The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 was put into effect on October 13, 2006.  Essentially, the law criminalizes the acceptance of funds from bettors by operators of most online gambling websites.  The Act does not make it illegal for a player to make bets or wagers.  Rather, it only applies to those involved in the business of betting or wagering.

When Will a Gambling Operator Be Liable?

An operator of an online gambling website will be held liable if:

  • They engage in the business of betting or wagering.

And

  • They knowingly accept proceeds from credit cards, electronic fund transfers, and checks connected to bettor participation.

What are the Penalties for Violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act?

An operator found in violation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act will be subject to civil remedies.  Civil remedies include fines, and ordering an Internet service provider to remove access to the operator’s website or other sites that contain hyperlinks to the operator’s site. 

What Does This Act Mean for Financial Institutions?

The Act requires financial institutions like banks and credit card companies to adopt procedures and policies designed to block funds to operators in violation of the Act. 

Should I Contact a Lawyer for My Internet Gambling Legal Matters?

Violations of internet gambling regulations can have serious civil and criminal consequences. If you are accused of operating an internet gambling organization, you may need a business lawyer to handle the civil sanctions, and a criminal lawyer to handle the criminal penalties.