Using the Internet to conduct an illegal gambling operation is a federal crime. The Act makes it illegal to transmit bets over the Internet, receive such bets, or place wagers. It also makes it illegal to operate an illegal gambling business within the United States. The Act entitles the owner of such a business to a fine.
In the United States, there are several federal criminal statutes that are pertinent to illegal Internet gambling. The most important of these is the Wire Act, which makes it illegal to engage in gambling involving sporting events. The statute also prohibits facilitating unlawful gambling and money laundering. In a related case, federal marshals confiscated $3.2 million from Discovery Communications after they accepted ads from a Costa Rican casino operation.
The Travel Act is also a relevant statute, as is the Illegal Gambling Business Act. The latter prohibits owners and operators of illegal gambling businesses from accepting financial instruments from illegal Internet bettors. Despite the federal government’s best efforts, state officials have expressed concern that the Internet could be used to facilitate the flow of illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.