Third Circuit upholds online gambling ban

Third Circuit upholds online gambling ban

Summary: s the 2006 ban on Internet gambling Constitutional? Online gaming interests have argued that the federal law is impermissibly vague and violates an individual's privacy rights when gambling in the privacy of home. But Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals found the law is constitutional.

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Is the 2006 ban on Internet gambling Constitutional? Online gaming interests have argued that the federal law is impermissibly vague and violates an individual's privacy rights when gambling in the privacy of home. But Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals found the law is constitutional, Law.com reports.

In Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association v. Attorney General of the United States, the panel found the la "clearly provides a person of ordinary intelligence with adequate notice of the conduct that it prohibits."

The industry's argument was that the law's use of "unlawful Internet gambling" was unworkably vague. Consider, George Washington University law professor Stephen A. Saltzburg the situation in which a gambler in a state that prohibits all gambling makes a bet over the Internet with a gambling business in a foreign jurisdiction that permits such activity. How do you regulate that?

Simple, the court said. You look at the location of the gambler and the location of the online casino. If the gambler is in a state where online gambling is illegal, it's "unlawful gambling activity." The underlying state laws control.

It bears repeating that the act itself does not make any gambling activity illegal. Whether the transaction in Interactive's hypothetical constitutes unlawful Internet gambling turns on how the law of the state from which the bettor initiates the bet would treat that bet, i.e., if it is illegal under that state's law, it constitutes 'unlawful Internet gambling' under the act.

More interesting to me was the privacy argument, that the government shouldn't intrude on what does in the privacy of the home. Here, the court took a dim view of a privacy right to gamble. The industry relied on several cases that overturned laws regulating sex - the famous Lawrence v Texas Supreme Court case and a 5th Circuit decision striking down a law regulating the sale of sex toys.

Those cases concerend "the most private human conduct, sexual behavior, and in the most private of places, the home." Unlike sex, gambling is not an inherently private activity. By contrast, the court found that "gambling, even in the home, simply does not involve any individual interests of the same constitutional magnitude" and therefore "is not protected by any right to privacy under the Constitution."

An appeal to the full Third Circuit is possible.

Topics: Browser, Legal, Security

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  • Court made the wrong decision in this case

    If I am remembering correctly, equal things are supposed to have equal protection under the law.... what's so bad between online gambling and regular casino gambling, with the latter coming out as 'better'?

    The real reason that the government wants to ban online gaming is because it is harder to keep track of and they want their 'cut' of the action.
    Lerianis10
  • What kind of moron

    would gamble in a foreign country over the internet? Even Ebay and Craiglist are enough of a gamble these days, but at least you have the potential of recourse.

    Or are these all sports betting? where the risk would only be about the same as buying on Ebay from a foreign country.
    wkulecz
    • I don't gamble myself.....

      .....But offshore gambling outfits are like any other business. Some are even publicly traded. It is a matter of integrity that keeps people comfortable with 'doing business' with these off-shore companies. If, for instance, Full Tilt does not pay out winnings, or gives gamblers a hard time, or had legal problems they can't work with, people will simply cease to visit the site and revenues will drop off. This is not in the best interest of the principals or stock holders.
      djmik
    • Not just sports betting

      It's poker, blackjack, etc.
      rkoman@...
  • RE: Third Circuit upholds online gambling ban

    AS long as Indian Tribes have the bankroll to manipulate laws and legislation, you will see successful bans. Soon the Tribes will decide drinking in a bar isn't legal anywhere else but on a Reservation. Check out which Tribally Funded organizations backed the no smoking bans.

    Who did they put out of business? Small privately owned Casinos.
    shannonchristi_59@...
  • RE: Third Circuit upholds online gambling ban

    So it is now up to each individual state to decide what is "illegal internet gambling".

    As was said in the article, there are only 6 states that have a law making internet gambling illegal. Does this mean that internet gambling is then LEGAL in all of the other 44 states?

    How does this work?
    jeffdwyatt
    • Affects gambling that would not be legal in RL

      As I read it, if the gambling would be illegal in real life in that state then doing it over the Internet would be illegal by this law.

      The interesting case to me if I read it right is, if you can potentially be licensed to run a gaming establishment in say Nevada, could the court (by equal protection) require that state to extend its licensing regime to websites that want to facilitate gaming by gamblers in that state?

      I can picture the logo now, a number 50 with a checkmark over it and the legend, "licensed in 50 states."
      cardiff space man
      • RE: Third Circuit upholds online gambling ban

        I like bingo, I don't think that bingo can actually be put in the same category with gambling.I love when I succeed to get a <a href="http://www.wtgbingo.com/bingo-bonus/">bingo bonus</a>, I don't it has something with the fact that it is greater then just winning.
        Aramel