Federal Wire Act Law and Legal Definition

The Federal Wire Act is a United States federal law prohibiting the operation of certain types of betting businesses in the United States. The Act was originally known as Interstate Wire Act and was enacted in 1961.

It provides that whoever being engaged in the business of betting or wagering knowingly uses a wire communication facility for the transmission in interstate or foreign commerce of bets or wagers or information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers on any sporting event or contest, or for the transmission of a wire communication which entitles the recipient to receive money or credit as a result of bets or wagers, or for information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers, shall be fined or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

The Wire Act is intended to assist the states, territories and possessions of the United States, in enforcing their respective laws on gambling and bookmaking and to curtail organized gambling activities.