How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask N Cal Atty Your Own Question
N Cal Atty
N Cal Atty, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 9265
Experience:  attorney at self
9653905
Type Your Legal Question Here...
N Cal Atty is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

If I won money online gambling and the website has

Customer Question

If I won money online gambling and the website has headquarters in Costa Rica and allows US customers to hold accounts and deposit real money, is it legal for me to withdraw my funds that I won?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 10 months ago.

HI, I'm Heather, an attorney for 15 years, and I would like to assist you with your question for informational purposes. Thank you for using justanswer.com tonight!

Yes, you can withdrawal the funds and that is totally legal.

I am wondering if you are actually asking about whether you have to pay taxes on the money if you withdrawal it. Is that what you are asking?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No I am planning to pay taxes on the winnings. I was just wondering if it is legal for me to withdraw the funds that I won even though it is illegal to gamble in the United States? And I know most every bank does not want to be associated with gambling so it is hard for me to get bank wires and checks to my bank account because I can't tell them it's from gambling.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I just feel like when I'm going to pick up money from moneygram that I'm doing something illegal and wanted to make sure that it is legal to withdraw what I won.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Are you there?
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 10 months ago.

Yes, I apologize. Unfortunately, I thought you were asking a slightly different question and I misunderstood. With the extra clarification you have given, I would need to do a bit more research to answer your question, but it is time for me to log off. I am going to opt out of this question and see if another expert is available to step in, as it is time for me to log off. If your question is still open in a little while when I log back in, I will attempt to assist you further. Thank you for using justanswer.com!

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 10 months ago.

New Expert here.

You could just wire transfer the money from a bank down there and a bank in the US.

If the receiving bank asks you, you can honestly tell them it is money you earned in C.R.

A bank receiving a wire transfer rarely asks about the source of funds, it assumes that funds already in a bank account are safe to accept. This bank does not ask about the source of the funds in the foreign account and lets you order foreign wire transfers over an automatic telephone system.

I hope this information is helpful.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Okay but I was always worried about them asking a follow up question like: what did you do to earn it in CR? And I'd be left stumped. Also you never said whether or not it is illegal to be receiving this money from gambling? And what about to have them send me the money via payout methods? Is there anything illegal about this? I mean I know that it is illegal to gamble within the United States but this was done oblind?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Online*
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 10 months ago.

Was this sports betting or games of chance?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Sports betting on 5dimes sports book. They are based in San jose Costa Rica and I've done my research on them and apparently it is legal for US customers to hold accounts there and deposit real money but just wanted to confirm that if I take off my winnings I'm in the clear.
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 10 months ago.

On line sports betting is illegal but moving your winnings to the US is not illegal. The bank I linked to will not ask about the source of the funds if you order a wire transfer through their telephone system.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
But isn't it illegal to try to hide the source of the funds? I googled money laundering and it appears to be very similar to my situation and I'm just not wanting to break the law but also would like to get my winnings.
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 10 months ago.

You already broke the law by betting on sports, and you can be charged with money laundering whether you do wire transfers, checks, money orders or any other type of transfer, see

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1956

Money laundering has a 5 year statute of limitations.

Declaring the money as income and paying tax on it is advisable and would prevent you from being charged with tax fraud.

Lawyers are not allowed to advise someone on how to get away with a crime.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
You said moving my winnings to the US is not illegal
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 10 months ago.

It is not illegal but concealing the source of the money is a type of money laundering. When the bank does not ask for the source of the funds, you are not concealing anything.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I should hope they don't ask? And if they do then tell them gambling?
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 10 months ago.

If they ask you do not have to tell them anything. But they are not likely to ask.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok so let's assume they ask about the source of incoming funds. What would my response be? "I don't have to tell you". ?
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 10 months ago.

Yes you can say that.