Gambling has been a part of American life longer than the Constitution. The first recorded instance of gambling in the English colonies occurred in 1620 with horse races in Virginia. [1] Shortly thereafter came the first instance of government in America addressing the issue of gambling when in 1621 the Plymouth Colony placed restrictions on gambling in that colony. [2] Ever since that time, gambling has been regulated at both the federal and state levels. [3]

With the advent of the Internet, gambling regulations that do not anticipate the use of online gambling are quickly becoming outdated. As individual citizens become increasingly able to bet virtually unrestricted amounts of money via the Internet, state governments that regulate gambling will find it increasingly difficult to maintain their regulatory structures and, at the same time, meaningfully limit such gambling.

This article will specifically address the tension between Internet gambling and state gambling policy (using Colorado law as the primary example of state policy) and will provide a workable solution that could be adapted by the federal government as well as any state that wishes to control Internet gambling. Part I of this comment discusses state gambling policies, mainly through the vehicle of Colorado’s Limited Gaming Act, and compares gambling in Colorado with gambling on the Internet in its current, largely unregulated, form. Part I also demonstrates the tension that is inherent between Internet gambling and regulated gambling under Colorado law. Part II examines multiple proposed solutions that have been put forth by various sources in an effort to ease these tensions. The sources of the solutions include the Internet gambling industry itself, as well as other state governments and the federal government. Finally, Part III of this comment will explore a plan of action that will accommodate the interests of the various parties involved. [4]

 

Scott L. Jones *