Unlike conventional casinos, online gambling sites feature software that allows users to place wagers, enter contests, and play games. These sites are compatible with computers, laptops, and smartphones. The software is designed to be easy to use, and most offer a variety of games, including “instant” games and games that require downloading. Most sites also have a variety of deposit methods. For example, many sites allow users to deposit money with a credit card. Other deposit methods include bank transfers and PayPal.
Other online gambling sites allow users to place bets on sporting events, as well as casinos and poker. Most sites have a selection of sports covered and will provide users with an overview of upcoming events. Aside from sports, some sites offer a variety of other forms of gambling, including horse racing, pool-selling, and lotteries.
One of the biggest issues involving online gambling has been how to define and enforce the law. Although the law has been largely left to the states, state officials have expressed concern that the Internet can bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions. Various laws have been enacted to protect the public from illegal Internet gambling activities. Among these laws are the Wire Act, the Illegal Gambling Business Act, the Travel Act, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions. Although these laws have not yet been declared void, the law has been questioned on constitutional grounds.
Aside from legal and regulatory questions, online gambling sites also have been targeted for the First Amendment. The Commerce Clause has been questioned as to whether a law regulating gambling is a valid exercise of legislative power. While some have argued that such a law would undermine the free speech arguments in favor of a law prohibiting the slinging of poker chips, others have argued that the law is unnecessary, especially since the commercial nature of the gambling business does not seem to present a serious challenge to the due process arguments.
One of the major reasons why the Internet has been targeted for online gambling is the fact that the Internet is inherently a global medium, and therefore is subject to the same laws as traditional gambling venues. As such, a variety of laws apply to online gambling sites, including the Wire Act, the Illegal Gambling and Business Act, the Travel Act, and the racketeer influenced and corrupt organization (RICO) provisions. The law has also been criticized on constitutional grounds, especially when the laws apply to interstate or foreign transactions.
One of the more interesting and obfuscated laws governing Internet gambling is the so-called “Grandfather’s Law.” This law was created in 1888 and provides that if a gambling site has a connection to a gambling facility in another state, the site will be subject to the laws of that state. The law cites the “state” as meaning any territory or possession of the United States, and the “state” may include the District of Columbia. However, the law does not allow the Federal Communications Commission to impose penalties on Internet gambling sites unless it is determined that the site has violated federal law.