Generally, gambling refers to the act of betting something of value on a chance. However, it also includes games of skill, such as poker. There are three basic elements of gambling: a prize, the wager, and consideration.
Legal gambling on the Internet is not illegal in the US, although the federal government may prohibit it. The US Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 in 2018, thereby allowing states to legalize sports betting. In addition, some provinces of Canada have legalized online gambling.
Congress has regulated the extent of gambling in Native American territories. However, states have been unable to enforce these laws due to the dormant Commerce Clause doctrine, which posits that federal authority exists over state law outside of state borders.
In addition, the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) governs the activities of gambling on Indian reservations. The Department of Justice has used its authority under the Commerce Clause to regulate these types of gambling.
The Wire Act of 1961, which was passed before the Internet was developed, prohibits the use of wire communications to place bets across state lines. The Department of Justice changed its interpretation of the Wire Act in 2017, stating that the Wire Act applies to all forms of Internet gambling.
In January 2022, New York became the second state to allow the use of online casinos. However, the law prohibits players under the age of 21 from gambling in casinos. This restriction is likely due to the sale of alcohol.