Despite the growing popularity of the Internet as a communications tool, illegal Internet gambling has not yet been eliminated. Seven federal criminal statutes can be used to prosecute illegal Internet gambling, including the Wire Act, the Illegal Gambling Business Act, the Travel Act, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
The Wire Act is a federal law that prohibits illegal gambling on sporting events. The law also prohibits the use of any communication facility to make an illegal Internet bet. The law provides for appropriate data security standards and location verification. It also prohibits the acceptance of financial instruments from illegal Internet bets.
The Illegal Gambling Business Act, also known as the Wire Act, defines an illegal gambling business as one that has five or more persons who engage in the business or direct the business. The law also requires that the business has gross revenue of at least two thousand dollars on any single day. The owner of an illegal gambling business can be fined under this title, imprisoned for up to five years, or both.
The Travel Act prohibits gambling in interstate commerce, but the law does not prohibit gambling in a single state. Moreover, the law prohibits betting on a sporting event if it is not taking place in the state in which the person placing the bet is located. In addition, the law prohibits wagering on an in-state college or university.
The Racketeer Influenced andCorrupt Organizations (RICO) Act prohibits illegal gambling business activities. It also prohibits the laundering of illegal gambling proceeds, and it prohibits gambling businesses from accepting payment for illegal Internet gambling.