Online gaming is a huge business, with over 85 countries legalizing it and the industry expected to be worth $145.6 billion by 2030. However, as with any other business involving money changing hands, it comes with its own set of risks. For online casinos and gambling sites, fraud is a major problem that causes more than just lost revenue. It can damage a brand, and it can also lead to loss of customer satisfaction. This is why it is so important for gaming companies to have robust fraud prevention solutions in place.
In the early days of online gambling, a number of fraudulent schemes were perpetrated by players and employees. Some were just trying to cheat the system, while others were out to steal from the casino. This is especially true in multiplayer games such as poker, where bad actors often try to manipulate the game. These scams can include gnoming, where one account creates multiple accounts and loses deliberately in head-to-head games, or chip dumping, where a player dumps all of their chips into the pot, leaving other players with nothing.
Other types of fraudulent activity can involve smurfing, whereby an individual creates multiple false identities to participate in the same poker game or casino game. This is done to reduce risk, increase winnings, or avoid losing big. It can also be used to evade taxes and to avoid having to report winnings. The FBI has seen a significant increase in its cases involving these activities.
Another problem with online gambling is the fact that it is often illegal in some jurisdictions. In the US, federal law prohibits gambling on the Internet unless it is done through a state-licensed website. The exception is for horse racing, which can be wagered online, as well as certain lotteries. The lackadaisical attitude of some politicians in some states toward iGaming is bewildering, as these platforms can bring in enormous tax revenues.
Attempts to prosecute operators of online gambling websites have been met with constitutional challenges. These have included doubts about Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause, restrictions imposed by the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, and due process concerns that the federal government is regulating activities that are at least partially occurring overseas.