The legality of online gambling is an ongoing debate in the United States and may vary from state to state. Although the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 limits the ability of banks to transact with illegal internet gambling sites, the legislation does not define what constitutes illegal Internet gambling. Previously, it was assumed that the Federal Wire Act prohibited all forms of online gambling. However, online poker, casino and lottery sites are not covered by the Wire Act.
Online casinos are one of the most popular forms of online gambling. They are operated online and allow gamblers to access casino games from the comfort of their home. In addition to the ease of playing, online casinos offer a variety of payment options. Some sites advertise a higher payout percentage than others, and some websites publish audits of their payout percentages on their websites.
Unlawful Internet gambling violates several federal laws. In the United States, 31 U.S.C. 5362(10) defines illegal Internet gambling as placing, receiving, or transmitting bets over the internet. State laws do not cover the activities of internet gambling businesses, but they do prohibit gambling activities involving sports.
Some states have regulated Internet gambling. In New York, the act of entering a bet or transmitting information from a site in New York is considered gambling activity. The Federal Information Technology Rules address the issue and may block illegal Internet activities. Despite these regulations, states tend to operate independently and are likely to make their own rules on the topic.