Legal risk

This table outlines the risk of facing trouble with U.S. authorities. The risk assessment is based on past actions by the U.S. authorities, rather than just a look on applicable laws.

Risk

Activity

Examples of federal action

High risk Accepting sports bets from U.S. residents on a server located within the U.S. We have not found any examples of anyone doing this, probably because it is so high risk and also so easy to use a server loacted outside the U.S. instead.
High risk Accepting sports bets from U.S. residents over U.S. phone lines. BetOnSports, 2006

Bodog, 2012

High risk Accepting sports bets from U.S. residents on a server located outside the U.S. World Sports Exchange, 2000

Sportingbet, 2006

Bodog, 2012

High risk Facilitating the transfer of funds between gambling U.S. residents and gambling sites. (Payment processing) Neteller, 2007

Ahmad Khawaja and Allied Wallet, 2009

eWalletXpress, 2010

Douglas Rennick, 2010

Processors serving PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and UB, 2011

High risk Publishing adds for online gambling in major media within the U.S. Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, The Sporting News, 2003
Esquire, 2005
Medium risk Accepting money from U.S. players and help them make online wagers We have found no example of federal prosecution, but the State of New Jersey went after the webmaster for InternationalNetCasino in 2004

Medium risk

Accepting non-sports bets (e.g. casino, poker) from U.S. residents on a server located outside the U.S. PartyGaming, 2008

 

PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, 2011

After prosecuting these poker rooms, the federal authorities eventually acknowledged that poker bets were not covered by the Wire Act.

Medium risk Publishing adds for online gambling in minor media within the U.S. We have found no example of federal prosecution. In 2006, IntegrityCasinoGuide.com was shut down by Washington State.
Low risk Buying advertising in a U.S. (major or minor) publication as a casino, poker room, or affiliate We have found no example of federal prosecution.
Low risk Placing bets yourself online from within the U.S. We have found no example of federal prosecution.

 

Prosecution do (rarely) occur on state level, e.g. Jeffrey Trauman in 2003 (North Dakota) and Roland Benavides in 2012 (Oklahoma).