Shortly after the first of the federal gambling laws, the Wire Act, then attorney general initiated the federal Travel Act gambling law of 1961, as part of his commitment to legislate racketeering in the United States.
This, 1961, was the first year of a long series of federal gambling laws. The Travel Act was designed to make it more difficult and punishable by law to use an interstate facility or interstate travel as part of the commission or aid of racketeering or any other illegal business activity.
The details of this federal gambling law state that anyone who travels across state lines or to other countries or uses the mail or any other communication means to communicate across state lines or among more than one country to distribute any proceeds of any illegal activity, or to commit a violent crime is in violation of this federal Travel Act gambling law. Other persons, business enterprises or situations that would be in violation would be those who promote, establish, carry on, manage or help facilitate any illegal activity for the performance of interstate or multi-country crimes. These actors, according to this federal gambling law, would be fined or put in prison for up to five years, or perhaps both.
For purposes of this and other federal gambling laws unlawful activity is determined to be a business activity or enterprise that involves any illegal gambling. In order to qualify as illegal under the federal Travel Act gambling law, however, the enterprise must be continuous conduct. This is added to protect casual gamblers from federal prosecution under federal gambling laws.
Some enterprises that would fall under the purview of the federal gambling laws would be any that involve gambling, narcotics, controlled substances, or liquor when the excise tax on it remains unpaid. Other prosecutable situations would be prostitution when the state prohibits it by legislation, and arson, bribery or extortion, when they are in violation of state statutes in the state in which the acts are committed.
This federal gambling law further states that any involvement of illegal liquor activities must involve the U.S. Department of the Treasury in the investigation.
A Travel Act conviction requires that either state or federal gambling laws be broken. What a conviction does not need is proof that the defendant had any specific intent to violate these federal or state laws.
At this point in time, the courts …