Federal Law and Online Gambling

online gambling

Several legal challenges have been mounted against federal law regulating online gambling, including challenges based on the Commerce Clause, the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, and the Due Process Clause. However, these challenges have not proven very successful, in part because of the fact that the gambling business is commercial in nature. Further, the First Amendment’s protection against crimes facilitating speech is limited. In addition, due process arguments suffer when financial transactions are involved.

In addition to citations to federal gambling laws, online gambling may also be illegal. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) prohibits the use of “interstate facilities” to engage in unlawful gambling. According to the law, a player must be residing in the state where the gambling takes place in order to enjoy the benefits of that state’s law.