Despite its popularity as a gambling medium, online gambling is illegal under federal law. Owners of illegal gambling businesses can be fined for violating the law, and in some cases, imprisoned for up to five years.
The federal government’s ability to enforce gambling laws has been challenged on constitutional grounds, but so far, it has been unsuccessful. A number of state officials have expressed concerns that the Internet could be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions. The question remains, however, whether state officials can successfully protect the public’s right to privacy from home gambling.
A few of the federal laws that affect illegal gambling on the Internet include the Wire Act, Travel Act, and Illegal Gambling Business Act. The Wire Act and Travel Act prohibit illegal gambling on sporting events and interstate commerce, respectively. The Travel Act also prohibits promotion of illegal gambling and facilitating unlawful gambling. Moreover, it bans money laundering.
The Illegal Gambling Business Act makes it illegal to operate a gambling business unless it is legally licensed in the state where the business is operated. In addition, the owner of a gambling business must be able to generate a minimum gross revenue of $2,000. There are also laws that prohibit a gambling business from accepting payment for illegal Internet bets. These laws are contained in Title 18 of the United States Code. The Act also includes the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions, which prohibit the activities of illegal gambling business entities.