Every few years, we see the FBI in Connecticut execute a sting operation that targets a gambling operation. There are casinos in Connecticut and in nearby states. But, the government does not want private individuals running sports or card gambling operations. This is illegal without proper licensing. These operations are different from your average office NCAA pool. These pools have a bona fide social relationship. Also, usually the organizer doesn’t take a percentage of the profit. In these cases, the FBI is looking at large scale, mainly sports related betting operations. These operations do not declare earnings to anyone. Also they usually involve some sort of tax evasion. For more information on legal vs. illegal gambling and what a federal charge will mean for you, you’ve come to the right place!

Federal Wire Act

One of the most common federal gambling laws violated goes by the name Wire Act of 1961. The purpose of this act is to assist other federal statutes, such as the Interstate Transportation of Wagering Paraphernalia Act, the Travel Act, and the Illegal Gambling Business Act, in prosecuting gamblers. The Wire Act helps all states enforce their state laws concerning this crime as well as bookmaking, and the suppression of this crime. If caught engaged in using a wire communication facility to bet or wager illegally, you could violate The Wire Act. If convicted, you face a fine and a prion sentence of as much as two years.

Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006

With the rise of the personal computer, this crime has also exploded. This act makes it a federal crime for a party to accept funds from betters on the majority of online websites devoted to this crime. Operators who violate this act must:

  • Be engaged in the act of wagering or betting,
  • They must knowingly accept money from electronic fund transfers, checks, or credit cards,
  • Know that the money is connected to the participation of a bettor,
  • And they must be aware that they are using this money in unlawful online gambling.


The penalties for violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 are serious. They include a combination of fines and a prison sentence of up to five years. In addition, a person may be charged with other crimes. For example, violation of the Wire Wager Act, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, and other related acts.

Common forms of this crime are generally related to online gambling or sports gambling. You can be prosecuted at the state or the federal level for this crime depending on what you are being accused of. If you are currently facing a gambling charge or multiple charges, you should contact a criminal defense attorney who has worked with these cases before. This will ensure the best defense for your situation. For more information, please contact our office at 203-925-9200.