Illegal Internet Gambling
In the last five years, online gambling has been growing rapidly. Online casinos have become popular, offering live casino games and sports betting. They also offer higher odds and paybacks.
Illegal Internet gambling is a violation of seven federal criminal statutes, including the Wire Act, which is designed to prohibit illegal gambling on sporting events. Specifically, this title defines unlawful Internet gambling as receiving bets on the internet or transmitting bets on the internet.
The law also prohibits accepting financial instruments from a person engaged in illegal Internet bets. These statutes are reinforced by state laws. Some states have expressed concern that the internet can be used to facilitate illegal gambling in their jurisdictions.
However, this isn’t always the case. For instance, PayPal warned that it could face prosecution for accepting financial instruments from a person engaged in illicit Internet gambling.
Another case involving illegal Internet gambling is United States v. K23 Group Financial Services. This 4th Circuit case involves the UIGEA, or Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which is designed to prevent Internet gambling businesses from operating. It also charges the operators with violating 18 U.S.C. 1955.
Other federal criminal statutes implicated by unlawful Internet gambling include the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions and the Wire Act. Both these titles are designed to prevent gambling business operations that engage in racketeering, money laundering, and other unlawful activities.
Additionally, Section 1956 of the Federal Penal Code, or the Laundering with Intent to Promote Illicit Activity in International Commerce, creates multiple separate crimes. For example, it is illegal to launder money for purposes of evading taxes or concealing the identity of an alleged criminal.