Several federal criminal statutes are implicated in the crime of illegal gambling on the Internet. These include the Wire Act, the Interstate Gambling Act, the Illegal Gambling Business Act, and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions. In addition, federal law reinforces state law in cases.
The Internet Gambling: An Overview of Issues is a December 2002 article published by the Marquette Sports Law Journal. In the article, the author examines the legal issues involved in regulating remote gaming.
A number of recent cases have raised questions about whether the federal government can enforce its gambling laws. Among these cases are United States v. Grey, United States v. Heacock, and United States v. Nicolaou.
Although the federal government can enforce its gambling laws, it has been challenged on several constitutional grounds. A few of these arguments have been successful, including the due process clause and the First Amendment. However, questions have been raised about whether the Commerce Clause gives the federal government the power to regulate gambling.
For example, the question of whether the federal government can prohibit a state from prosecuting illegal Internet gambling is a moot point. States have expressed concerns that the Internet may be used to illegally bring gambling into their jurisdictions. However, these concerns are not always demanding. The commercial nature of the gambling business may satisfy these doubts.
While the law is complicated, there are a number of statutes that are applicable to the Internet gambling industry. The most obvious is the Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA). The IGBA prohibits the owner of an illegal gambling business from receiving financial instruments from an illegal Internet bet. It also prohibits the owner from facilitating an illegal Internet bet. In addition, it provides for a fine of up to $5,000, and the owner can be imprisoned for up to five years.