Internet gambling refers to gambling conducted via the internet. It includes sports betting, virtual poker, casinos, and other forms of online gambling. There are several federal criminal statutes implicated by the illegal conduct of online gambling. These laws include the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and the Wire Act.
The United States has attempted to enforce its legal statutes against online gamblers, with varying degrees of success. For example, in United States v. K23 Group Financial Services, Internet poker operators were charged with violations of 18 U.S.C. 555. They were also fined.
The United States has also imposed penalties on Internet gambling companies for money laundering. In the case of Sporting News, the company agreed to pay a $4.2 million fine and launch a $3 million public service campaign.
The Travel Act is another law that prohibits illegal gambling on interstate commerce. Players who use facilities interstate for unlawful activity are subject to fines and imprisonment.
A third law that can apply to internet gamblers is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions. This is another law that punishes illegal gambling business owners for up to five years in prison.
The Commerce Clause has also raised concerns about the ability of Congress to regulate activities that occur abroad. However, the commercial nature of the gambling industry seems to satisfy these arguments.
Many states have passed laws to regulate the online gambling industry. New Jersey leads the pack in regulated markets. Online gambling sites in New Jersey have the most payment options available. Several banks support wire transfers. But a slow wire transfer can make it difficult for players to deposit or withdraw funds.