IS THIS THE START OF A CRUSADE AGAINST INTERNET GAMBLING?
18 July 2006
“The people who are pushing this ban in Congress … try to argue these sites prey on children, which is totally ridiculous,” “If your kid has access to your checking account or credit card and is making transfers to off-shore accounts across the world, Internet gambling is the least of your worries.” – Radley Balko
The DOJ Claims Charges Against Online Betting Companies Not ‘Grand Message’ – Others Not Convinced
July 18, 2006 — Yesterday, the Department of Justice [DOJ] announced charges against 11 individuals and four companies accused of taking sports bets from U.S. residents in the $12 billion a year online gambling industry.
The charges focused on the persons and companies that supported BetonSports PLC, a U.K. incorporated, publicly traded company and popular Internet sportsbook that claims to have 1.2 million registered users.
“The view of the DOJ is and has been that Internet gambling is illegal,” said Brian Sierra, a spokesperson for the DOJ.
Among those charged were the company’s CEO David Carruthers — arrested over the weekend at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport — and the site’s founder Gary Kaplan. Both are charged with conspiracy, racketeering and fraud.
Many, both in and out of the industry, see this as the opening salvo in a battle to bring down Internet gambling in the U.S., just a week after Congress voted in favor of legislation clarifying that gambling online is a crime.
“It’s a moral crusade,” claimed Radley Balko, a policy analyst at the CATO Institute, an organization that scrutizes public policy. “These guys have a personal opposition to gambling and they want to impose that on the rest of the country.”