18 U.S. Code § 1955 - Prohibition of illegal gambling businesses

§ 1955.
Prohibition of illegal gambling businesses
Whoever conducts, finances, manages, supervises, directs, or owns all or part of an illegal gambling business shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
(b) As used in this section—
(1) “illegal gambling business” means a gambling business which—
is a violation of the law of a State or political subdivision in which it is conducted;
involves five or more persons who conduct, finance, manage, supervise, direct, or own all or part of such business; and
has been or remains in substantially continuous operation for a period in excess of thirty days or has a gross revenue of $2,000 in any single day.
“insured credit union” shall have the meaning given the term in section 101 of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. 1752).
“insured depository institution” shall have the meaning given the term in section 3 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813).
“gambling” includes but is not limited to pool-selling, bookmaking, maintaining slot machines, roulette wheels or dice tables, and conducting lotteries, policy, bolita or numbers games, or selling chances therein.
“savings promotion raffle” means a contest in which the sole consideration required for a chance of winning designated prizes is obtained by the deposit of a specified amount of money in a savings account or other savings program, where each ticket or entry has an equal chance of being drawn, such contest being subject to regulations that may from time to time be promulgated by the appropriate prudential regulator (as defined in section 1002 of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (12 U.S.C. 5481)).
“State” means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any territory or possession of the United States.
If five or more persons conduct, finance, manage, supervise, direct, or own all or part of a gambling business and such business operates for two or more successive days, then, for the purpose of obtaining warrants for arrests, interceptions, and other searches and seizures, probable cause that the business receives gross revenue in excess of $2,000 in any single day shall be deemed to have been established.
Any property, including money, used in violation of the provisions of this section may be seized and forfeited to the United States. All provisions of law relating to the seizures, summary, and judicial forfeiture procedures, and condemnation of vessels, vehicles, merchandise, and baggage for violation of the customs laws; the disposition of such vessels, vehicles, merchandise, and baggage or the proceeds from such sale; the remission or mitigation of such forfeitures; and the compromise of claims and the award of compensation to informers in respect of such forfeitures shall apply to seizures and forfeitures incurred or alleged to have been incurred under the provisions of this section, insofar as applicable and not inconsistent with such provisions. Such duties as are imposed upon the collector of customs or any other person in respect to the seizure and forfeiture of vessels, vehicles, merchandise, and baggage under the customs laws shall be performed with respect to seizures and forfeitures of property used or intended for use in violation of this section by such officers, agents, or other persons as may be designated for that purpose by the Attorney General.
(e) This section shall not apply to—
any bingo game, lottery, or similar game of chance conducted by an organization exempt from tax under paragraph (3) of subsection (c) of section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, if no part of the gross receipts derived from such activity inures to the benefits of any private shareholder, member, or employee of such organization except as compensation for actual expenses incurred by him in the conduct of such activity; or
any savings promotion raffle.
References in Text

Paragraph (3) of subsection (c) of section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsec. (e)(1), is classified to section 501(c)(3) of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.


2014—Subsec. (b)(2), (3). Pub. L. 113–251, § 5(3)(A)(iii), added pars. (2) and (3). Former pars. (2) and (3) redesignated (4) and (6), respectively.

Subsec. (b)(4). Pub. L. 113–251, § 5(3)(A)(i), redesignated par. (2) as (4).

Subsec. (b)(5). Pub. L. 113–251, § 5(3)(A)(iv), added par. (5).

Subsec. (b)(6). Pub. L. 113–251, § 5(3)(A)(ii), redesignated par. (3) as (6).

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 113–251, § 5(3)(B), substituted “This section shall not apply to—” for “This section shall not apply to any bingo”, inserted “(1) any bingo” before “game,”, substituted “activity; or” for “activity.”, and added par. (2).

1994—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $20,000”.

1986—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 99–514 substituted “Internal Revenue Code of 1986” for “Internal Revenue Code of 1954”.

Transfer of Functions

Offices of collector of customs, comptroller of customs, surveyor of customs, and appraiser of merchandise in Bureau of Customs of Department of the Treasury to which appointments were required to be made by President with advice and consent of Senate ordered abolished, with such offices to be terminated not later than Dec. 31, 1966, by Reorg. Plan No. 1 of 1965, eff. May 25, 1965, 30 F.R. 7035, 79 Stat. 1317, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees. Functions of offices eliminated were already vested in Secretary of the Treasury by Reorg. Plan No. 26 of 1950, eff. July 31, 1950, 15 F.R. 4935, 64 Stat. 1280, set out in the Appendix to Title 5.

National Gambling Impact Study Commission

Pub. L. 104–169, Aug. 3, 1996, 110 Stat. 1482, as amended by Pub. L. 105–30, § 1, July 25, 1997, 111 Stat. 248, established the National Gambling Impact Study Commission to conduct a comprehensive legal and factual study of the social and economic impacts of gambling in the United States on Federal, State, local, and Native American tribal governments, as well as on communities and social institutions generally, including individuals, families, and businesses within such communities and institutions, and to submit a report, not later than two years after its first meeting, to the President, the Congress, State Governors, and Native American tribal governments containing the Commission’s findings and conclusions, together with any recommendations of the Commission, and further provided for membership of the Commission, meetings, powers and duties of the Commission, personnel matters, contracts for research with the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations and the National Research Council, definitions, appropriations, and termination of the Commission 60 days after submission of its final report.

Priority of State Laws

Enactment of this section as not indicating an intent on the part of the Congress to occupy the field in which this section operates to the exclusion of State of local law on the same subject matter, or to relieve any person of any obligation imposed by any State or local law, see section 811 of Pub. L. 91–452, set out as a Priority of State Laws note under section 1511 of this title.

Commission on Review of National Policy Toward Gambling

Sections 804–809 of Pub. L. 91–452 established Commission on Review of National Policy Toward Gambling, provided for its membership and compensation of members and staff, empowered Commission to subpoena witnesses and grant immunity, required Commission to make a study of gambling in United States and existing Federal, State, and local policy and practices with respect to prohibition and taxation of gambling activities and to make a final report of its findings and recommendations to President and to Congress within four years of its establishment, and provided for its termination sixty days after submission of final report.


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