Federal Statutes Involved in Online Gambling
Currently, there are seven federal criminal statutes implicated in the illegal Internet gambling market. While these statutes vary, they all address the same basic legal issue: establishing the legality of Internet gambling.
The first of these statutes, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, was enacted in October of 2010. It enacts a series of provisions that prohibit certain kinds of internet gambling business activities. The statute also prohibits accepting payments for illegal Internet gambling.
The second statute, the Wire Act, prohibits illegal gambling on sporting events. In addition to the Wire Act, the federal government has also used the Travel Act to prohibit illegal gambling on interstate commerce. In the case of Illinois, residents can wager on many sporting events, but not on in-state colleges.
The third statute, the Gambling Devices Transportation Act, or the Johnson Act, imposes a fine on owners of gambling establishments for transporting gambling devices. The statute, which imposes a fine of up to $20,000 for each violation, applies to both gambling establishments and common carriers.
While there are many federal statutes implicated by illegal Internet gambling, there are a few that are particularly noteworthy. The law also reinforces state law in some cases. For example, Kansas’s governor, Laura Kelly, signed a law in May that made online sports betting legal in the state. In addition, three major poker sites have begun operations in Michigan.
The law requiring the state of Illinois to register its sportsbooks is set to expire in 2022. In the meantime, the state is considering legalizing online casinos.