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Internet Gambling CEO Arrested by FBI

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the anyone-hear-a-historical-echo dept.

298

tightpoker writes to mention the news that several key individuals associated with online gambling site BetonSports have been indicted in a Missouri courtroom. Founder Stephen Kaplan, CEO David Carruthers, 9 other people and four corporations have been charged with crimes ranging from racketeering to fraud. The Sunday Time reports on the story as well, addressing fears this may be a prelude to a crackdown on all online gambling by U.S. law enforcement. From the article: "Nigel Parson, leisure analyst at Williams de Broë, said the move would 'throw online gambling stocks into a spin,' adding: 'David Carruthers is a prominent advocate of online gambling. The fear that this is an escalation of the anti-lobby will trouble markets.' Greg Harris, an analyst at Cannacord, said: 'It is too early to say if this is part of a broader strategy on prevention of internet gambling in the U.S. or if it is the Department of Justice flexing their muscles and trying to influence legislation.'"

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HOW DO I SHOT WEB (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15736347)


Re:HOW DO I SHOT WEB (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15736463)

um,,, do you try press the button yet??

Re:HOW DO I SHOT WEB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15736785)

You must first to insert four pieces double A battery into powerful unit correct position before activating such. Depressing of button with finger index after selecting of web to shot. Please to make good happy setting before shot of web, or shot may be not optimum.

Oy ve... (3, Interesting)

hrieke (126185) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736358)

So all of this does, outside of keeping all Gambling Web site owners out of the country, is?

Re:Oy ve... (4, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736824)

A lot of things.

It rachets up the pressure on the Senate to pass a bill outlawing internet gambling in the United States of America.

It suggests to the Average-internet-gambling-Joe that 'he might be next'

It fscks up the stock prices of these online gambling companies.

As always, if you've got the time, hit up Google News
http://news.google.com/news?q=gambling+arrest [google.com]
Some random snippets
"The Justice Department is seeking the forfeiture of $4.5 billion, cars and computers from the defendants, including Betonsports PLC and three other companies."

"Several of the defendants live outside the United States, which will make them hard to catch, said U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway in St. Louis."

"Last week, the House passed a bill that would make it illegal for American banks and credit card issuers to make payments to online gambling sites. The bill's fate in the Senate is uncertain, in part because of exemptions granted for horse racing and state lotteries."

Hey Authorities... (3, Funny)

William Robinson (875390) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736368)

I bet 200 bucks, that there will be dupe of this stroy within 2 days.

Hey! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15736402)

Danger Will Robinson... They are coming to take you away!

Watch the share price fall (4, Informative)

jonv (2423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736374)

BBC article here [bbc.co.uk]

It's only a matter of time (4, Insightful)

vijayiyer (728590) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736376)

internet gambling does not allow the government to take their cut and is therefore in direct competition with them. Expect many more such crackdowns soon.

Re:It's only a matter of time (5, Funny)

M-G (44998) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736415)

That, and those poker chips block the Internet's tubes....

Also, with midterm elections looming, it doesn't hurt for the Republicans to crack down on some 'immoral' activity to appease their 'values' voters.

Re:It's only a matter of time (4, Insightful)

Jtheletter (686279) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736452)

If by values voters you mean Indian casinos contributing to campaign coffers. It's interesting to note that many of the reps against online gambling seem to have no problem at all supporting local tribal casinos. It's all about who's greasing palms and playing nice with the government (ala taxes).

Re:It's only a matter of time (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15736717)

"It's interesting to note that many of the reps against online gambling seem to have no problem at all supporting local tribal casinos. It's all about who's greasing palms and playing nice with the government (ala taxes)."

Dems, of course, neeeeeever do aaaaanything like that.....

Re:It's only a matter of time (2, Interesting)

UglyTool (768385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736459)

Also, with midterm elections looming, it doesn't hurt for the Republicans to crack down on some 'immoral' activity to appease their 'values' voters.

Completely off topic, but out of curiosity...

Where, in the bible, does it say anything about the morality or immorality of gambling? It speaks out against adultery, incest, rape (especially where it says the rapist has to marry the girl), but I must have missed the meeting where they added anything about gambling.

Re:It's only a matter of time (1, Interesting)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736482)

Where, in the bible, does it say anything about the morality or immorality of gambling? It speaks out against adultery, incest, rape (especially where it says the rapist has to marry the girl)

Suddenly, "magic golden plates" don't seem so crazy, do they?

Re:It's only a matter of time (2, Insightful)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736516)

True, but "Voted least crazy religion" is not a great selling point on your advertising literature.

They'd be better off sticking with the tried and true "Sole chance of avoiding everlasting damnation", or failing that, "We allow up to 7 wives".

Re:It's only a matter of time (4, Informative)

Tx (96709) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736534)

Searching google for "bible gambling", the first hit gives us this [gotquestions.org] :

Question: "What does the Bible say about gambling? Is gambling a sin?"

