The Federal Government’s Enforcement of Internet Gambling
Internet gambling is a form of gambling that occurs online. It includes casino games and sports betting. The activities of internet casinos are often illegal, under federal law, because they are in violation of the Wire Act, which prohibits illegal gambling on sporting events, and the Travel Act, which prohibits interstate gambling. Among other laws, these acts prohibit the use of gambling devices for transmitting bets to other players.
In addition, the Commerce Clause, which protects the right of Americans to engage in commercial activity, may not be sufficient to withstand a challenge to the prosecution of illegal Internet gambling. This has led to questions about the legislature’s power to regulate commercial activities. Moreover, the First Amendment guarantees free speech, but does not protect privacy. A case that raises these issues is United States v. K23 Group Financial Services.
In this case, K23 Group Financial Services is a money laundering company that provides services to online poker sites. The UIGEA, or Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, charges them with violating the law by providing financial instruments to online poker players. Although they have not yet been indicted, the government has warned them that they could face prosecution if they continue to engage in illegal Internet gambling.
Until now, the law has been enforced in several ways. State officials have expressed concern that the internet could be used to illegally bring gambling into their jurisdictions. Federal lawmakers have likewise seized funds from companies that provide gambling services. However, there have been few successes in attempts to thwart the criminal prosecution of illegal Internet gambling. Some attacks have been successful, based on the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, while others have failed.
In the United States, illegal Internet gambling is illegal under seven federal criminal statutes. These include the Wire Act, the Illegal Gambling Business Act, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions. While these laws are in place, there are other federal statutes that also can be used in the prosecution of illegal Internet gambling.
In addition, the federal government has prosecuted online poker operators for violations of the 18 U.S.C.. 1955. However, the cases that have been brought against gambling operators have been challenged on constitutional grounds. There are a number of legal arguments that have been made, including those based on the Due Process Clause and the Commerce Clause. Whether or not these arguments have been successful, they have prompted a renewed focus on the issue.
Similarly, the Tenth Circuit and the 6th Circuit have held that gambling activity is a crime in New York. Nicolaou, a California man, gambled on a video poker machine in a liquor store, and his gross revenues reached $2,000. He had five people gamble on the machine at the same time.
However, the law is not clear on what other actions may be considered gambling in New York. Generally, the act of entering a bet, or placing a bet, constitutes gambling in the state.