Some states have tried to regulate online gambling and some have even gone as far as legalizing it. However, these efforts have often met with rebuffs. New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada are among the states that have passed laws allowing for the sale of gambling products on the internet. Further, the enforcement of these laws has been challenged on constitutional grounds, including the Commerce Clause and the Due Process Clause. Commerce Clause doubts are easily addressed by the commercial nature of the gambling industry, and free speech objections are diluted by the limited First Amendment protection for crimes facilitating speech. Due process arguments are also lost when financial transactions take place within the United States.
Unlawful Internet gambling is illegal under federal law. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 limits banks from transacting with illegal internet gambling sites, but it does not define what types of Internet-based gambling sites are legal. In addition, a previous law, known as the Federal Wire Act, has been widely interpreted to prohibit all forms of internet gambling, but does not prohibit lottery, poker, and casino sites.
The most common forms of online gambling are online casinos. There are both web-based and download-only online casinos. While download-only online casinos require a download, most allow you to play instantly with HTML interfaces. However, a stable Internet connection is required for a seamless gaming experience. Although both types of online casinos have their benefits, the downside of downloading software to play on them is that it can be vulnerable to malware.