win, but you are not going to receive the cash that you have earned.

Regulating Online Gaming Sites Free

Here is where the issue of licensing and regulation comes in. Scam gaming sites are not licensed or regulated by any authority. Consequently, they can deceive you and steal your hard-earned cash without minding about any consequences.

On the contrary, a licensed and regulated gaming site will not deceive and con you for fear of getting its license revoked and the site banned by the regulator. That is the primary difference between a licensed, regulated gaming site and an unlicensed, unregulated gaming site.


A licensed and regulated gaming site, offering games with cash rewards means you will receive all the cash rewards that you have earned if you play and win one or several of its games. There is no deception or monkey business at such sites. You simply get what you have earned and what you deserve.

If you want to ensure that you earn from online games, gamble online at licensed, regulated and trusted casinos such as 7Sultans and so on. These online casinos offer a wide selection of easy to play and easy to win games with true cash rewards.

Many players have earned a lot of money from 7Sultans Casino in particular and you too can today. Times are too hard to let your hard, earned cash go to the dogs. Choose a licensed and regulated gaming site like the above today.