Whether you love to gamble or you think that it’s just not that fun, you’ve probably seen online gambling sites pop up all over the internet. However, you might not be aware of what they are, how they work, and what you should and shouldn’t do when you’re enjoying your favorite game.
Regardless of what the federal government does to regulate internet gambling, the law remains largely in the hands of states. Many states prohibit gambling, while others permit it in brick-and-mortar establishments. Online gambling is legal in only six states. In the District of Columbia, gambling is illegal.
Many federal laws, including the Wire Act, prohibit internet gambling. The Wire Act prohibits a person from transmitting or receiving wagers or payments for internet gambling. The penalties for violating the law are steep. Depending on the nature of the offense, penalties can range from five years in prison to up to 20 years in prison.
Several states have passed laws to regulate internet gambling. However, states have not taken the necessary action to enforce these laws. In the past, attorneys have challenged these laws using a variety of methods, including the Commerce Clause and the First Amendment.
The Commerce Clause is a bit of a dirty word among libertarians. However, it is a bit of a misnomer to say that it is “unconstitutional.” The Clause grants Congress the power to regulate commerce. It also allows the federal government to enact laws to prevent interstate commerce from being harmed, such as a ban on unauthorized transportation of lottery tickets between states.
Several of the First Amendment’s major clauses have been used to challenge the validity of gambling laws. Among those is the Commerce Clause, which grants Congress the authority to regulate commerce. The Free Speech Clause is likewise protected by the same amendment.
Several courts have weighed in on this debate. For example, the United States Supreme Court has never ruled on whether the First Amendment applies to online gambling bans. However, the Court has recently agreed to review a decision by the Ninth Circuit.
Due Process Clause
Whether or not you partake in the online gambling craze, you have to acknowledge the importance of the Due Process Clause. Aside from the obvious benefits of protecting the public against rogue police officers and a myriad of other lawbreakers, the Clause’s best-in-class features include: (a) an official, and presumably unofficial, list of acceptable gamblers; (b) the ability to revoke any gaming license; (c) the power to levy fines and penalties for misdemeanors; (d) the ability to render a valid judgment in personam; and (e) the ability to levy tax on gambling winnings, which are generally exempt from federal taxation.
New York law
Despite its status as one of the most conservative states in the United States when it comes to gambling, New York is on the verge of legalizing online gambling. The state is likely to do so in the next few years.
According to the New York Gaming Commission, four upstate casinos have been approved for sports betting. The new legislation is expected to go into effect in January 2022. It will allow casino operators to use two wagering platforms, and they will also have to pay a $10 million license fee to the state.