Answer: Gambling can be defined as "risking money in an attempt to multiply the money on something that is against the odds." The Bible does not specifically condemn gambling, betting, or the lottery. The Bible does warn us, however, to stay away from the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10; Hebrews 13:5). Scripture also encourages us to stay away from attempts to "get rich quick" (Proverbs 13:11; 23:5; Ecclesiastes 5:10). Gambling most definitely is focused on the love of money and undeniably tempts people with the promise of quick and easy riches.

Re:It's only a matter of time (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736634)

That is disappointingly vague. The admonishment against get rich quick schemes is good advice, but hardly seems against the spirit of the friendly low stakes gambing that most people take part in. "Love of money" is even more vague.

Ultimately, gambling is one of those things that reminds me of grade school where the entire class was forbidden from some activity because one or two people were unable to behave. It's ultimately unfair, but mostly unavoidable if you care at all about people with poor self control (gamblers and other addicts). Social problems never have easy solutions.

Re:It's only a matter of time (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736706)

Indeed.

Given that the vast majority of gamblers lose, wouldn't not gambling constitute a stronger demonstration of a love of money?

Re:It's only a matter of time (1)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736871)

Cool -- I always thought Bill Bennett read slashdot. Hey Bill!

Bemopolis

Re:It's only a matter of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15736570)

Where, in the bible, does it say anything about the morality or immorality of gambling? It speaks out against adultery, incest, rape (especially where it says the rapist has to marry the girl), but I must have missed the meeting where they added anything about gambling.

The Bible doesn't really talk about gambling. OTOH, the Quran might; I wouldn't know. But you don't need a religious text to see the problem.

Weathly people tend to invest their money in stocks, banks, government and corporate bonds, and so on. It's like gambling, except you win in the long run. Poor people tend to invest their money in the lottery or the casino. In the long run, they lose.

So the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer, except for a lucky few. If you think Wal*Mart or Nike are exploitive, they are nothing compared to gambling estalishments.

Re:It's only a matter of time (1)

Tx (96709) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736679)

So the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer, except for a lucky few. If you think Wal*Mart or Nike are exploitive, they are nothing compared to gambling estalishments.


Both rich and poor gamble, and I haven't seen any particular evidence to show that gambling plays a significant role in the poor getting poorer. And actually there's nothing particularly wrong in the relatively poor "investing" in, say, the lottery, so long as the stake is small enough. Buying a dollar lottery ticket once a week gives you a (very long) shot at getting very rich. Investing that same weekly dollar in a "sensible" investment may earn you a few thousand dollars over your complete working life (barring stock market crashes etc). Contrary to the arrogant assertions of many that a lottery is "a tax on the stupid", most players are well aware of the odds, and are willing to sacrifice that few thousand dollars they could earn from "sensible" investments, for the outside chance of becoming fabulously rich. It's a perfectly rational risk-versus-reward choice.

Re:It's only a matter of time (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736823)

Their values voters care about lots of 'morals' issues not well documented in the bible. You might as well ask: where's the prohibition against human cloning in the bible?

Re:It's only a matter of time (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736906)

Where, in the bible, does it say anything about the morality or immorality of gambling?
You aren't the first person to ask that question.
http://www.google.com/search?q=gambling+bible [google.com]

I'll give you the quick summary:
The Bible doesn't specifically prohibit gambling. However... The Good Book says not to love money or seek quick riches & gambling is never(?) shown as a form of recreation or 'fun' to be emulated.

So, gambling is considered somewhat sinful, and the free flowing booze in casinos adds some extra zesty sin.

Re:It's only a matter of time (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736579)

Guess who plays poker...EVERYONE
If it is "real" gambling being shut down, most people dont care, but anyone politician that fucks with online poker will be looking for a new job very quickly.

Re:It's only a matter of time (0, Troll)

edmicman (830206) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736667)

Maybe they'll finely curb the inane fad that is Texas Holem' Poker (online or off). Seriously, the poker fad is played out, gone the way of mass produced "retro" emo tees that are unique in that EVERYONE has one.

Stupid Logic (1, Interesting)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736466)

By this logic, the government would *want* to legalize online gambling, since they could then tax it.

No, sorry - revenue has nothing to do with this. It's "What about the children" syndrome running rampant again.

Re:Stupid Logic (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736512)

Can't tax the interbutt when the countries are offshore.

Same argument as legalizing drugs. Even if Congress was struck by lightning and everyone suddenly thought it was a capital idea, who's going to pay the price of pot PLUS tax when they can still get it without? (hint: legalizing anything makes its illicit production even easier to conceal)

Re:Stupid Logic (3, Insightful)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736549)

So was repealing prohibition a bad idea because everone still goes to speakeasies and drinks hooch? Or are you perhaps mistaken?

Re:Stupid Logic (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736663)

Not exactly an ideal analogy, since alcohol producers were around before prohibition and some managed to stay in business during (by making fruit juice or something) until it was over. After prohibition, we still had this infrastructure which made getting the flow going again easier.

