Despite the popularity of online gambling, the legality of the activity remains in limbo. Many questions have been raised about the ability of the Commerce Clause to authorize federal law enforcement of gambling activities. In some cases, state officials have expressed concern that online gambling could bring illegal gambling into their jurisdiction.
Attempts to estimate the size of the online gambling industry have been made. Some attempts have been unsuccessful. These include the efforts of Bear Stearns & Co., Christiansen Capital Advisors, and the U.S. Department of Justice.
In the United States, gambling involves several different types of activities. These include sports betting, casinos, virtual poker, lottery tickets, and pool-selling. Other activities include bookmaking, maintaining a roulette wheel or dice table, and conducting a bolita game.
Several states have enacted laws prohibiting certain forms of gambling. These laws have been challenged on constitutional grounds. However, they have had little success. This is because the commercial nature of gambling businesses appears to satisfy the Commerce Clause’s doubts.
In 2000, there were more than six hundred to seven hundred Internet gambling sites operating in the United States. The revenues of these Internet gambling sites ranged from a few million dollars to a few billion dollars. Most of these Internet gambling sites are located in the Caribbean. Other popular locations include Central and South America, the British Isles, and Canadian Native American reservations.
In the United States, gambling is considered a crime under Section 1956 of the United States Code. This statute creates several different crimes. These crimes are laundering with intent to promote or conceal an illicit activity, laundering for international purposes, laundering to disguise a crime, and laundering to evade taxes.