Using the Internet to place bets or play casino games is illegal in the United States. This is the subject of a number of federal criminal statutes, including the Wire Act and the Illegal Gambling Business Act. The following are some of the most important federal criminal statutes that are implicated by illegal Internet gambling:
– Section 1956 creates the crime of laundering to disguise, conceal, or evade taxes, law enforcement stings, or other illicit activity. This section creates several distinct crimes, such as laundering to disguise a crime or laundering to promote illicit activity. These statutes have raised constitutional questions.
– Section 5362 (10) (A) defines unlawful Internet gambling as the act of placing, receiving, or transmitting bets or wagers over the Internet. This statute also defines unlawful Internet gambling as exclusively taking place within one state. The term “state” is used in the statute to include any territory or possession of the United States. In addition, the term “state” includes the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. This statute is the basis for several federal court cases.
– Section 5366 (a) prohibits the use of financial instruments in connection with illegal Internet gambling. This statute also prohibits the acceptance of financial instruments in connection with illegal Internet gambling. However, this statute does not cover financial transaction providers, such as PayPal. This means that PayPal may face criminal charges if it is accused of accepting financial instruments in connection with illegal Internet gambling.
– Section 1956 also creates the crime of laundering to conceal the identity or origin of the money or other property involved in illegal Internet gambling. In addition, this statute creates the crime of laundering to avoid taxes, law enforcement stings, or to disguise the identity of the person committing the offense. This section of the law is not discussed in the Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Journal. However, the text of the statutes cited in this report are available on the CRS Report RS21984 abridged version.
– Section 1956 also creates laundering for international purposes. This statute is the basis for several legal cases, such as United States v. Nicolaou, a 4th Circuit case. The case involved five people at all times during a thirty-day period. The gross revenues of $2,000 were involved in this case. The case was appealed to the 10th Circuit. In the end, the case was upheld by the Court of Appeals.
– Section 1956 also creates two other crimes, the crime of using a gambling device to launder and the crime of receiving or placing bets or wagers on a sporting event. These two statutes are the basis for several criminal cases. These criminal cases have raised constitutional questions about the extent of the government’s power under the Commerce Clause. These attacks have had little success, however, and the federal government’s ability to enforce gambling laws has been challenged on constitutional grounds.
In addition, many state officials have expressed concerns about the possibility of illegal gambling coming into their jurisdictions via the Internet. This has led the federal government to reinforce state law in many cases.