In re MasterCard Int'l, et al., 132 F. Supp. 2d 468, 472 (E.D. La. 2001). http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov:8081/isysquery/irlc1e/1/doc
This 2001 class action case targeted several banks and credit card companies (such as Mastercard and Visa International) for alleged unlawful interaction with Internet casinos per the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). However, the defendants were able to successfully move to dismiss the case. During the appeal hearing in 2002, the judge affirmed the previous decision.
In short: “In this lawsuit, Larry Thompson and Lawrence Bradley (“Thompson,” “Bradley,” or collectively “Plaintiffs”) attempt to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-1968, to avoid debts they incurred when they used their credit cards to purchase “chips” with which they gambled at on-line casinos and to recover for injuries they allegedly sustained by reason of the RICO violations of MasterCard International, Visa International, and banks that issue MasterCard and Visa credit cards (collectively “Defendants”). The district court granted the Defendants’ motions to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. We AFFIRM”
The judge wrote the following in his decision, “Because the Wire Act does not prohibit non-sports internet gambling, any debts incurred in connection with such gambling are not illegal.” Trumpeted by poker players unanimously, this case law set a precedent that although sports betting conducted over the Internet may be illegal, casino games are legal according to the Wire Act. The judge’s opinion was indeed influenced by previous attempts to expand the ambiguous Wire Act, as seen by his comments, “[T]he recent legislative history of internet gambling legislation reinforces the Court's determination that internet gambling on a game of chance is not prohibited conduct under 18 U.S.C. § 1084. Recent legislative attempts have sought to amend the Wire Act to encompass ‘contest[s] of chance…’ the ‘Internet Gambling Prohibition Act of 1999’ …sought to amend Title 18 to prohibit the use of the internet to place a bet or wager upon a ‘contest of others, a sporting event, or a game of chance…’”