Online gambling, which involves the placing of bets on games of chance through the Internet, is growing in popularity. In fact, revenues from online gambling reached $21 billion in 2008. The growth has been fueled by the rise in technological advances.
Online casinos, sports betting, and slot machines are just a few of the options available. There are also many bonuses and promotions for gamblers. But, before you start playing, you should know your rights.
It’s important to be familiar with gambling laws in your state. Some states prohibit gambling in certain situations, like student athletes. Others do not have laws against it, but you still need to check.
Similarly, the federal law prohibits accepting financial instruments for illegal Internet bets. The federal prosecutors warned PayPal that it could face prosecution.
Another issue is the First Amendment’s right to free speech. Although the Commerce Clause does not impose any restrictions on the free speech of individuals, the Constitution does allow the federal government to enact laws that restrict speech. That’s why, in cases that involve online gambling, the Commerce Clause has been used to challenge the law.
However, attacks based on the Commerce Clause have not had any success. For example, in October 2002, the U.S. marshals seized $3.2 million from a California company, Discovery Communications, for advertising on Tropical Paradise, a Costa Rican gambling operation.
Other concerns are cyber security issues. Often, the sites that offer gambling are unregulated, which means that your personal information may be vulnerable to hackers.