Federal law prohibits accepting financial instruments associated with illegal Internet gambling. However, this law has been controversial and has been disputed by some. The most recent case involves a U.S. marshals’ seizure of $3.2 million from a company that accepts advertisements from the Costa Rican casino operation Tropical Paradise.
While gambling laws vary widely from state to state, federal law generally enforces the rules in most cases. For example, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) prohibits gambling activities while using an interstate facility. In addition, this law prohibits the use of a mobile device to gamble or to place a bet.
Federal law also defines what is considered internet gambling. According to the United States Congress, Internet gambling includes placing, receiving, or transmitting bets using the Internet. This includes betting on sporting events or contests. The Travel Act also prohibits interstate commerce in connection with online gambling, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act prohibits gambling business activities.