Whether gambling is legal in the United States depends on the laws of each state. For instance, gambling may be illegal in the State of Nevada but legal in the State of New Jersey.
Gambling includes all forms of games of chance, including lotteries, bookmaking, sports betting, pool-selling, and bolita games. However, there are loopholes that can lead to the legality of gambling varying from state to state.
The Federal Wire Act is an example of a federal law that was initially assumed to prohibit all forms of online gambling. However, in fact, the Wire Act does not apply to online casinos.
In addition to the Wire Act, there are seven federal criminal statutes that have been implicated in the illegal Internet gambling industry. These statutes are the following:
Section 1956 of the US Criminal Code – This statute prohibits money laundering of the proceeds from illegal gambling. Section 1956 also creates several other crimes. These include laundering to conceal, disguise, promote illicit activity, and evade taxes.
Section 1957 of the US Criminal Code – This statute is similar to Section 1956. It prohibits spending more than $10,000 of illegal gambling proceeds at one time. The statute also prohibits gambling that occurs on a contest or sporting event.
Section SS2 – This statute covers gambling businesses that use or install the equipment of another gambling business. If the equipment seller knew or should have known of the nature of the gambling business, he could be liable for installing the equipment.