Those who engage in illegal online gambling are guilty of seven federal criminal statutes. Some of these crimes include money laundering, concealing activities involving illicit activity, and spending more than $10,000 of illegal gambling proceeds at once.
One of the main federal criminal statutes that pertains to illegal internet gambling is the Illegal Gambling Business Act. This legislation defines unlawful internet gambling as using at least part of the Internet to place, receive, or transmit bets. The law also provides that financial transactions with such a company cannot take place.
Other federal criminal statutes that affect online gambling are the Wire Act, which prohibits gambling on sporting events, and the Travel Act, which prohibits promoting or facilitating illegal gambling. In addition to the federal laws, there are state laws that also make it a crime to operate a gambling business. These laws are discussed in the Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Journal.
The Illegal Gambling Business Act provides that an individual must have a gross revenue of more than $2,000 on a single day to be convicted of running an illegal gambling business. Owners of illegal gambling businesses can be imprisoned for up to five years.
Another criminal statute affecting illegal internet gambling is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions. These prohibitions prevent an illegal gambling business from engaging in business activities, including distributing, soliciting, advising, or directing other unlawful gambling businesses.
In addition to the criminal and regulatory aspects of this subject, questions have also been raised about whether the Commerce Clause allows the United States to punish a commercial activity for its violation of federal gambling laws. This question has been addressed in several cases, but has not yet been resolved.