Online Gambling Regulations


Gambling is the act of placing a wager, usually for a prize, on a random event. It’s considered a risky activity, though it is enjoyable.

In the United States, gambling is prohibited by the Illegal Gambling Business Act. A person is liable for an offense if he or she owns a gambling business and the gross revenues for that business exceed $2,000 in a single day. The law also covers sports betting and the transport of lottery tickets across state lines.

Gambling is primarily regulated by state laws, though Congress has explored online gambling regulations. Some states have taken a more conservative approach to regulating Internet-based gambling than others.

Gambling sites based in individual US states can only operate legally after applying for a license. Most US banks allow online bank transfers, though not all of them support them. However, wire transfers are still widely accepted at regulated gambling sites in the U.S.

Illegal gambling businesses can be prosecuted for five years in prison. Owners of illegal gambling businesses can be charged under this title, as well as under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statutes.

Although the federal government has used its Commerce Clause authority to regulate gambling on Native American reservations, the issue is unclear on whether it can preempt states from taking action on Internet-based gambling. State officials have expressed concerns that the Internet can be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.

Since the mid-1990s, many individuals have played online poker, sports betting and other casino games. The online gambling industry is a lucrative one, with total revenue of 8.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2021.