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Protecting You When You Are Charged With Gambling And RICO Violations

If you have been accused of operating an illegal gambling operation or racketeering, you face severe penalties. Costly fines and jail time could result. You need a NYC federal criminal defense lawyer who can navigate even the most complex details to build your defense.

At Sapone & Petrillo, LLP, our New York City and Long Island attorneys have defended many clients charged with complex crimes at the federal level. We understand the severity of the charges that you face. We are prepared to guide you through every aspect of the legal process – from your arrest and initial appearance in court to pretrial hearings and your trial itself – and to tenaciously fight for your rights. Our experienced trial attorneys will work to create the best possible results for you and your case.

Illegal Gambling At The Federal Level

Gambling is governed by a complex landscape of laws on both the state and federal levels. These regulations are complex, making it possible to unwittingly violate them while operating a gambling business. In addition to state regulations, which can vary greatly depending on location, businesses are generally considered illegal by the federal government if:

  • The business has at least five people managing, financing or otherwise operating it.
  • The operation has taken in more than $2,000 in a day or has been operating for 30 days consecutively.

Federal gambling offenses are punished particularly harshly, with strict sentencing guidelines and potential penalties that include strict fines and years in prison. If you have been charged with gambling crimes like running an underground poker tournament, operating an unregistered gambling website or another violation, we will use our extensive trial experience to defend you.

Criminal Charges And Violations Of RICO

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) has been around since 1970 and was originally intended to allow the government to push back against illegal activities enacted by organized crime rings. It has since been expanded in many ways, and today, it addresses a variety of crimes related to organized crime, including:

At , we understand the seriousness of these charges, and we will use our years of legal experience to build a cutting-edge defense for you and your rights.

What Does It Take To Convict On Gambling Charges Under RICO? What Are The Potential Penalties Under RICO?

Gambling crimes qualify as offenses under RICO statutes when the government can prove that an individual, group or organization is acting as a criminal enterprise and is engaged in ongoing criminal activities. In addition, there must be a pattern of at least two instances of racketeering activity within 10 years.

Some of the gambling activities that can lead to RICO charges include any unlicensed and unregulated:

  • Bookmaking
  • Numbers games
  • Online gambling operations
  • Private casinos
  • Backroom card games
  • Dogfighting or cockfighting rings
  • Slot machines

RICO permits the prosecution of individuals involved in criminal activity, not just the organization as a whole. This sometimes makes it a prosecutor’s favorite tool against both lower-level participants and leaders. It is important to understand that conviction under the RICO statute can lead to a potential $250,000 fine and a 20-year prison term, so prosecutors can use those penalties to pressure low-level members of a gambling operation into providing evidence against others in the organization.

Money laundering is another charge that is often tied to gambling offenses under the RICO Act. Money laundering occurs whenever someone seeks to hide the fact that they have obtained large amounts of cash from some kind of criminal activity, like illegal gambling. The civil penalties under RICO are largely designed to try to make it harder to profit from illegal activity. Any “ill-gotten” proceeds an individual or business has that can be tied to racketeering activity is subject to government seizure. That can lead to the forfeiture of houses, vehicles, boats, bank accounts, investments and business interests, among other things.

Have You Been Accused Of Gambling Crimes? Call Us Today.

Are you facing federal gambling charges? Do you need an experienced New York City federal crimes lawyer? Don’t wait. Contact an NYC federal criminal defense attorney at Sapone & Petrillo by email or call 646-844-3445 to arrange an initial consultation.