During the past several years, the federal government has been involved in several high profile cases involving online gambling. These cases have prompted many state officials to question whether or not the internet can bring illegal gambling activities into their jurisdiction. The federal government has weighed in with its own law, the Illegal Gambling Business Act. The Act makes it illegal to operate an illegal gambling business, which includes a plethora of activities, including but not limited to, conducting lotteries, pool-selling, bookmaking, and selling chances.
In addition to the Illegal Gambling Business Act, the federal government has introduced several other laws and statutes that are a part of the gambling picture. Some of these laws include the Travel Act, the Wire Act, the Gambling Devices Transportation Act, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions. Whether or not these laws can be enforced successfully is another question altogether. Fortunately, most of the major players in the online gambling industry have heeded the call and have pledged to act responsibly. In a bid to bolster consumer confidence in the future of online gambling, several prominent companies have vowed to adopt the utmost industry best practices and take responsibility for any and all violations. These companies include American Banker, MasterCard, PayPal, and Visa.
Although the best way to determine if an Internet gambling operation is legal or illegal is to consult state law, the federal government has stepped up its game to ensure that those who would take the risk are protected. For example, the federal government warned PayPal that it could be in for a fine if it violated the law. Likewise, the Federal Communications Commission has a lot of power when it comes to Internet service providers. If the FCC finds that an Internet gambling operation is in violation of federal law, it has the power to shut down the facility. The Federal Communications Commission may also suspend or discontinue the leasing and maintenance of the facility.
The FCC also has the power to require Internet service providers to implement measures that are designed to secure data and protect the privacy of consumers. The FCC’s jurisdiction includes telecommunications providers and common carriers. Moreover, the FCC may also decide to levy fines on Internet providers if it finds that they are in violation of the law. This has led to a spate of prosecutions against Internet gambling operations, and a number of Internet providers have already been sued in court. In addition to penalties, Internet providers can also be forced to forfeit all revenue from illegal Internet bets.
There have been several other notable laws that have been enacted to combat the spread of illegal Internet gambling. These include the National Lottery Act, the Gambling Devices Transportation Act, the Wire Act, the Travel Act, and the Illegal Gambling Business Act. There are several more laws and statutes that will be introduced in the near future. However, the federal government is still in the weeds when it comes to defining what constitutes illegal Internet gambling.