Using the Internet for online gambling is illegal under seven federal criminal statutes. These statutes include the Wire Act, which prohibits betting on sporting events, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which regulates gambling on Indian lands, the Travel Act, which prohibits the facilitation of illegal gambling, and the Illegal Gambling Business Act, which bans illegal Internet gambling.
Illegal Internet gambling includes receiving bets on the Internet, placing bets on the Internet, and transmitting bets on the Internet. The statute also prohibits gambling businesses from accepting payments for illegal Internet gambling. The law also provides for fines and imprisonment for illegal Internet gambling business owners.
Another statute that is relevant to online gambling is the Travel Act, which prohibits the facilitation or promotion of illegal gambling, as well as money laundering. The Act can be used to establish jurisdiction if the gambling is facilitated on an interstate or foreign nexus, if the gambling debts are incurred within the United States, and if the gambling debts are due from persons within the United States. The Act also prohibits the use of common carriers, which includes the Federal Communications Commission, to facilitate gambling.
Section 1956 of the federal code creates several separate crimes that are aimed at money laundering. It prohibits laundering money for an illegal gambling business, laundering money to conceal the illegal gambling activity, laundering money to avoid taxes, laundering money for law enforcement stings, laundering money for international purposes, and laundering money for purposes of disguise.