Online gambling has become a very popular hobby. Although many countries have laws to restrict its operation, others have not. Some European Union members have legalized online gambling.
There are several criminal statutes that can be used to prosecute an illegal Internet gambling operation. These include the Wire Act, the Illegal Gambling Business Act, and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions. However, most people are not aware of these.
The United States’ Wire Act was designed to prevent illegal gambling on sporting events. It was also meant to work with antiracketeering laws. A recent investigation by the American Banker has revealed that some companies are illegally accepting payments from customers who make bets through illegal Internet sites.
Several of these crimes are classified as money laundering. Section 1956 enables the government to enforce these laws. Depending on the offense, penalties may include fines or imprisonment.
In addition to the UIGEA, there are seven federal criminal statutes related to illegal Internet bets. Those statutes include the Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Organizations (RICO) provisions, the Money Laundering Control Act, and the Travel Act.
Another controversial issue is the use of the Commerce Clause to regulate commercial activity. While the commercial nature of the business has been seen as satisfying the Commerce Clause, some opponents have raised concerns about the due process clause.
This was one of the major issues of the United States’ Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. PASPA interfered with state rights to repeal anti-gambling laws.