With drugs, at least at the start, it will be so tightly controlled as to be a government monopoly. The prices will be far higher in percentage compared to illicit product compared to alcohol (which sees very little bootlegging now).

Cigarettes are somewhere in the middle because now the taxes are being hiked up very quickly in a short period of time. Smuggling them is a huge business, but not at the level of prohibition alcohol.

Re:Stupid Logic (1)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736769)

Well, Coca-Cola was around before cocaine was prohibited, and has continued to make a living by simply removing the active ingredient from their patent medicine. I suppose they will go back to their original formula one it is legal again: it will surely be better than the stuff they make now.

Re:Stupid Logic (1)

skarphace (812333) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736713)

...who's going to pay the price of pot PLUS tax when they can still get it without?
Who's going to pay the proce of tobacco PLUS tax when they can still get it without?

Re:Stupid Logic (2, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736722)

By that logic, who would pay taxes for _anything_ since it should be easy as pie to sell Twinkies, screwdrivers, or anything else under the table? Also, why would a seller risk his neck avoiding some 5 or 10% tax (that his customers are paying)? If it were legalized the illicit production would mostly dry up because it's much much easier to operate inside of the law than out. Given the choice, I doubt few dealers would choose a life in the worst part of town hounded by the police and thrown in jail every so often. Even the cushy suburban dealers would be estatic not to have to deal with Central American paramilitary cartels as their primary supplier. The concept that legalizing drugs will increase illegal production seems highly counterintuitive to me.

Not to mention that the government will have a much easier time tracking users and abusers if they don't feel that they have to hide from the cops.

On the other hand, I'm rather libertarian about what people do with their lives. As long as it doesn't harm other people, I don't think it should be illegal. I do think lots of stuff should be regulated however, to prevent people from becoming a completely unproductive junkie, but I don't think making the activity illegal is the proper answer. In other words, I don't want anybody stepping in until it's clear that what they're doing is interfering with their life in a substantal way.

Re:Stupid Logic (1)

ray-auch (454705) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736848)

Can't tax the interbutt when the countries are offshore.


In the same way, you'd say they can't stop it.

But they are having a pretty good go at that by legislating against the money (credit card) transfers.

Just amend that bill to tax the transfers to online gambling companies instead of prohibit it outright.

Re:Stupid Logic (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736868)

Just amend that bill to tax the transfers to online gambling companies instead of prohibit it outright.

Just send your money to an overseas bank, then conduct the transaction from there.

Re:It's only a matter of time (5, Insightful)

Usagi_yo (648836) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736701)

The U.S just arrested a CEO of a foreign Corporation for doing internet business that was contrary to U.S law. Next time we complain about Google or Yahoo bending over backwards to adhere to Chinese law, we should take into account our own policies.

Re:It's only a matter of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15736800)

Not to mention, using terms like "crackdown" implies that there was something wrong with an act of voluntary association (in this case peaceful gambling) in the first place. It's a subtle, but highly effective use of propaganda which profits the power elite (the people who control government) in the long run. This isn't an attack on individual freedom, but a "crackdown" on "illegal activities".

It works for drug prohibition, why not gambling? Hell, they could use it on just about any peaceful, voluntary activity they want to assimilate for the benefit of perpetually-expanding government.

(-1, wrong) to parent (1)

linuxrocks123 (905424) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736821)

If the business is based in the U.S., it pays U.S. taxes. The government is getting its cut as much as it gets its cut from the private casinos in Nevada.

Of course they lost (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15736383)

The government gets a healthy cut from the earnings in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Politicians get hefty contributions due to the earnings from Native American casinos. And lotteries like Powerball are the government's own game.

So it's no wonder that online gambling sites lose, and will continue to lose in court. You've got to pony up to the bosses if you want to work in this town. (Preferably, both Democrats and Republicans.)

Re:Of course they lost (4, Interesting)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736550)

Actually, it's not just online gambling.

There are numerous "cashless" casinos in my area. There was a surge of them. You bought a monthly membership, vouchers, however each one chose to set up, and you would compete for material prizes such as televisions, event tickets, and so on. Most of these casinos also donated 10% of their monthly earnings to charities.

The problem came about first when the local government realized they weren't getting anything special from these gambling halls, and when a small, small, small yet vocal group protested them, saying how their significant others were throwing away large amounts of money to be part of these casinos. This group launched a campaign and instead of seeking help for their loved ones, just wanted the places shut down. Not getting a lot of incentive from the casinos themselves, pressure was put on. I believe only two of the "game rooms" are still in business now.

What's the penalty interest? (1)

darcling (987237) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736385)

"The indictment charged Carruthers, Kaplan and nine other individuals ... with tax evasion, racketeering and conspiracy. Gary Kaplan has not paid federal wagering taxes on $3.3 billion on wagers taken by the firm, according to the indictment."

So what's the interest on $3.3 billion? I don't know, but I bet it's not cheap...

