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Law enforcement increases scrutiny on possible illegal gambling

On Behalf of | Oct 2, 2023 | CRIMINAL DEFENSE - White Collar Crimes

Online sports wagering is being legalized rapidly across the nation. It seems that one state after another is allowing people to place bets via the internet. Florida, however, has yet to legalize it. While a decision on legal online sports betting in the Sunshine State may be coming soon, it is still being debated and is therefore against the law.

Some entities have been accused of letting people bet illegally. Recently, state regulators initiated a crackdown on fantasy sports companies that are alleged to have offered Florida customers the ability to bet. People who have been informed they are being watched or are facing legal consequences for this need to understand the law and prepare a defense if they are arrested.

Fantasy sports operators are warned by Florida regulators

Three companies that offer fantasy sports received cease-and-desist letters from state regulators with the threat of criminal prosecution. People are enthusiastic to wager on sports, particularly with the football season in full swing. This has initiated the state to try and put a stop to people betting illegally and companies circumventing state laws allowing it.

The companies were informed that they need to stop their activities. One is based in Brooklyn, another in Atlanta and the third in Miami. The offer that is drawing scrutiny is the way certain games are played. It is considered comparable to sports wagering and would not be legal in the state.

Illegal sports wagering is a felony unless it is done based on a gaming compact – which is an agreement with the state itself. The more well-known companies that offer online wagering in many states across the nation were not part of the crackdown and did not receive letters.

White collar crime charges have serious penalties

When people think of white collar crimes, they may automatically be under the impression that it applies to stock fraud, Ponzi schemes, embezzlement and identity theft. These do fall into that category, but there are many other allegations that could lead to people being prosecuted. Illegal online activity is one.

Anyone who is concerned about the potential ramifications of Florida regulators informing companies that they are committing crimes by allowing sports betting should be aware of their rights. Although this is just in the investigatory stage and people who might be involved were simply told to stop, it can quickly escalate to arrests. Being ready to provide a criminal defense is essential.