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U.S. Arrests Online Gambling Company Chairman

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the pokemon-next-on-their-hit-list dept.

634

imaginaryelf writes "Reuters reports that U.S. authorities have arrested Peter Dicks, the chairman of U.K. based online sports betting company Sportingbet Plc, while he was passing through Dallas. Just two months ago, the CEO of another U.K. based online sports betting company, BetOnSports, was arrested on U.S. soil as well. They are both charged with violating the 1961 Federal Wire Act, which can be broadly interpreted as declaring all forms of online gambling illegal in the U.S. Is online gambling the Alcohol Prohibition of the 21st century?"

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634 comments

"Peter Dicks" (1, Funny)

cunina (986893) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062198)

Pretty sums up how I feel about the gambling industry.

Re:"Peter Dicks" (2, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062233)

More importantly, does he wear Dickies [dickies.com] to work?

Re:"Peter Dicks" (2, Funny)

cb8100 (682693) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062306)

Leave the poor guy alone. It's not his fault his first and last names are both euphemisms for 'penis.'

Re:"Peter Dicks" (2, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062256)

> Pretty sums up how I feel about the gambling industry.

Funny. Pretty much sums up how I feel about the prohibition industry.

Re:"Peter Dicks" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062388)

Funny. Pretty much sums up how I feel about the gambling industry.

Yes! (5, Funny)

Quaoar (614366) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062204)

Now my $1000 bet that Peter Dicks would be arrested doesn't look quite so foolish...call my bookie!

Prohibition? Hardly... (1)

urbanradar (1001140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062209)

> Is online gambling the Alcohol Prohibition of the 21st century? Online gambling is hardly the alcohol prohibition of the 21st century - organised gambling isn't nearly as widespread and deeply rooted in Western culture as consuming alcohol is.

Re:Prohibition? Hardly... (4, Funny)

Maclir (33773) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062243)

>organised gambling isn't nearly as widespread and deeply rooted in Western culture as consuming alcohol is.

You wanna bet?

Re:Prohibition? Hardly... (1)

urbanradar (1001140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062275)

Good one...!

Seriously though, that's why I wrote "organised gambling" in my original posting. I'm aware that humans have always loved to make a bet or roll a dice. But casinos, one-armed bandits or even organised high-stakes card games came along centuries after alcoholic beverages did.

Re:Prohibition? Hardly... (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062290)

<mortal kombat guy> OUTSTANDING </mortal kombat guy>

Drug Prohibition... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062356)

...is the Alcohol Prohibition of the 21st. Century! Next obvious question?

What a name (-1, Offtopic)

Nonillion (266505) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062212)

You said Peter...heheheheheh.. you said Dicks...hahahaheheheheh

JFK, not DFW (3, Informative)

jimjamjoh (207342) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062219)

according the article, he was arrested @ kennedy, not in dallas.

Re:JFK, not DFW (2, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062254)

Ok, so he's liberal dick instead of a conservative dick?

Re:JFK, not DFW (4, Funny)

Quaoar (614366) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062255)

Wouldn't be the first time Dallas screwed over Kennedy...

Re:JFK, not DFW (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062278)

Ouch.. that was harsh man.. harsh

Re:JFK, not DFW (3, Funny)

Deadguy2322 (761832) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062301)

Kennedy in Dallas. It's enough to make your head explode, isn't it?

Common sense (4, Insightful)

kooky45 (785515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062226)

If you live outside of the US and have done something that the US have made illegal then don't go there.

Re:Common sense (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062314)

If you live outside of the US and have done something that the US have made illegal then don't go there.

Is there anyone living outside the US that hasn't done something the US has made illegal? There can't be that many IN the US that haven't. I think your rule can be shortened to just "avoid the US".

Re:Common sense (1)

celardore (844933) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062320)

If you live outside of the US and have done something that the US have made illegal then don't go there.


Oh no! I went to Holland last year and smoked some weed, which is illegal in the US. Guess I won't be seeing those relatives across the pond now.

Re:Common sense (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062394)

I hereby dub thee "Bad Analogy Guy Jr."