Re:What's the penalty interest? (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736456)

So what's the interest on $3.3 billion?
I personally am very interested in $3.3 billion. Thanks for offering.

offtopic? (0, Troll)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736397)


I can't tell if this post is offtopic or not because I am unclear as to what the YRO section of slashdot actually means.

So, with the context of this article, is it my right to be the victim of fraud and racketeering? Is it my right to violate copyright if I think the law is wrong? Is it my right to be a web hermit?

My point is that the YRO section seems to be confused between the controversial stuff like copyrights and patents and generic legal stuff like this article where I would imagine that few or no slashdotters would see this as being controversial or a violation of or rights or the people who are being arrested.

Of course, I did not read the article, but it seems as though these guys were bad guys and got caught for it. So, my thoughts are, gambling is bad m'kay. Getting arrested by the FBI when your being bad is bad m'kay. My rights do not appear to be violated and this does not seem like a controversial YRO article m'kay.

Re:offtopic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15736419)

They arnt bad guys, they just ran a gambaling website. The us claimed even though the business is run offshore they are evading tax. They are paying tax in the country the company is based in. American companies dont pay tax on earnings to the UK made from people in the UK who buy american stuff online. Why should this company be paying the US Govt.

Re:offtopic? (1)

Valharick (903629) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736423)

But just because you think gambling is bad, doesn't mean someone else believes the same. I think smoking is bad, but it's not my place to tell anyone else what to do.

YRO (4, Insightful)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736440)

I see it like this: Some people think they should have the right to gamble online. Other people think they shouldn't. Other people yet might think gambling online should be legal, but taxed and regulated.

Right now, there is no such thing as legal online gambling in the US. Because of that, all online gambling businesses are breaking the law. This particular case might be cut and dry, but the larger issue of our rights online can still be debated.

I think gambling is a tax on people who are bad at math, and should be 100% legal.

Re:YRO (5, Insightful)

Zzesers92 (819281) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736569)

Right now, there is no such thing as legal online gambling in the US. Because of that, all online gambling businesses are breaking the law.

wait one minute there.... the absence of a law legalizing online gambling does not, in fact, make the activity illegal. There's no law legalizing mowing your yard (oh God, at least I hope there's not!), but it is legal to do so. IMO, gambling is something should remain regulated at the state level regardless.

On the other hand, I'm not a lawyer. Maybe the Federal government has a law criminalizing online gambling. But it seems like these guys are (like most of the "gambling bad guys" from yesteryear) getting hit with TAX law. That doesn't make online gambling illegal, the Feds have just make it impossible to run an online casino AND pay federal wager taxes on the income. Who's the real crook? Note they're dragging years of non-online gambling into this story as well, trying to make a case against online gambling by throwing traditional bookmaking in the mix.

For me, if they get these guys for not paying US wager taxes on gambling wages placed by US citizens, then any online retailer who only collects Sales Tax for the state their entity exists in should be charged with racketeering too.

Re:YRO (1)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736654)

Gambling is very regulated in the US. Here in Colorado, for example, playing cards for money is illegal unless you are at a casino ($5 stakes) or are playing with "social contacts" and the house gets no cut.

It's treated more like drugs than yardwork here. Damned Puritan founders.

Thank you (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736683)

Right now, there is no such thing as legal online gambling in the US. Because of that, all online gambling businesses are breaking the law.
wait one minute there.... the absence of a law legalizing online gambling does not, in fact, make the activity illegal. There's no law legalizing mowing your yard (oh God, at least I hope there's not!), but it is legal to do so. IMO, gambling is something should remain regulated at the state level regardless.

Will someone PLEASE mod this up? I've already commented in this thread (wish I could take it back now!) so I can't at the moment.

As for the original poster, what in the world makes you think that there is no such thing as legal online gambling in the US? Is it merely that there's no law formally making it legal? PLEASE tell me that there's a reason besides a lack of a law formally making it legal. Because if that's it, please immediately read the Tenth Amendment [archives.gov] to the US Constitution. It's extremely important, it's your friend, and it's what gives you the Constitutional right to do the vast majority of the activities you do every day.

Re:Thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15736779)

but what I thought was interesting is that the US has arrested a non-US national for running a non-US company that provides a non-illegal service (at least in the countries Mr Carutthers runs it from). Apart from the fact that anyone in the US can access the sites and gamble if they choose, I'm sure the business has no dealing with the US at all.

Its like if Canada broadcast tv shows that could be picked up in the US from their Canadian transmitters, by their Canadian companies, whose content was quite legal in Canada, but not in the US. The US would try to enfore their laws on the Canadians if they stepped foot in the country, regardless of the fact that they've done nothing wrong.

America's bored of being the world's police, now they're trying to be the World's lawyers too.

Re:YRO (1)

prichardson (603676) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736576)

"I think gambling is a tax on people who are bad at math, and should be 100% legal."

Plenty of people who know on an intellectual level that the odds are against them don't know this on an emotional level. There's a compulsion (not always) to test the odds or a feeling that this might be the time. Some people find their emotions on the matter too strong to overcome with what they know about gambling.

