Online Gambling and the Federal Government’s Enforcement Policy

Online Gambling

Using the Internet for illegal gambling is a violation of seven federal criminal statutes. These laws include the Wire Act, the Illegal Gambling Business Act, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions.

The Wire Act prohibits gambling on sports events and contests. It also bars individuals from receiving financial instruments in connection with an Internet bet. The Lopez Amendment is an additional element designed to weed out low-level gambling cases.

Section 1956 prohibits the laundering of proceeds from unlawful gambling. It also prohibits promoting and facilitating such activities. This law includes a variety of crimes, including money laundering, for disguise, international purposes, and for law enforcement stings.

Section 1957 prohibits the spending of more than $10,000 in illegal gambling proceeds in a single day. It also prohibits the transferring of funds to cover an illegal gambling debt.

There have been several legal challenges to the authority of the federal government to enforce these laws. Most attacks have failed, based on the Commerce Clause or the First Amendment guarantee of free speech. However, there is an issue with whether state and federal law reinforce each other in the prosecution of illegal gambling.

It is important to keep in mind that state officials have expressed concern that the Internet will allow illegal gambling into their jurisdictions. In response, federal law has reinforced the state’s enforcement policy.

It is also important to understand that there are numerous state laws that prohibit the use of interstate facilities for unlawful activity. These laws include those related to sports betting, casinos, bookmaking, and pool-selling.