Re:Common sense (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062322)

I thought this only applied to U.S. citizens that did something illegal abroad and then flew back home. Well, if it turns out that's not the only case, then this custom is being unfairly applied to those involved with online gambling.

Think of it this way...At some point in time, a foreign executive must have visited the U.S. for vacation. Specifically, someone whose (foreign) company does something that would be considered illegal here...ie, environmental regs, bribery of govt. officials, labor law, etc.

Re:Common sense (4, Insightful)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062369)

IANAL, but I think the prosecutors will make an argument that Mr. Dicks knowingly provided a service that was illegal in the US, to US citizens who were on US soil at the time. On the one hand, it's a clever way of getting the guy. On the other hand, it could set up some dangerous precidents. Getting a hacker under US law because the server he penetrated was on US soil is one thing. However, the strategy I think they're going to use could, in theory, be used by the **AA against, say, The Pirate Bay.

Like driving on the left hand side of the road? (4, Interesting)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062336)

It is nuts to arrest somebody for a "crime" committed elsewhere (where it is not a crime). For example, in many parts of the world civilians are not permitted to own or carry handguns. Should somebody be arrested on landing in the UK because they happened to own/carry a handgun while in the US?

This is either harrassment or just the US thinking it has rights to push the rest of the world around.

Re:Like driving on the left hand side of the road? (4, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062414)

It is nuts to arrest somebody for a "crime" committed elsewhere (where it is not a crime). For example, in many parts of the world civilians are not permitted to own or carry handguns. Should somebody be arrested on landing in the UK because they happened to own/carry a handgun while in the US?
No, but if they sold and shipped the handgun to someone who lives in the UK they might be.

Re:Common sense (3, Funny)

sjwest (948274) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062339)

and refuse to trade with them too - consider the enron three http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5204030.stm [bbc.co.uk] - these three bankers are soley responisble for enron's demise. Praise be no american caused enron to fail.

Re:Common sense (2, Funny)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062370)

If you live outside of the US and have done something that the US have made illegal then don't go there.

Now you know what I've been going through!

I don't know if the FBI has these things I've done on the internet in the nineties on record desperatly waiting for me to fly over. I always have these nightmares where I set foot on American soil and have all these FBI guys grinning at me when I finally feel confident enough that the things I've done went unnoticed or uncared about, and shipping me off in a weird CIA prison in my own country in Europe and am forced into gay sex and afterwards some journalist saving me by sending pictures of that around the world.

Don't get me wrong, I don't fear Americans as they're really easily outsmarted (i'm pretending to know English!) and I can handle weird laws and customs, heck even torture, but I'm simply waaay too homophobic...

Re:Common sense (2, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062412)

Only a few million people should be arrested then. The age of consent is 14 or 16 in most European countries. So you're saying pretty much half of Europe should avoid travelling to the USA because they would be arrested?

Fortunately, law doesn't work like this. You cannot exercise judicial power for things outside a country's juristiction or if you're not a citizen of that country (you can be held accountable for age of consent laws without borders solely based on citizenship, for example if you're an Australian and go to Thailand and back, you can still be arrested for sexual crimes if you had sex with a 13 year old girl in Thailand).

Re:Common sense (1)

Simon Garlick (104721) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062457)

Mod parent up.

No, not gambling... (3, Funny)

AnderMoney (1001144) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062227)

I would say cigarette smoking is much closer to alcohol prohibition. I just hope that once they ban smoking in bars I can open up a speakeasy where we'll drink and smoke and gamble online to our heart's content....

Peter Dicks?!?! Who named this guy, anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062236)

Lord only knows what his middle name is...

Re:Peter Dicks?!?! Who named this guy, anyway? (2)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062344)

It's "Harry."

I dont see the logic in this (1, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062247)

Online gambling might be illegal in u.s. This guy is an u.k. citizen, and set up a site IN u.k.

Are americans SO moron that they can conclude they have the right to arrest someone according to their own laws, WHEREAS ALL they NEED to do and HAD to do is to bar all access from u.s. to that u.k. site ? Huh ?

