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Gambling - Gambling And Organized Crime

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Federal criminal law monitors organized crime and gambling through the Gaming Devices Act of 1951 ( Johnson Act, 18 U.S.C. & 1804), which prohibits interstate transportation of gaming devices; the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization Statutes (RICO, 18 U.S.C. & 1961 et. seq.); and amendments made in 1985 to the Bank Secrecy Act (31 U.S.C. & 103), also known as the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act). The latter act requires several cash intensive businesses, and explicitly casinos, to report cash transactions in amounts greater then $10,000. In addition, the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 and the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network were enacted to "establish, oversee, and implement policies to prevent and detect money laundering" (U.S. Treasury Order No. 105–108).

The federal interest in casino gambling can be traced to Nevada's casino gambling industry, which was established and developed by wellknown organized crime figures. Although not all casinos have connections to organized-crime, such roots have at times become visible. During the 1970s, a number of casinos were found by Nevada authorities and the U.S. Department of Justice to be infiltrated by organized crime families who controlled union pension funds that facilitated casino expansion.

The introduction of strong regulatory measures by the states has been a factor in enabling casino gambling to expand throughout the United States. Moreover, gambling enterprises are typically owned and run by major hotel and leisure industry companies, whose stocks are publicly traded, reviewed by financial analysts and the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as by federal and state law enforcement agencies. In the 1980s only two U.S. jurisdictions, Nevada and New Jersey, had legalized casinos, in good part restrained by the industry's history of organized crime connections and financing. By the year 2000, twenty-eight states had legalized some form of casino gambling, usually in resorts, such as in Biloxi, Mississippi, or on riverboats. Detroit, Michigan, was the only major industrial United States city to have legalized casinos. Approximately 260 casinos were located on Indian lands, with many more expected, especially in California, in the twenty-first century.

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