Whether or not online gambling is legal varies greatly from state to state. Many countries in the Caribbean have legalized online gambling, while others have not.
Online gambling is legal in several European Union member states, while Canada has passed laws to regulate online gambling. Some provinces in Canada allow online gambling, while other countries in the Caribbean have not. In some nations, such as Nevada, online gambling is illegal.
Online gambling includes sports betting and virtual poker. In some countries, such as Mexico, it is legal to play online poker, but in others it is illegal to play.
The United States has a number of federal criminal statutes enacted to combat illegal Internet gambling. These statutes have been challenged on constitutional grounds. While some have argued that the Commerce Clause allows Congress to regulate gambling, others have argued that the First Amendment guarantees free speech. The Justice Department has moved to enforce these laws in the US.
The US Department of Justice recently announced that the Wire Act applies to all forms of Internet gambling. In addition, the Federal Information Technology Rules may also be used to block illegal activities.
There have been many attempts to pass legislation on online gambling. The Internet Gambling Prohibition Act was introduced as a bill in the US Senate in 1999. The bill was ultimately defeated, though several similar bills have been proposed in the House since 2007. Other bills have been introduced, including a bill by Rep. Barney Frank in April 2007.
The Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act (HR 2046) was introduced in the House in April 2007. It would require the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FCE Network) to license internet gambling facilities.