Re:I dont see the logic in this (5, Interesting)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062289)

WHEREAS ALL they NEED to do and HAD to do is to bar all access from u.s. to that u.k. site

If the US government did that, then you'd be complaining about censorship.

The problem is that this guy and his company accepted money from US citizens who were on US soil in exchange for providing a service that is illegal in the US. It would be trivial for him to refuse credit card transactions for cards where the address on record is in the US, and at least then he'd have plausible deniability. Of course, doing so destroys most of his market, so it's easy to see why he wouldn't do that.

Re:I dont see the logic in this (2, Interesting)

CaptainCarrot (84625) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062331)

If the US government did that, then you'd be complaining about censorship.

Furthermore, the US government can't do that. It's not technically feasable. We don't have a single, nationwide firewall like some countries do that can be configured to block out arbitrary foreign sites.

I suppose it's far easier to arrest a single foreign national -- even though what he's doing is perfectly legal in his own country -- than it is to arrest his American customers, who really are committing crimes on US soil. Less unpopular in an election year, too, off-year or not.

Re:I dont see the logic in this (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062433)

So, you would support arresting drug users and letting the dealers go: correct?

Re:I dont see the logic in this (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062347)

It would be trivial for him to refuse credit card transactions for cards where the address on record is in the US, and at least then he'd have plausible deniability.
Sure, but then he has to do that for every country. So he has to understand the laws in every country, keep track of any changes, and then have the logic programmed into his system.

I think the responsibility should fall on the U.S. Government's shoulders if they want to stop their citizens from using a site. (Not that that's any more feasible, but that's their responsibility.)

Other sites do it (1)

aeoneal (728354) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062439)

Isn't that what the NYTimes did when they didn't allow ready access to a story in the UK, trying to support a UK law?

It's a lot to ask of any site, though, and I don't believe it was the wisest decision on the part of the NYT.

Re:I dont see the logic in this (1)

Enzo the Baker (822444) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062440)

Sure, but then he has to do that for every country. So he has to understand the laws in every country, keep track of any changes, and then have the logic programmed into his system.

That's part of the cost of selling a product internationally. Electronics companies spend a lot of money for compliance testing and certification for telephony, electromagnetic emessions, safety, etc. In some cases it can cost thousands of dollars and take several months to get a product cleared to sell in just one country. I'd say this guy has it easy.

Re:I dont see the logic in this (4, Interesting)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062352)

actually, credit card companies do not allow charges to known gambling sites... there are ways around... "paypal" type things for gambling, so the actual gambling site would not have "knowladge" that the person was from the US. Also, it's not for an out of the country site to abide by US law.. that's for US citizens to do on their own. Compare this issue to downloading libCSS from off shore, downloading MP3 from AllmyMP3 in Russia, or hosting porn in a friendly state.

In the last three cases we expect the citizen to follow the law, because to restrict or monitor access would be UnAmerican. Gambling is a "vice" crime so to the law enforcement "religion" it's different. The fundamental problem is that it's easier for the govt to collar these guys illegally than it is to fix the real problem going on in the country. Also, "rightist" state legislatures and law enforcement work very hard to delay, subjorn, etc. the Will of the people to change these backwards laws. For them "Law" is the "religion" and so they should not "compromise" even if the people vote for it.

Re:I dont see the logic in this (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062472)

I believe that there was legislation trying to ensure that credit card companies and banks weren't allowed to pay gambling sites, but I'm not certain of the outcome of that legislation.

Even without it, I gather that many credit card companies were disallowing charges to betting companies anyway. They were getting a lot of chargebacks, people claiming that their cards were stolen and that it wasn't them doing the gambling, and it just wasn't worth it to continue to support those sites.

