Hire a Federal Gambling Attorney

Gambling used to be illegal everywhere in the United States, with the exception of Las Vegas, NV, and Atlantic City, NJ. These days, though, some kinds of gambling are legal in different states.

Just so we’re clear, what is gambling? It is defined as accepting or registering bets in any game of chance in exchange for money.

Each state has its own laws regarding lottery, casinos, horse racing, and other kinds of gambling, so it’s hard to make a blanket statement about gambling in the entire United States.

If you are facing illegal gambling charges by the federal government, you will need a gambling attorney who knows the ins and outs of gambling laws in the state where you are charged with the offense.

Call the Zoukis Consulting Firm today for expert criminal defense.

First, let’s address the vital question of the legality of gambling.

Gambling used to be prohibited in most of the United States, but these days, more states have legalized certain kinds of gambling under specific restrictions. Casino operators and other operators of gambling groups must apply for the proper licenses depending on the state where they operate.

Legal gambling is actually a very lucrative industry when properly regulated and when the establishment is properly licensed. According to the American Gaming Association, gambling is a $240 billion industry. Legal gambling includes:


The Lottery is legal in most of the 50 states (excluding Utah, Hawaii, Nevada, Alabama, and Alaska). Contestants buy a ticket with a combination of numbers on it. Numbers are chosen at random from a ball tumbler machine. A lottery winner’s numbers match the combination of numbers drawn from the tumbler.

Lottery winnings are considered ordinary income on your federal taxes, and you will be charged income tax for them. Scratchcard games are also run by the state lottery.


There are two kinds of casinos in the United States: tribal casinos and commercial casinos. Commercial casinos are run by private companies and are allowed in 23 of the 50 states.

Tribal Gaming

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 allows gambling on Native American Trust Land and lays out the regulations under which tribal casinos can operate. Native American tribes often open casinos on tribal land to make money for their government and to create jobs for tribe members. Tribal casinos are regulated by the tribe, the state, and on the federal level.

Wagering on Sports or Contests

Cockfighting and dogfighting are considered illegal animal fights since they are inhumane and result in the injury or death of animals. Horse races, dog races, and betting on sports events are typically banned, but in some states, there are regional events in which wagering is permitted, although strongly regulated.

Florida state law allows many gambling games popular with the retired citizens who live there. These games include Poker, Pinochle, Bridge, Dominos, and Mahjong.

Illegal Gambling

The law is constantly in flux when it comes to illegal gambling, and each state has different restrictions in place. To determine whether a type of gambling is a crime, check the law in your state.

The legality of gambling has more to do with the location and the circumstances than the actual gambling. Playing poker, for example, is legal in a properly licensed and regulated venue like a casino, but if a poker game doesn’t have permission from the state, that game is considered illegal by federal gambling laws.

Types of illegal gambling include:

  • Underground Poker Tournaments.
  • Private Betting Clubs.
  • Betting Pools.
  • Placing bets on elections or sporting matches through a bookie.
  • Cockfighting and dogfighting 
  • Internet gambling.

Gambling On the Internet

U.S. federal law considers gambling to be legal, but it is up to the states to regulate internet gambling. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 states that transactions on internet-based unlawful activities are illegal.

Prosecution and Punishment

Gambling crimes are investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by the United States Attorney, the part of the Department of Justice that prosecutes federal crimes. If you are charged with gambling crimes, you will need a gambling lawyer to represent you in your initial appearance, arraignment, bail hearing, and your trial.

Punishment for criminal gambling varies with the statute used to prosecute you. For example, if you are charged with violating the Illegal Gambling Business Act of 1955, you were allegedly part of an illegal gambling business and could be charged up to five years.

We Will Fight Your Illegal Gambling Charges

If you are charged with a federal gambling crime, you will need a gambling lawyer who specializes in federal gambling laws.

The federal prison consultants at the Zoukis Consulting Group can help you prepare for your criminal defense, navigate the prison system, and have a safety net ready for when you reenter society.

Call us now to schedule a consultation on your case.