If you are thinking about gambling, you need to think about the risks involved. Not all forms of gambling are legal, and you should always check your state laws before you sign up for an online game or make a bet.
Gambling involves wagering something of value on a random event. Some states allow certain types of gaming like bingo and raffles, while others ban it entirely. There are also laws governing charitable gambling, including pulling tabs and paddlewheels.
The federal government does not regulate gambling in the United States. However, the state governments do, and they have the power to enact laws. In addition, state officials have raised concerns about the use of the Internet to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.
In 2002, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report on the topic. While the report is not a comprehensive look at gambling laws, it is a good place to start.
As for what is considered to be an “overall” law, the Travel Act makes it illegal to engage in gambling on interstate commerce. Another federal law, the Wire Act, is a little more specific and prohibits illegal gambling on sporting events.
Unlike the Travel Act, however, the Wire Act does not specifically apply to the Internet. It is more of a general warning about the dangers of gambling on the Internet.
While the Travel Act and the Wire Act do not explicitly prohibit Internet gambling, they do raise constitutional issues. These are often referred to as the “RICO” or Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statutes.