Using the Internet for gambling, gambling on the Internet, and gambling online are all illegal under federal law. However, in some cases, a gambling operation may be regulated by state laws. The Internet is used for other types of gambling, including sports betting, virtual poker, casinos, and lottery tickets. Using the Internet for gambling may carry a number of risks, including criminal activity, child access, and other risks of misuse.
Some state officials have expressed concern that the Internet may be used to promote gambling in their jurisdictions. In the case of Antigua, for instance, a gambling operator required 3% of its gambling revenues to be paid into a government account. Other states, such as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, also require 3% of its gambling revenues to be donated to charity. In addition, a gambling operator may be barred from conducting business in that state.
The Federal Communications Commission, however, has jurisdiction over common carriers. Its regulations can impose a fine for using the Internet for gambling. The United States Marshals Service has seized millions of dollars from gambling operators.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) prohibits the transfer of funds or other financial instruments to gambling operators. However, many online gambling sites do not pay taxes to their home countries.
The Commerce Clause has raised questions about whether Congress has the power to regulate gambling, which has resulted in attacks on the law on First Amendment grounds. However, these attacks have had little success.