Generally speaking, the law doesn’t differentiate between wagering a few dollars in an office pool, spending hundreds of dollars at the casino, and online gambling. All these scenarios are gambling. People who enjoy betting should understand their rights and responsibilities under gaming laws.
The police may not care about some fantasy sports betting between friends or a weekly poker night. But as the stakes increase, law enforcement may become more interested. If you are charged with violating state gambling laws, talk to a gaming attorney for legal advice.
What Is Gaming Law?
Gaming law regulates gambling and game of chance betting. Gaming law can include horse racing, lotteries, sports wagering, casinos, and internet gambling. Under state law, state gaming control boards regulate most gaming industries. But gambling across state lines or internet gambling falls under federal law.
Gaming regulations are stringent because gaming involves cash operations, which can be subject to abuse and criminal influence. States are stringent on gaming licensing requirements and who can get a gaming license. There is also strict zoning for most gaming operations to keep gambling operations away from schools.
What Are Legal Gaming Operations?
Legal gaming operations are businesses that follow state and federal gaming operations. Legal gaming is different in every state. Some states take a firm stance against sports wagering, games of chance, and gaming activities. Not all gaming is equal. Historically, gambling on horse racing or state lottery was more accepted than slot machines and table games.
Some of the most well-known large-scale gaming operations are the casinos in Las Vegas. Casino gaming revenue in Nevada is a multibillion-dollar industry.
More recently, legal gaming operations have expanded across several states. In 1988, Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) to regulate gaming on Native American lands. Under the National Indian Gaming Commission, tribal governments in several areas have opened up casinos on their land.
Sports betting has also increased rapidly as several states have legalized internet gaming.
What Is Illegal Gambling?
Any gambling that violates state or federal law is illegal. The government may not be too concerned with busting your office’s March Madness pool, but smaller illegal gaming operations may set up parlors with gaming tables, video poker, and slot machines in areas where gaming is illegal.
Depending on the state, there may be exceptions to gambling charges. In some states, charitable groups can conduct certain games of chance like raffles or bing to raise money for charity.
Federal Gaming Criminal Penalties
Whenever gambling involves interstate activity or crosses state lines (including internet use), it can fall under federal jurisdiction. According to federal law, anyone convicted of conducting, financing, managing, supervising, directing, or owning an illegal gambling business can face fines and up to five years in prison.
The government can also seize any money, proceeds, or property involved in the illegal gambling operation.
What Gaming Law Attorneys Can Do for Clients
If you want to start a gaming business, take the right steps so the state regulatory authority approves your business. If you don’t follow the state regulations, your operation could be shut down.
A gaming lawyer can tell you the requirements for a legal gaming operation in your state. Your attorney can help you get the licenses and approval to open a legal gaming business. If there are regulatory or zoning problems, your lawyer can deal with the state gaming commission to clear up any legal issues.
If you want to know more about gaming law in your state, talk to a local gaming attorney about the regulations and requirements to start your own business.
Speak to an Experienced Gaming Attorney Today
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified gaming lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local gaming attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.
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