Online Gambling is a risky and unregulated business. It can be easy to lose large sums of money and have trouble with credit cards. A lack of effective monitoring and enforcement are major concerns.
The United States has taken legal action against online gambling operators. K23 Group Financial Services, a poker operator, is charged with violations of the United States Crime Act. These operators are accused of laundering millions of dollars in illicit wagers.
According to federal law, illegal Internet gambling means that the person uses at least part of the Internet for a wager. This definition covers virtual poker and sports betting, as well as casinos and lottery games.
The problem is that there is no uniform federal standard. Some argue that a common federal standard would make online gaming easier to regulate and legalize. However, this is largely a debate that has seen little progress.
There are also a number of constitutional issues. First Amendment and Commerce Clause questions have been raised. State laws and federal statutes are also in play.
One case involves United States v. Nicolaou, a Fourth Circuit decision. In this case, five persons made illegal bets on one day. After losing, the government sought to seize the funds. They seized more than $3 million.
Another case involved the UIGEA, a law that was passed in 2006. It regulates commercial activity online. While it includes factors to weed out low level gambling cases, it comes with a Congressional analysis of the impact on interstate commerce.