Online gambling is playing games of chance or skill for money using a computer or mobile device. It includes virtual poker, sports betting, casinos, and lottery games. Most European countries regulate the activity in some way. Some provinces in Canada have also legalized online gambling. In some countries, such as Japan, it is illegal to gamble.
A federal law, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), is being enforced in the United States. This act is meant to prevent financial transactions conducted on the internet that may constitute unlawful gambling. However, it is not clear whether the law has any legal basis.
The Commerce Clause has been invoked to challenge federal criminal laws for illegal gambling. However, these attacks have not proven successful. While the First Amendment guarantees free speech, it has been questioned as to whether it protects speech that aids or facilitates a crime.
For example, in the United States, it is illegal to play a game of chance, such as a blackjack game or a poker tournament, without first receiving a permit. Another form of illegal gambling is placing bets on the Internet.
Several states have attempted to pass laws regulating the use of the internet for gambling. Liechtenstein International Lottery was the first online gambling venue for the general public.
Lawmakers have also introduced bills that would limit activities such as betting on horse races to state lotteries. These bills are known as the Goodlatte and Kyl bills.