Whether gambling is legal in the United States is a complex topic. Many state laws regulate gambling. The federal government has also regulated the business.
Gambling includes a variety of activities, including: sports betting, casinos, lottery, virtual poker, and bookmaking. It also includes maintaining a roulette wheel or a dice table. Some of these activities are purely chance, while others are managed by a company.
The federal government has a number of criminal statutes that address the business of illegal gambling. The Wire Act, for example, prohibits illegal gambling on sporting events, while the Travel Act prohibits gambling in interstate commerce. Other federal laws include the Illegal Gambling Business Act, which prohibits financial transactions related to illegal gambling.
The Online Gambling Regulation Act (OGRA) has been enacted to regulate the Internet gambling industry. It is commonly abbreviated to OGRA. In addition to regulating commercial activities, the OGRA includes a provision that allows the Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) to terminate the license of an online gambling business. In addition, the GSC can prohibit an online gambling business from accepting payments for illegal Internet gambling.
As of October 2016, the OGRA also prohibits advertising that targets vulnerable persons. This is to discourage gambling and to protect the safety of vulnerable people. The GSC can also fine a gambling business if it is found that they have used misleading or fraudulent advertising.
The United States has also prosecuted illegal Internet gambling on a number of occasions. In one case, the US marshals seized $3.2 million from a company called Discovery Communications, which accepted ads from an operation called Tropical Paradise. The company agreed to pay a fine of $4.2 million. It also agreed to launch a public service campaign against illegal gambling.