Federal Law Enforcement and Online Gambling

online gambling

The federal government has fought the enforcement of gambling laws on several fronts. Attacks on the Commerce Clause, the First Amendment guarantee of free speech, and the Due Process Clause have not had much success. Commerce Clause arguments are satisfied by the commercial nature of the gambling business, while free speech objections are undermined by limited First Amendment protection for crimes facilitating speech. Due process arguments are also weakened by the fact that the gambling business is conducted within the United States.

Unlawful internet gambling is prohibited by 31 U.S.C. 5362(10). This section specifically prohibits the placing, receiving, or transmitting of bets on the internet. This law also covers remote gaming. Nevertheless, states are free to enforce their own laws, as long as they comply with federal laws.