How the UIGEA Affects Online Gambling


Gambling is the art of wagering something of value against a chance. Gambling can involve a number of different activities such as pool-selling, lotteries, and maintaining roulette wheels and dice tables. While gambling can be legal, it is a complex business that requires a substantial amount of risk. There are several federal and state laws that apply to gambling. These include the Wire Act, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, the Interstate Sports Wagering Act, and the Travel Act. Each of these laws is designed to prevent individuals from placing bets illegally on sporting events and contests, as well as using the Internet to place those bets.

While most US states have already legalized online horse racing betting, individual states have recently started to legalize a variety of other forms of gambling. Several of these have been the topic of legal debates. A recent example involves a proposal by the capital of Concord, New Hampshire, to build a 45,000 square foot casino with a public space for entertainment. The proposed casino would feature a dining area and a gaming floor with slots, poker, and other games.

One of the most significant UIGEA provisions is the use of financial instruments by operators of unlicensed gambling websites. Specifically, the law prohibits financial institutions from processing transactions to illegal websites. As a result, PayPal was warned that it could face prosecution. Additionally, the law requires a business to operate for at least two days a week and to have gross revenue of $2,000 or more in any single day.

Another notable UIGEA provision is the requirement that gambling businesses have a centralized control mechanism to regulate the conduct of the operation. This means that the owners or managers of an illegal gambling establishment may be imprisoned for up to five years. Alternatively, they can be fined up to $10,000. However, if their gambling activities are conducted in a remote location, it is unlikely that this is the best way to go.

Although the UIGEA was enacted to combat illegal Internet gambling, it is not entirely clear how it will affect the legal landscape. The federal government has expressed a desire to bring about a legal solution to the problem, but states have a variety of options. They can either rely on the state level law to weed out the low-hanging fruit, or they can simply ignore the law altogether.

Besides the UIGEA, there are many other federal statutes that are pertinent to gambling. Among these are the Illegal Gambling Business Act, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the Travel Act, and the Interstate Wire Act. Many of these statutes are specific to particular types of Internet gambling, but some are applicable to other forms of illegal gambling as well.

The most impressive and obvious gambling activity is playing a poker game. According to the Federal Communications Commission, playing a game of poker on the Internet is legal in West Virginia, but the state does not require anyone to be a legal resident of the state to play.