The terminology, “Gambling Ship” pertains to a vessel that operates one or more gambling establishments. A common misconception is that this term indicates only a water vessel that goes out to International Waters for the sake of gambling and placing bets.
A gambling establishment indicates a gaming business with the intention of gambling which includes accepting, recording, and registering bets. This also means playing a game of chance (other than the lottery) for money or other value. The term vessel is used to designate all water and air crafts used as a means of transportation across water and air.
What Does This Act Do?
The Gambling Ship Act prohibits all citizens of the United States, those on an American vessel or those within the jurisdiction of the United States from operating a gambling ship or establishment. Furthermore, the act bans taking part, dealing in gambling games, or operating a gambling device that enables players to induce a bet.
What Are The Consequences?
The consequences of disobeying this law are a hefty fine or imprisonment for no more than two years or both. Those that fall within this law include:
- The owner of the American vessel
- The owner of any vessel within United States control
- The owner of any vessel and being an American citizen
Within this act, there are two additional addendums. These include:
- Transportation between shore and ship
- Transmission of wagering information
The transportation between shore and ship section deems it unlawful to operate a transport vessel that moves passengers from one point to a gambling ship while not within United States jurisdiction. The penalty for this infraction is a fine per passenger transported to the gambling ship.
The second addendum is the transmission of wagering information which prohibits utilizing wire communication facilities for placing wagers on any contest or receiving money from bets placed. The penalty is imprisonment for up to two years. Of course, there are certain states that are excluded from these laws and allow for registered river and ocean liners to conduct gambling tours and packages.
Although this law might be harsh, it’s for the protection of United States citizens. As technology improves, types and methods of gambling are becoming more innovative. Consequently, new laws are passed to keep gambling at a minimum, in regulated areas of the United States.