Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


This note addresses the effectiveness of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in achieving the United States' policy goals on tnternet gambling. This note does not discuss the wisdom of the United States' policy on Internet gambling, or the wisdom of the government's choice to prohibit, instead of regulate, Internet gambling to achieve its policy goals. Rather, this note focuses on whether or not the UIGEA adequately addresses the policy concerns over offshore Internet casinos. First, this note discusses federal laws, treaties, proposed legislation, and policy concerns which address Internet gambling. Second, this note discusses the language of the UIGEA. Third, this note analyzes the UIGEA and shows that, in general, it adequately prohibits even offshore Internet casinos from knowingly accepting bets or wagers from the United States. But, because the UIGEA does not prohibit gamblers from circumscribing the preventive measures put in place, it fails to address the main policy concerns behind prohibiting Internet gambling. Finally, this note proposes that this loophole can be alleviated by state or federal legislation that criminalizes the act of placing a bet over the Internet.