That said, I still think it should be legal, but gambling addiction should be confronted as a problem in our society.

Re:YRO (2, Interesting)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736737)

That said, I still think it should be legal, but gambling addiction should be confronted as a problem in our society.
Right. Alcoholics and nicotine addicts can get help. Gamblers and crackheads are stigmatised as criminals, and help is not nearly so easy to come by.

Re:YRO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15736835)

Some people think they should have the right to gamble online. Other people think they shouldn't.

Why? In a lot of the USA-centric discussions, everybody just assumes that gambling is something that's obviously bannable, nobody seems to mention why it should be banned. So why is it that the USA government thinks gambling is so bad it should be illegal?

Re:YRO (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736920)

I think gambling is a tax on people who are bad at math, and should be 100% legal.

It's only a tax if at least some of the gambling losses go to the legitimate government of the gamblers (state lotteries), which is typically not the case with offshore online casinos.

And in any case, people who want to make gambling illegal are generally in favor of that position for the same reason that many people oppose drug legalization: the addiction problem. When you legalize things that lead to addiction, addiction rates have a tendency to go up, and it's challenging to argue that the addiction is good for people. What you can typically argue more effectively is that by driving these addictions underground, it becomes harder to monitor the dangers, and that a violent criminal element tends to develop around the addiction, and that maybe this isn't a net gain (but this is extremely difficult to prove, try to imagine running the study to determine: how many people were hurt/killed by alcohol gangs during prohibition vs how many people are hurt/killed by drunk drivers in the legalized alcohol regime).

Re:offtopic? (4, Informative)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736443)

Of course, I did not read the article, but it seems as though these guys were bad guys and got caught for it. So, my thoughts are, gambling is bad m'kay. Getting arrested by the FBI when your being bad is bad m'kay. My rights do not appear to be violated and this does not seem like a controversial YRO article m'kay.
I personally don't much like gambling, but as I see it this does apply to your rights online in that the crackdown on online gambling is defining a couple of rights you do or don't have. Is it or is it not illegal to run a gambling site out of this country? Is it or is it not illegal to use one, even if it's based somewhere that has no problem with it? If gambling is legal in Las Vegas, should I be able to set up a server there and run web casinos off it? Or can I patronize an offshore gambling site if I'm sitting at my PC in Atlantic City? Decisions are being made and precedents are being set which further delineate just what rights we do have online.

Re:offtopic? (1)

darcling (987237) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736446)

You have the right to gamble online... just not in the US : )

Of course you did not read the article! (1)

bobalu (1921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736448)

Nor consider that other people enjoy gambling and consider it you know part of "life liberty and pursuit of happiness". All that dumb stuff. Personally I don't gamble with my money, I don't enjoy it. But it's totally hyopcritical to allow gambling in AC and Vegas and every state's lottery and Powerball and then arrest a guy who's providing a service to people who want it.

Nobody has a gun to their head, m'kay?

Re:Of course you did not read the article! (1)

darcling (987237) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736485)

Hypocritical? Of course, look at the new gambling legislation - it bans online gambling... but carves out neat little exceptions for horse racing.

"GAMBLING IS BAD! Except on horses, horses are good."

I think John Stewart explains it well (gambling part is towards the end):
http://throwawayyourtv.com/2006/07/jon-stewart-on- net-neutrality.html [throwawayyourtv.com]

Re:Of course you did not read the article! (1)

zxnos (813588) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736882)

and here in colorado, smoking is bad, unless of course you are gambling... [smokefreecolorado.org]

Re:offtopic? (1)

M-G (44998) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736457)

Just because it's illegal doesn't mean it doesn't violate your rights. Yeah, the guys running the site sound like they're probably scumbags and fraudsters. But the feds are clearly going to go after online gambling operations as much as they can. So any gambling site is going to be a potential target. And when Congress is debating a bill to further restrict onling gambling, but carve out exceptions for interstate lotteries and horse betting, it's a bit hard to not see a double standard: I can bet on horses, but not poker. Sounds like my rights are involved.

WTO response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15736577)

The guys running it are running a legal and listed company in the UK. It's listed on the Alternative Intestment Market. The CEO was leaving the AGM in London to his home in Costa Rica and transfered planes in Dallas where he was arrested.

This is completely ridiculous. The reason the US is having a crackdown is because they need to answer to the WTO for having unfair competition with other nations wrt online gambling. Antigua won the WTO case and the US has to make their laws more fair for foreign companies. Well what did the US Federal government do? "WAH WAH WAH! We'll ban ALL online gambling!"

Re:offtopic? (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736461)

So, with the context of this article, is it my right to be the victim of fraud and racketeering?

"Racketeering" is a generic term for "heading a criminal enterprise." Illegal gambling falls under that umbrella - but no one was forcing the gamblers to play, so I don't see anyone being hurt! The only entities being "defrauded" are the US and State governments, since they don't get their share of the profits of the operation in taxes. In that, I don't see how different this is from going to a casino in Europe and playing there. Either way, unless you win, there's no way the US is getting a tax profit. If you do win, I'd suspect that electronic winnings may actually be easier to track and tax than cash winnings.

