Taking bets or gambling on the Internet is illegal under federal law. The Illegal Gambling Business Act imposes penalties on anyone who owns or operates an illegal gambling business. The Wire Act is also relevant, since it prohibits illegal gambling on sporting events. The UIGEA also bans the use of financial instruments or payment for gambling activities that are illegal.
Several federal criminal statutes are implicated in the illegal gambling arena, including the Wire Act, the Illegal Gambling Business Act, the Wire omemt, and the Travel Act. The Travel Act was designed to prevent money laundering, but also prohibits gambling on interstate commerce and the promotion of unlawful gambling. The Travel Act also prohibits facilitating illegal gambling, which could include the dissemination of information on where to play online.
The Travel omet is a good indicator of how the federal government is regulating online gambling. There are several ways to sway a state’s judicial or regulatory systems against this nefarious activity. The best way to do this is to create a compelling case, such as that the law was broken by a state official. A case like this may also encourage other states to follow suit. State officials have expressed concern that the Internet could be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.
Besides the Wire Act, there are several other federal criminal statutes that are relevant to online gambling. In fact, these statutes are the reason the UIGEA has been in the spotlight.