Despite the fact that internet gambling has become a popular pastime, it can still be a dangerous activity. In addition to the risks associated with using the internet to place bets, the financial burdens involved can also be substantial. In some cases, a gambling addiction can lead to financial ruin. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid the dangers of online gambling. Several federal statutes and regulations, however, make it unlawful to engage in this activity.
One of the most recognizable benefits of online gambling is the ability to play games and win real money. However, online casinos are not always completely honest about their games and odds. In some cases, they will use promotions and bonuses to lure players into another transaction. This may include mentioning seals of approval or asking players to contact customer support.
There are seven federal criminal statutes implicated by illegal internet gambling. These include the Wire Act, the Interstate Commerce Act, and the Illegal Gambling Business Act. In addition, Section 1956 of the Criminal Code creates laundering to conceal, disguise, and evade taxes.
The Travel Act is another statute that is applicable to illegal online gambling. It prohibits knowingly engaging in the betting of any kind on an interstate sport, contest, or other activity. While these are all federal criminal statutes, there are also state statutes that are related to the activities of gambling. For example, New York State has a law that makes entering a bet, or transmitting information from New York by way of the Internet, a form of gambling activity.
The RICO statutes are also relevant to illegal internet gambling. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions are designed to prevent gambling businesses from operating in violation of federal laws. In addition, the Lopez Amendment to the federal Gambling Control and Revenue Act was enacted to prevent commercial activity that can be a contributing factor to low-level gambling crimes.
The law also makes it unlawful for a business to accept a financial instrument for an illegal Internet bet. For example, Discovery Communications was seized for a $3.2 million dollar gambling operation that was located in Costa Rica. This was in response to ads that it accepted from a casino operation in that country. In this case, the business was a Costa Rican casino called Tropical Paradise.
In addition to these statutes, the Federal Communications Commission may also exercise its regulatory authority over the use of the internet. This agency has authority over common carriers and can stop leasing or furnishing facilities to internet gambling companies. This has led to some banks refusing to process transactions for gambling sites in certain countries.
Moreover, many state officials have expressed concern about the ability of the internet to transport illegal gambling to their jurisdictions. Some states have even made it unlawful for a company to advertise their services on the internet. In response to this, the U.S. Marshal’s office seized millions of dollars from an online gambling company.