This is nothing more than a money grab by the US government. Moral of the story: don't fly through the US if you do something to keep money away from its government!

-b.

Re:offtopic? (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736502)

Is it my right to violate copyright if I think the law is wrong?

Huh? Are you referring to other articles or what?

All in all, it seems to be a matter of dumb, nanny-state laws. Depending on how you view "rights", a crackdown on Internet Gambling might indeed involve YRO.

Also, I have to raise an eyebrow at arrests at airline stopovers. It might have been careless on part of the guy arrested, but it seems like a way for our government to do an end-run around extradition laws of other countries.

Re:offtopic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15736603)

FTA:
"...has not paid federal wagering taxes...Misuse of the Internet to violate the law...harm legitimate businesses...punish and seize the profits of individuals who disregard federal and state laws."

The guy lives in Costa Rica. The reason that people went after him was due to the government not getting a cut of all the profits he was getting for people in the states using the online gambling sites.

My question would be whether this can be used as a precedent in later cases. If online actions, deemed illegal, by people inside the United States to services outside of the United States can be cut off and the people running the service be prosecuted, what is to say that *anything* deemed illegal that has any sort of dealing online where some organization or government body isn't getting money, can't also follow the same path?

And why don't we hear about people who used the service getting arrested?

The rights being violated are not neccesarily spelled out, but you should have the freedom to put your money where you want, or don't want. If this can be used as a precedent, then music (or now lyric), movies, tv shows or games downloading from out of country servers could be prosecuted by the *United States* as opposed to a local power. It would be like saying the United States has jurisdiction everywhere to prosecute anyone who violates our "state and federal laws."

My Answers (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736639)

So, with the context of this article, is it my right to be the victim of fraud and racketeering? Is it my right to violate copyright if I think the law is wrong? Is it my right to be a web hermit?

no, grey area due to 'fair use' and extenuating circumstances and yes (if you want to). The question is, is this a case of politically driven harrassment by law enforcement? Also, there is a tendency to equate arrest with conviction, which you are doing (I have to watch myself on this one as well). No one is guilty of anything. But thier business is being disrupted anyway.

Another question is, how intrusive do we want the gov't to be on the interweb?

There is another question in play as well, the DEA was out of work alomost until marijuana was outlawed. Is this just another case of law enforcement run amuck causing a panic to insure job security? Don't they have enough to do fighting terrorism? Are they even serious about terrorism? Etc.

So yes, it could be an on topic discussion.

bad word? (1)

preppypoof (943414) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736417)

the summary says that this is a precedent for a crackdown on all online gambling. So now online gambling is a menace to society?

My question... (4, Interesting)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736418)

Before I jump to conclusions, my question is this: Are they really guilty of fraud and racketeering (very serious crimes that should be severely punished), or is this just an excuse to try to stop online gambling? I would be interested in seeing and hearing the evidence that gets presented before making up my mind.

Of course, both sides are going to claim what will support their viewpoint.

On the one hand, the DoJ has been itching for any excuse to go after these folks for a long time, which doesn't help the perception of them. If they had remained legally neutral to the matter and just stuck to what the law says, I sure would be more comfortable that they actually have our best interest at heart and that they're not just pandering to right-wing nutcases.

On the other, the online gambling industry is one that is notoriously rife with fraud, and it's entirely possible that these guys are scum that have been doing what they're accused of or worse. For the sake of their industry, I hope that they have realized the scrutiny that they've been under and have made very diligent efforts to stay clean and legitimate and can prove so in court. Otherwise, these two may very well have doomed their entire industry, even the players that are 100% honest and that just want to provide an entertainment service.

I think that the most telling sign of what the truth is is whether the DoJ starts chasing down all online gambling houses for "fraud" and "racketeering." At any rate, it will be interesting to see how it all turns out.

Re:My question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15736733)

They are a public company on the London Stock Exchange. In the jurisdiction in which they are based their business is legal. The US is only pro free trade when it suits them, and will lose this argument at the WTO, though that may not be for 5 years or more.

Amazing (2, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736421)

What part of "bread and circuses" does this latest incarnation of fuedalism not understand?

Yes, Amazing (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15736499)

Jesus. I'll bet you're into D and D, too. Here's a clue: Normal people don't speak like that, normal people use series of words that make sense and have something to do with the discussion. I'll bet you're saying "whoosh! Right over that guys head". No, I understood every word. It's just that it made me groan so laud that my co-workers though I was having a heart attack. Good. Fucking. Lord. Get out of the basement.

Why was he in the US? (1, Interesting)

ToxikFetus (925966) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736427)

I thought most executives of gambling sites lived outside of the U.S. to avoid this very problem. If his company was taking in billions, there's no reason why he couldn't afford a nice estate in the Caymans.

Re:Why was he in the US? (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736476)

I thought most executives of gambling sites lived outside of the U.S. to avoid this very problem. If his company was taking in billions, there's no reason why he couldn't afford a nice estate in the Caymans.

