Regardless of the legality of state gambling laws, illegal Internet gambling is a crime under seven federal criminal statutes. These statutes include the Illegal Gambling Business Act, the Wire Act, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions. These laws also regulate remote gaming, which is gaming that takes place outside of a traditional gambling establishment. These statutes are enforced in cases where they are applicable, but federal law is also used to reinforce state law.
The Illegal Gambling Business Act provides penalties for gambling operators who are not licensed. It makes it illegal for them to operate a gambling business and accept payment from customers. These penalties range from a fine to imprisonment for up to five years. In addition, the Attorney General prohibits accepting financial instruments from those who make illegal Internet bets.
The Travel Act is another law that prohibits the promotion, facilitation, and conduct of unlawful gambling. The statute can be applied to Internet gambling because it has an effect on interstate commerce. It also prohibits money laundering and facilitating gambling. The definition of “state” includes any territory or possession of the United States. It can also be applied to Internet gambling if it has an effect on the distribution of gambling proceeds.
The UIGEA also includes several other federal criminal statutes that are applicable to Internet gambling. These include the Racketeer Influenced or Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provision, which prohibits a person from engaging in any activity that facilitates or promotes the commission of unlawful gambling. It also prohibits spending more than $10,000 of a person’s illegal gambling proceeds in one day. In addition, Section 1956 creates several distinct crimes, including laundering for concealing, evading taxes, and laundering to disguise. This statute is particularly important for prosecutors, who can use it to target the perpetrators of crime.
The First Amendment, however, has been used to challenge the enforcement of these federal gambling laws. In the United States v. Nicolaou case, a Costa Rican casino operation was held liable for money laundering and other violations of the UIGEA. The operation had gross revenues of $2,000 per day and operated for thirty days. In the event that the prosecution brought charges, the defendants had five or more people involved in the operation.
There are several different attacks on the Commerce Clause that have been used in order to support the illegal Internet gambling charges. These attacks have found little success. Some of the attacks have focused on the free speech guarantee of the First Amendment. Other attacks have focused on the lack of due process protection when it comes to financial transactions that take place within the United States. The Commerce Clause, however, appears to protect the commercial nature of the Internet gambling industry.
Aside from these constitutional arguments, the issue of the ability of the Federal Government to prosecute illegal Internet gambling has also raised questions about the ability of the Commerce Clause to govern state legislatures. The fact that the commercial nature of gambling businesses has been considered a strong defense to the Commerce Clause has led to debates over the ability of the United States to use the First Amendment to criminalize illegal Internet gambling.