The U.S. (In)Justice Department Cracks Down on Online Gambling

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Is the online gaming market drying out?

The U.S. Justice Department indicted 11 people and four companies, including major online gambling company BetOnSports PLC, on charges of racketeering, conspiracy and fraud, the government announced Monday. ... Shares fell nearly 18% on Monday on the news that the CEO had been arrested.

How can the same government be so for regulating some aspects of the web, while so against net neutrality?

At least we still have horse race betting. Horses fit through the tubes.

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The indictment seeks forfeiture of $4.5 billion.

Nuff said. There's more to the story than online gambling==bad

The Internet is not a truck.

The Internet is not a truck. It is a series of tubes.

Just last friday, one of my staff sent me an internet and it didn't arive until today.

Alaska - you suck as bad as washington state.

Boy, I'm sure glad the

Boy, I'm sure glad the government knows what's best for me!

Same Senator

This is the same Senator that got $500 million dollars in federal funding to build two bridges to small towns in Alaska. One was a $241 million dollar one that led to a town of 50 people.

It was right around Katrina and they asked him to divert the money for the Katrina relief. He refused and said he would resign if it happened.

The senate

is a series of tools.

Ssite, that was rad. :-)

Ssite, that was rad. :-)

I can see the US government

I can see the US government getting more and more angry as they see money flowing out of the country. However attacking online gaming like this will only force more companies to host on Indian reserves and float their companies in London.

Isn't about money...

This time it isn't about money. This is the Republicans 10-point plan toward a "moral" country. They are trying to invigorate their base, the right wing Christian conservatives. There are also such things as banning stem cell research and an amendment to ban gay marriage coming through.

>> Humans are perverse,

>> Humans are perverse, nearly all of them.
>> By ukgimp

Does that even need further comment....?

>float their companies in

The market is still good here in Russia but eventually everyone's going to end up in Costa Rica with two passports ;)

I know a few people who will be reconsidering a non-US route in the future.

CEO Got Nabbed in Dallas

It's interesting to note that the CEO got nabbed at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and we're housing him right now here in Fort Worth ;)

Updated article here

The AP has an updated version of the story here

not about money (!)

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The indictment charges Kaplan with failing to pay federal wagering excise taxes on more than $3.3 billion in U.S. wagers.

That buys a lot of bridges to small towns of worshippers in Alaska.

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Authorities also charged that Kaplan's group fraudulently claimed that Internet and phone wagering on sporting events was legal and licensed.

Translation: they claimed they didn't need apporval from local elected officials to operate book in their territory.

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Internet gambling has become a political issue in Washington.

Can't claim a need to protect kids from online gambling, and the terrorism thing is getting stale. Maybe try to tie it to moral fabric of society or something; whatever. Just get the money.

stockings and suspenders

I'm sure that there is more than enough expertise amongst the readers of TW to spread this far and wide, in the shortest amount of time needed. Anyone opening a pool on how soon this happens?

And, it's always about the money.

Consider this in light of the Natwest Trio affair, and the US is looking like a very unfriendly place to do business with.

Now, where did the information come from that he was on that particular flight? Could it have been from the data shared by the airline for anti-terrorism purposes? Is online gambling classed as economic terrorism? Or is it just that politicians get treated like royalty in Las Vegas?

Nat West Trio affair?

That of course assumes that they're innocent.

innocence

I thought that was a given presumption under the constitution. But, never forget that consitutional protections are not applicable to aliens.

The objection ought to be that the US is seeking to apply its laws extra territorially and that extraditions are being rubber stamped administratively.

Doesn't Need To

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That buys a lot of bridges to small towns of worshippers in Alaska.

He doesn't operate out of the US. I don't know why he would be liable for an exise tax on a company that isn't US based. Isn't it kind of hypocritical to tax someone on something that is deemed illegal? Will they start charging drug dealers with not paying tax on their sales too?

Site is currently closed

Looks like it's been shut down for now - here's what you get at www.betonsports.com:

IN LIGHT OF COURT PAPERS FILED IN THE UNITED STATES, THE COMPANY HAS TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED THIS FACILITY PENDING ITS ABILITY TO ASSESS ITS FULL POSITION. DURING THIS PERIOD NO FINANCIAL OR WAGERING TRANSACTIONS CAN BE EXECUTED. FURTHER INFORMATION WILL BE POSTED ONCE THE COMPANY IS IN A POSITION TO DO SO.

The BETonSPORTS.com
customer support team

and it looks like the US

and it looks like the US government is going after a marketing company that worked with them
http://adage.com/article?article_id=110585

and in Washington it is illegal to even discuss online gaming
http://seoblackhat.com/2006/07/06/will-online-poker-become-illegal/

The first casualty in the state’s war on Internet gambling is a local Web site where nobody was actually doing any gambling.

What a Bellingham man did on his site was write about online gambling. He reviewed Internet casinos. He had links to them, and ran ads by them. He fancied himself a guide to an uncharted frontier, even compiling a list of “rogue casinos” that had bilked gamblers.

All that, says the state — the ads, the linking, even the discussing — violates a new state law barring online wagering or using the Internet to transmit “gambling information.”

criminal

Todd Boutte was an affiliate marketer who added a forum and then review site etc... and grew his business like a typical commercial webmaster. He supported his family on affiliate income after having worked for the WalMart. He went public locally here in the newspapers in what seemed to be a genuine effort to learn how such non-casino businesses would be viewed after the new law was passed, only to be told not only would it be illegal to allow casino ads, but that it always has been illegal. In the eyes of the supporting politicians, online gambling has always been illegal! This new law merely clarified that to enable enforcement.

I'm sorry to see him close his sites so fast. This was worthy of a fight. If conservative-owned media can publish a dozen back pages of salacious escort ads under the protection of free speech, not able to be challenged for promoting prostitution, why is an online affiliate marketer guilty of promoting illegal gambling?

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In most countries, if an activity is illegal, all promotion and advertising relating to that conduct is consequently illegal since no legal distinction is made between speech and conduct. However, in the United States, an important distinction exists between conduct, and commercial speech relating to that conduct. The former can be heavily regulated or even banned by the government, but the latter enjoys significant constitutional protection.

This lawyer makes a good argument, and somebody needs to take this issue to the courts.

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Until the Courts clarify the extent of constitutional protections afforded online gambling advertising, the concept of Free Speech merely provides a ray of hope in an otherwise dark tunnel of the Federal government's hostility towards the online gambling industry.

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