He was living outside the US. He was changing planes on a flight from London to Costa Rica. Next time, sir, after you get out of jail, may I suggest booking a flight via Toronto? It's safer, and the security people are a good deal less hostile.

-b.

Re:Why was he in the US? (4, Informative)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736486)

I thought most executives of gambling sites lived outside of the U.S. to avoid this very problem.

RTFA (and the moderator that marked your posting insightful should do the same).

Carruthers was arrested by FBI agents in Dallas on Sunday afternoon as he was returning to his home in Costa Rica from a trip to the United Kingdom.

Re:Why was he in the US? (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736563)

I wonder.. if he didn't go through customs and was jsut going from one international flight to another and didn't go through a passport check then he wasn't on US soil.. i know it sounds weird but if you are international connecting flights if you don't go through US customs where they check your passport and stamp it.. you arn't on US soil so the FBI wouldn't have juristiction. I would like to know how all that played out..

Re:Why was he in the US? (1)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736655)

Unlike in most other countries, you can't change planes in the US without going through US immigration.
So, for example, if I happen to want to go to Cuba (which is perfectly legal for me to do), I have to first get a US visa so that I can change planes in Miami.

Re:Why was he in the US? (2, Insightful)

BobTheLawyer (692026) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736680)

You are most certainly on US soil if you're at a US airport getting connecting flights. You may be thinking of embassies.

Re:Why was he in the US? (1)

spacefight (577141) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736554)

Because he's an idiot. I've read in an article in Forbes Asia, that the founder of bodog.com never steps down on U.S. soil because of exactly this reason.

Re:Why was he in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15736684)

America, land of the free, home of the trumped up charge and legalised hostage taking for political capital.

Here's hoping all those involved in this blatantly ridiculous act get arrested, charged and jailed. The man has never committed a crime on US soil, but for some reason the US thinks it can charge him for things he has LEGALLY done, overseas - just because they aren't getting a pay off.

It stinks.

Re:Why was he in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15736590)

The lesson is: Don't take connecting flights that go through the US.

Bad news for poker players. (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736429)

This is bad news for those poker sites and poker players around the world. A lot of online gamblers are American (which means a lot of fish are American), and taking those players out of online gambling will make it less profitable to play poker online, which will drive away poker players from the online sites. If you're into stocks, I would imagine there'll be a lot of money to be made on shorts.

Re:Bad news for poker players. (1)

MrSquirrel (976630) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736492)

Or if you're into gambling, now might be a good time to switch to stocks. The stock market is just legalized gambling anyways.

"Harm legitimate business"? (3, Insightful)

dbc001 (541033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736477)

"Misuse of the Internet to violate the law can ultimately only serve to harm legitimate businesses."

I don't see how Internet Gambling could harm legitimate business...

Re:"Harm legitimate business"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15736544)

Because you're not loosing you're money to the real casinos which give money to the state

Re:"Harm legitimate business"? (4, Interesting)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736627)

It is a legitimate business. At least, it is here in the UK, and in most other countries.

The US makes laws that criminalize activities by non-US citizens that take place entirely outside the US. How else could David Carruthers have been arrested, when his business is based in Costa Rica?

Re:"Harm legitimate business"? (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736692)

As you probably know and heard, a lot of those politicians are sponsored by actual gambling enterprises (that have actual buildings). The actual hard-bulding gambling business gets hurt because the people don't have to leave their home anymore to gamble, your neighbours or other people from your church can't see you go online, but they can see you outside the casino. Just like online electronic stores are hurting the electro-farmer down the road, so it is with a lot of other business.

Excellent news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15736478)

I won my bet with that guy I met on the Internet that he would be arrested by the Feds.

Heh. My captcha image was "collects." As in collecting on a bet.

What about self regulation (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736489)

I often see people who say that with true capitalism, the market will regulate itself. If so, I hope these people will remember to vote for a part who lets the market actually do this to itself, including gambling, porn and drugs.

Only in Unix-speech less is more. In other speech less (regulation) means less (regulation).

However most likely what these people actualy mean is 'no more involvement, if people do what I want them to do and if people live acording to my values.

Fraud changes things. (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736625)

I often see people who say that with true capitalism, the market will regulate itself.

But when an operation (say, a casino or some other service business) is actually lying about what they're delivering for your money, that's different. The market could police itself, but when you're dealing with people who are committing fraud, etc., an established rule of law and a government to enforce it is a lot less... medieval. For some fantastic portrayal of this stuff getting hashed out, I highly, highly recommend watching the entire content of HBO's "Deadwood," from the very first episode.

Yeah. right. (4, Interesting)

farker haiku (883529) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736507)

"Illegal commercial gambling across state and international borders is a crime," said U.S Attorney Catherine Hanaway of the Eastern District of Missouri in a press release. "Misuse of the Internet to violate the law can ultimately only serve to harm legitimate businesses.

