Several bills aimed at regulating online gambling have been introduced in Congress. These include the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act, or HR 2046. These bills would require Internet gambling operators to obtain a license from the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. This would make it illegal to operate an Internet casino, poker site, or sportsbook without a license.
In addition, some countries have banned gambling activities online. The US Department of Justice recently announced that it will apply the Wire Act to all forms of Internet gambling. This will impose fines and jail time for Internet bettors who use the Wire to illegally place bets. The Department of Justice has also warned PayPal that it could face prosecution for facilitating illegal Internet bets. The US Department of Justice’s move, however, has drawn criticism from many who say it is unconstitutional.
Besides federal statutes, there are several state laws that prohibit gambling. In the UK, for instance, it is illegal to gamble without a licence. The law also prohibits gambling by children. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which is based in the Mohawk Territory, issues licenses to many online gambling organizations.
There are several other federal criminal statutes that can be used against those who illegally bet over the Internet. These include the Wire Act, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute, and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). The Wire Act and Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Organizations statutes were drafted in the late 1990s and were meant to protect consumers from fraudulent operators.
Section 1956 of the Wire Act, for example, creates a number of distinct crimes. These include laundering to conceal and disguise, laundering to evade taxes, and laundering to promote illicit activity. These are crimes that are not only against the law, but that have raised constitutional concerns about the ability of the government to prosecute illegal Internet gambling.
In response to these concerns, the Justice Department announced that it was removing advertising from sites that promote online gambling. The Department has also urged Google to remove ads for online gambling from its search engine. These campaigns have failed to generate much success. Those who argue against the federal government’s actions have cited the First Amendment as a reason for not enforcing the law.
The Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act was proposed by Rep. Barney Frank in April 2007. The law would amend the UIGEA and would make it illegal to operate an Internet casino, sportsbook, or poker site without a license.
The UIGEA defines unlawful Internet gambling as receiving, transmitting, or receiving bets on the Internet, or using or at least part of the Internet to conduct gambling. The law also requires age verification and appropriate data security standards. It also prohibits Internet casinos, sportsbooks, and poker rooms from allowing users to withdraw money from their accounts. Those who violate the law can face up to six months in prison.