If you’re a fan of gambling and you’ve ever wondered whether or not you can play your favorite casino games online, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled all the information you need about legal online gambling in the United States! We’ll also show you where to find legal online casinos and poker rooms.
Several federal laws are in play when you’re playing your favorite games at home or online. These include the Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA), the Wire Act, the Gambling Devices Transportation Act (GDOTA), the Johnson Act, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions.
IGBA makes it a crime to operate a gambling business if you’re not in a state where it is legal. Additionally, it entails a monetary penalty of up to five years in prison.
The Wire Act prohibits illegal gambling on sports and contests. It also prohibits money laundering, but it’s unclear whether the law applies to Internet gambling. The federal government has tried to enforce its laws on the grounds of the Commerce Clause, but has had little success.
Section 1956 creates three new crimes: laundering, for concealing the source of an illicit activity; laundering with the intent to promote an illicit activity; and laundering for international purposes. It also provides that the proceeds of an illegal gambling operation may not be spent more than $10,000 in a single transaction.
The CRS Report RS21984 provides a summary of these statutes, as well as a citation to the applicable state laws. It is available in a downloadable abridged version.