Almost 10 million Americans participate in online gambling. This includes sports betting, virtual poker, casinos, and lottery. The market is expanding. The gambling industry is growing fast, with estimated revenues of $30 billion. In addition, more states are expected to allow online gambling in the coming years.
The United States has a complex legal framework when it comes to gambling. Gambling laws vary from state to state, and each state has its own laws. However, federal law reinforces state law in cases of illegal Internet gambling. This has led to constitutional arguments against the enforcement of gambling laws.
The First Amendment has been used as a basis for attacks against federal gambling laws. However, these attacks have had little success.
The Commerce Clause is also a consideration. Gambling is a commercial activity, and the commercial nature of the gambling industry has raised doubts about its impact on the Commerce Clause. Although the Commerce Clause provides that state law can supersede federal law, it does not provide for a federal prohibition on Internet gambling.
In addition, state officials have expressed concern that Internet gambling can bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions. This has led to federal prosecutors warning PayPal that it could face prosecution.
The law also prevents acceptance of financial instruments in connection with illegal Internet bets. A recent case by American Banker involved illegal Internet gambling transactions.
A recent survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center found that college-aged males used online gambling sites at least once a month. The number of male students using internet gambling sites increased from 4.4% in 2008 to 16.0% in 2010.
In 2010, high school-aged females used internet gambling sites at a rate of about 28%. This was driven primarily by the increase in sports betting.