Despite the recent swell of popularity in online gambling, the legality of gambling on the Internet remains ambiguous. As a result, state officials have expressed concern that the Internet could be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions. In response, lawmakers are working on a law that they hope will keep casual gamblers out of the marketplace.
Online gambling is illegal under seven federal criminal statutes. These include the Wire Act, the Illegal Gambling Business Act, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions. These statutes have been challenged on constitutional grounds.
Under the Wire Act, gambling is prohibited on sporting events. It is also prohibited on contests. However, there are some exceptions. In addition, the Federal Communications Commission has authority over common carriers. This is where the question of legislative power under the Commerce Clause comes into play.
The National Gambling Impact Study Commission has attempted to estimate the size of the online gambling industry. It found that online poker accounted for 18% of the industry’s total revenues in 2005. However, the majority of online gambling revenue came from other games, such as lottery tickets.
As of March 2005, Antigua and Barbuda had about 536 gambling sites. This included casino sites, poker sites, bingo sites, and sports betting sites. Antigua and Barbuda required that 3% of the gambling revenue go to the country’s treasury. In addition, the government had a $50,000 monthly cap on the amount of money that could be spent on gambling.