The simple answer is: sports betting has always been illegal, but the situation with other parts of online gambling – such as casino gaming and poker – is still unclear.
The relevant legislation is the 1961 Interstate Wire Act. It is clear that sports betting via phone lines, which includes the internet, is illegal. Only one person – Jay Cohen, former president of World Sports Exchange – has been convicted for running an online gambling company and it’s notable that the company concerned was an online bookmaker. Sportingbet, similarly, is primarily a bookie but it does offer casino and poker gaming. It is harder to make the case that these products are illegal under the Wire Act. The US Department of Justice has stated that it regards online gambling as illegal.
The important thing to note is that the law has not changed: the Wire Act still applies. A Bill to ban explicitly all online gambling is being discussed in Congress but may not become law. All that is happening is that different states are applying the Wire Act in different ways.
To read full the full article TimesOnline.