Whether online gambling is illegal is a contentious issue that carries federal criminal statutes and state regulatory laws. The federal government has taken actions to enforce these laws, but these actions have also been challenged on constitutional grounds.
The Wire Act prohibits illegal gambling on sporting events. The Act also prohibits the promotion of illegal gambling. This act also imposes fines and imprisonment on owners of illegal gambling businesses.
Section 1956 of the Criminal Code prohibits the laundering of illegal gambling proceeds. It creates several distinct crimes: laundering to conceal, laundering to promote illicit activity, laundering to evade taxes, and laundering to conceal an individual’s ownership of illegal gambling proceeds.
Section 1957 also prohibits spending more than $10,000 of illegal gambling proceeds at one time. The act of entering a bet online, or transmitting information from New York via the Internet, constitutes gambling activity in New York State.
The Federal Communications Commission has jurisdiction over common carriers. It may also discontinue leasing, furnishing, or maintaining facilities. It has also prohibited the use of financial instruments for illegal Internet bets.
The Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA) prohibits a person from engaging in a gambling business. The business must be supervised and controlled by five or more persons. They must also have a gross revenue of at least two thousand dollars in a single day. They may be fined or imprisoned for up to five years.
The Travel Act is another federal statute that prohibits unlawful gambling on the Internet. The Act has jurisdiction over shipments in interstate commerce, as well as shipments in foreign commerce. Its jurisdiction may be established by reference to an interstate or foreign nexus to the distribution of gambling proceeds.