Several federal criminal statutes are implicated in the illegal gambling on the internet. These statutes include the Wire Act, the Illegal Gambling Business Act, and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions.
The Wire Act prohibits unlawful gambling on sports events. Its scope is broad and includes activities in any “state” – a term that includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and all other states and territories.
The Illegal Gambling Business Act also prohibits gambling businesses that are illegal. Owners of these businesses can be incarcerated for up to five years. Moreover, these businesses can be fined. In addition, these owners must have a continuous operation for at least thirty days.
Section 1956 of the Criminal Code creates several distinct crimes related to illegal Internet gambling. The crimes include laundering for international purposes, laundering for law enforcement stings, laundering with intent to promote illicit activity, and laundering to disguise. The statute also allows for certain exemptions from these crimes. The exemptions include: the furnishing of facilities, age verification, location verification, appropriate data security standards, and financial transaction providers.
The Illegal Gambling Business Act and Racketeer Influenced/Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions are in place to prevent illegal gambling business activities. The owners of these businesses must have a gross revenue of at least two thousand dollars in any day. This act also makes it illegal to accept any financial instrument from someone who engages in illegal Internet bets.