I'm from Missouri, and I know who those legitimate businesses are. Harrahs, Ameristar, The Casino Queen, and The President. And I bet (pardon the pun) that I know who they donate to. I'm looking at you, Catherine Hanaway.

The problem is this... (2, Interesting)

Churla (936633) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736527)

First they go after big fish in the online gambling market who are operating within the US.
Then they run out of those.
Next they go after big fish in the online gambling market who are operating outside the US.
Other governments tell US to go DIAF
US sees the only other way to address problems as going after the gamblers instead.
US uses this as a reason to further OK tracking all internet traffic.
We know where that goes.

There's no good outcome from this path. But greed will drive politicians to it.

Reminds me of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15736535)

Mikhail Kohordokovsky and Jack Abramoff!

They're terrorists I tell you! (2, Insightful)

Chasqui (601659) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736542)

Ok, so the US is fighting a couple of wars, holding people indefinitely in GITMO, probably being sucked into another conflict in the middle-east, etc. and THIS is what we spend our time on?
Gambling?
Something is afoot. Methinks it is time to re-enlicit support from the conservative base... elections are around the corner. And we all know that these rich 'moblike' online casino owners are probably funding terrorism, right? Its the perfect issue. You have the 'moral high-ground' and a non-US resident at which to finger-point! Wow. You have to hand it to the Republican party. Machiavelli could have learned a trick or two.

All I care about is SPAM (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736566)

Will this reduce online gambling spam? I don't care if those guys continue to operate or not. Let other people waste their money on that crap. It's a personal choice and I decline that form of entertainment... I think it should remain as such.

As for gambling tax revenues, I think there's plenty of law in place already. If the IRS determines that you have income that cannot be explained and they think it's from undeclared income from gambling, then let them prove it. The IRS is more than capable of creating ... err discovering the evidence they need.

But you know? If those guys disappear, will my email get lighter too? I hope so.

Good... (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736611)

Those commercials were annoying.

Now can they please arrest the people who make that HeadOn crap?

Stacked Deck? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736619)

Why is gambling illegal? Because god says so? Because compulsive adults hurt other people? Because serious criminals commiting other crimes also make and spend money gambling? Because illegal gambling makes the business more lucrative for the illegal "house", while keeping its customers from using police when something goes wrong?

Is gambling inherently any more criminal than drugs? Does criminalizing it help society more than it hurts?

Greed, Vegas and You (1)

PhantomRogue (897704) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736624)

This is nothing more than a play by the Gov't to suck more money out of avenues they were too ignorant to look at in the fist place. Whats the difference between betting online, versus going to Europe and play there.

Additionaly, Dont you have to claim residency in order to owe taxes (not an accountant, so I have no idea)? If you own an internet casino and claim US Residency, you are just asking for trouble.

Also, why wouldnt the Vegas Casino's start the gambling websites. Its legal there... no difference in me betting at the Sands from Vegas versus Betting at the Sands from Pittsburgh.

you go get them!!!!! (1)

stewie's deuce (953163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736649)

Everybody in Nevada, and many state legislators ***KNOW** that gambling and lotteries is just plain wrong and immoral!!!

how will this affect the "legal" online gambling (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15736793)

This has possible interesting ramifications for the few "Legal" online gambling sites. There are a few AFAIK legal hybrid online gambling sites operated in the U.S. by U.S. Casino's (and NJ state no less). There is the cyberslingo system run by NJ lottery, you buy a ticket and play the game online. And there is Playaway, where you buy a ticket at the casino and go home to play, which is operating in a handful of casino's in Nevada. Ironically the same system was in Foxwoods in CT but was shutdown by the Attorney General.

http://www.freeplayaway.com/ [freeplayaway.com]
http://www.ingenio-quebec.com/ingeniointernational /cmd/loteriesMM/concept [ingenio-quebec.com]

on the freeplayaway you can see the sites and play some games.

Re:how will this affect the "legal" online gamblin (1)

jbossvi (946552) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736859)

If it was so legal then why did connecticut AG shut it down... but really I dont see how the other ones in nevada can be legal and accessed across states line.

Gambling (1)

certel (849946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736843)

Not a good sign of things to come with Gambling sites. Although this is more than just online Poker, it's still sad to see.

Very sad (2, Interesting)

darjen (879890) | more than 8 years ago | (#15736857)

What this amounts to is that Americans have no concept of freedom or property rights such as they claim. If I have $10 and wish to wager it on the outcome of an event that has a certain chance of success or failure, I am not hurting anyone other than myself. The irony is that if they would have paid taxes (which I consider to be nothing more than extortion) on their earnings to the federal government it sounds like they would have been allowed to survive unmolested. It just goes to show the lengths to which our government will go to stomp on our natural rights. The only moral right we have as humans is to proceed with the course of our action as long as it doesn't forcibly harm anyone else. We are denied this every day in multiple ways. I fear that we have been conditioned to accept this as a legitimate cost of being in society. All the while, the fat cats in charge are laughing at how easy it is for them to earn a living at others expense.
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