Online Gambling

Whether you’re a proponent of legalized gambling online or you’re not, you might be surprised to learn that there are federal criminal statutes that prohibit illegal Internet gambling. These include the Wire Act, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, and several others.

Under the Wire Act, illegal gambling involves gambling on contests or sporting events. Illegal Internet gambling also means transmitting bets online. Moreover, the law imposes a maximum fine of five years for the owners of illegal gambling businesses.

There are also several attacks against the federal law based on the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. These have been unsuccessful so far. However, the commercial nature of the gambling business seems to satisfy Commerce Clause objections.

Some state officials have expressed concern that the Internet could be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions. This is a concern that the federal government is addressing by reinforcing state law. The Internet Gambling Regulation Act (OGRA) was enacted in 2001 to regulate the Internet gambling industry.

In addition to the OGRA, the Travel Act, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act, and the Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act are all related to the criminal prosecution of illegal gambling. These laws make it illegal for a gambling business to accept payment for illegal Internet bets, and it is illegal to operate a gambling business in the United States.

A federal criminal case was recently filed against a group of Internet poker operators for violations of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. The company, K23 Group Financial Services, is accused of running an illegal gambling operation.