Online gambling refers to any form of betting whereby one or more people place bets and wagers for money or material goods over the internet. These bets are often placed on sports, games of chance and casinos. There are many forms of online gambling, including blackjack tournaments, online poker, casino games, lotteries and sports betting.
Internet gambling is legal in some states of the United States, while it is illegal in others. This issue has become a subject of debate. In some cases, state officials have expressed concern that the Internet could be used to transport illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.
The Department of Justice has been investigating online gambling regulations. It reportedly investigated online casinos and poker rooms, and warned PayPal that it could face criminal prosecution. However, the Fifth Circuit disagreed with the DOJ’s position that online gambling is illegal.
During the 1990s, there were hundreds of websites offering betting and gaming activities. A Frost & Sullivan report indicated that online gambling revenues had hit $830 million in 1998.
In 2007, Barney Frank introduced HR 2046, a bill that would regulate and restrict online gambling activities. The bill would require a director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to license all forms of Internet gambling. Specifically, it would prevent operators from accepting financial instruments from illegal Internet bets.
Since then, several similar bills have been introduced in the House. Some of these bills have been passed, while others have been rejected.