Federal Laws and Online Gambling
In the United States, there are seven federal criminal statutes that can be used to prosecute illegal gambling online. These laws include the Wire Act, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, and the Illegal Gambling Business Act.
The Wire Act is a federal law that prohibits illegal gambling on contests and sporting events. It also makes it illegal to send or receive bets over the internet.
In 1999, the Senate introduced the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act (IGPA) as a bill. This bill was ultimately defeated. However, several similar bills have been introduced in the House.
While PASPA has been ruled unconstitutional, there are a few other notable federal laws that are cited in cases of illegal Internet gambling. Among these are the Travel Act, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
The Travel Act, in particular, covers players who use interstate facilities to engage in unlawful gambling activities. In addition, the UIGEA can be used to fine owners of illegal gambling businesses.
Although the UIGEA and the GGOA have received attention, the real story is in the legal cases involving illegal Internet gambling. A major criminal case, United States v. Scheinberg, outlines a number of ways the Justice Department is targeting illegal Internet gambling.
The law requires an illegal gambling business to be operating for at least thirty days. It also requires a gross revenue of at least two thousand dollars in a single day. If the business has no proof of operation, or fails to show gross revenue for more than thirty days, the owner can be imprisoned for up to five years.