The issue was whether an indictment alleging a violation of Florida's bingo and gambling statutes sufficiently alleged an element of the federal gambling statute--namely, that the business is an illegal gambling business, which turned on whether it "is a violation" of state law. The Court concluded that it did, because there were at least some violations of Florida's bingo statute that could render the business an illegal gambling business under federal law. For example, the business would be illegal if it allowed charities to sponsor the event without their direct involvement, or if it did not return all bingo proceeds to the players. The Court therefore did not address whether Florida gambling statutes could serve as a basis for upholding the indictment.
One defendant cross-appealed regarding the court's failure to dismiss the count of the indictment in its entirety. The Court, however, declined to exercise its discretion to consider that cross appeal under the doctrine of pendant appellate jurisdiction.