Several federal criminal statutes are implicated by illegal gambling on the Internet. These include the Travel Act, the Wire Act, and the Illegal Gambling Business Act. These laws regulate unlawful Internet gambling and prohibit accepting and processing financial instruments in connection with such activities.
The Travel Act, for example, is a law that prohibits the promotion of unlawful gambling, as well as facilitating unlawful gambling. It also prohibits money laundering and the distribution of gambling proceeds. The Wire Act, on the other hand, is a law that prohibits gambling on sporting events.
The Illegal Gambling Business Act, on the other hand, is aimed at prohibiting the establishment of a gambling business that conducts illegal Internet gambling. The owners of such a business can be fined or imprisoned for up to five years. The owners of such a business must also have substantial continuous operation for at least thirty days.
The other big question is whether or not the laws of state and federal jurisdictions can be used to thwart illegal gambling activity on the Internet. A number of state officials have expressed concern that Internet-based gambling could bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions. In the case of the State of New York, for instance, an act of entering a bet on the Internet constitutes gambling activity.
Other federal laws are the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and the Gambling Devices Transportation Act (also known as the Johnson Act). These two statutes are intended to regulate remote gaming and the transportation of gambling devices, respectively. These laws can be challenging to implement and enforce due to their interstate and foreign elements.