Six gambling den operators were found guilty in a Cleveland, Ohio court and now are likely to face tough sentencing under American gambling laws. The defendants were running three illegal internet casinos, which were presented officially as business service centers and sweepstakes promotion agencies.
It is not clear whether the Cleveland police was informed by the law-abiding citizens or competitors. Nevertheless, the reports of underground betting made the investigators pursue a sting operation. During which 100 computers and over $10,000 in cash were confiscated.
After being arrested, the operators were charged with running a gambling den, gambling, and possessing of criminal tools among which blackjack cards were included. Although this may appear to be an inconsequential crime, the guilty now await sentencing for first-class misdemeanors, which can cost significant time in prison.
The truth is, to protect the horse betting and land-based casino industries, the online casinos in United States are not legal. The individual states are seeking to legalize online gambling within the intrastate borders, while there are half-hearted attempts at establishing a federal online gambling framework. However, it is not clear how far it will go as nowadays the politicians are busy with their November elections campaigns.
When it comes to online sportsbooks in USA, the Wire Act strictly prohibits interstate sports betting with tough legal measures, which can include felony counts and heavy fines. However, a few states, such as Nevada and New Jersey, are seeking to legalize betting on sports within their state borders.
Some forms of online wagering may become legal in America soon, but how much is yet to be seen.