The legality of online gambling has been challenged on several fronts. The Commerce Clause, the First Amendment guarantee of free speech, and the Due Process Clause have all been invoked against federal gambling laws. However, these challenges have had little success. Commerce Clause doubts are satisfied by the commercial nature of the gambling industry, while free speech objections are weakened by the limited First Amendment protection of crimes facilitating speech. Due Process arguments have also been weakened by the fact that gambling involves financial transactions within the United States.
While legality may differ from state to state, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 limits banks’ ability to transact with illegal internet-based gambling sites. Many individuals assumed that the Wire Act would prohibit all forms of online gambling, but it does not apply to poker, lottery, or casino websites.
Online casinos are often divided into two categories: download-based and web-based. Some online casinos offer live games through a television channel, while others offer them exclusively through their websites. In a televised game, players place bets on their computers, mobile devices, or television remote controls. The most common live dealer games offered at online casinos are blackjack and baccarat.