In the past, federal laws have often been challenged, but with little success. Many of these attacks have centered on the Commerce Clause, the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, or the Due Process Clause. However, these arguments suffer when financial transactions are involved. The most recent case involves the state of New Jersey.
The federal government continues to be averse to Internet gambling, and is willing to engage in a legal battle if necessary. In one case, the Department of Justice attempted to interpret the Interstate Wire Act to include all forms of gambling. Despite the failure of this attempt, the law remains in place. States, however, have stated concerns about how the internet can facilitate illegal gambling.
Despite its popularity, the Internet still has a long way to go before it is legal in every state. Currently, Nevada, Delaware, and Kansas have laws allowing residents to play at online casinos and sports betting sites. Meanwhile, most states have laws prohibiting online gambling. But some states, such as Florida, have legalized sports wagering.
Maine will become the first state in New England to legalize sports betting in 2022. The legislature passed LD 585 in April and Gov. Janet Mills signed it into law in May. While this is good news for Maine sports fans, Maine operators will have to wait a year or two before they can start offering sports betting in the state.