Re:I dont see the logic in this (1)

grrrgrrr (945173) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062405)

"The problem is that this guy and his company accepted money from US citizens who were on US soil in exchange for providing a service that is illegal in the US." The problem with that is that I do not think a U.K citizen is supposed to know the U.S. law. And what if it was a U.S police officer that made the bet that kind of police method is illegal in a lot of countries but not in the U.S

Re:I dont see the logic in this (2, Interesting)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062475)

The problem is that this guy and his company accepted money from US citizens who were on US soil in exchange for providing a service that is illegal in the US. It would be trivial for him to refuse credit card transactions for cards where the address on record is in the US, and at least then he'd have plausible deniability. Of course, doing so destroys most of his market, so it's easy to see why he wouldn't do that.
So? Why should he even CARE or give a shit about that? He is a CEO of a business operating in the UK under UK laws. Why should he care about anything else but UK law? Tell me one good reason. You can't. It would be contrary to international practice, law and custom to assume otherwise but to limit a country's juristiction to its borders and citizens.

You see, the difference is that the service the company is offering from the UK would be illegal if they were based in the USA. One analogy to understand the situation is that this is the same case as if the citizens of the USA using this service were magically teleported to the UK, conducted their business and then went back to the USA. If that is illegal in the USA, then punish the citizens of the USA, but there is absolutely no basis for the USA to punish a legally operating legitimate UK business.

Re:I dont see the logic in this (4, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062302)

He let's Americans gamble on his site, so he lets them break the law. That's illegal. At least that what I'm guessing their logic is. My guess is that their claim to him is a little tenuous to say the least. I bet he refused to bar access from US betters. The US's stance is hardly unknown, especially if you are in that industry.

I think that "online gambling is prohibition" comment is rather ridiculous. Online gambling is something people do from home, where one of the big things about prohibition is that it removed a common social activity (going to a bar with friends and to meet people). They are nothing alike except that they are both bans on something popular, and (are likey to get) overturned.

Don't forget that there is a REASON online gambling is still illegal. While that act can be intrepreted that way, Congress could have easily changed that by passing a law. However, don't think that all the casinos in Vegas and elsewhere like the idea of online gambling. That could take away a LOT of a their business if it was legalized. I'd be amamzed if they weren't pouring out money to keep online gambling illegal.

Re:I dont see the logic in this (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062304)


Are americans SO moron...

Oh, the humor.

If you're going to call someone a moron, please use proper grammar, or you'll wind up looking like a moron yourself.

Re:I dont see the logic in this (1)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062312)

Clearly, putting a website up that can be accessed from the US that offers services that are illegal in the US forces Americans to use these illegal services. Therefore, you are contributing to the moral degradation of America, and that can't be allowed.

Re:I dont see the logic in this (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062317)

One problem. In the article 77% of his sales are to Americans. There is the case in Canada where a guy sells pot seed to Americans. It's not illegal in Canada, but is in America. If this person steps foot in America he is a goner.

Or let's switch the table. America is pretty lax with its gun laws. What if an American company persistently sold high powered weapons to countries that banned weapons. I am guessing there would be quite the outrage in the other counteries. And if a CEO of such a company stepped foot in the other country the CEO would be arrested just the same.

My advice for the CEO would have been, "DON'T travel via the US!" When in Rome do as the Romans even if you think the Romans are bone-heads! ;)

Re:I dont see the logic in this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062368)

And if a CEO of such a company stepped foot in the other country the CEO would be arrested just the same.

Agreed. If the US has started capturing British businessmen like this then the UK needs to retaliate. Fortunately, the differences in free speech standards make for plenty of 'legitimate' US targets. Then we can have a hostage exchange. Or just keep escalating. It's not like you wanted to have a single friendly nation left anyway.

Re:I dont see the logic in this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062416)

You pot seed example is a step worse: Mark Emery has not set foot in the US, but is being deported there following a US extradition request.
The US has become what it hates, and most Americans aren't smart enough to even notice.

Re:I dont see the logic in this (1)

jythie (914043) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062434)

If that happened, you would have the US government ranting and raving at how the other country is hurting ligit US buisness and should be punished. The american government gets really pissy if someone tries to stop american buisnessmen from making gobs of money somewhere.

Re:I dont see the logic in this (4, Informative)

TrappedByMyself (861094) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062340)

Well, go to betonsports.com

"To contact BetonSports Customer Service please call toll free 1-866-481-3057. You may also send email requests to:
customer_service@betonsports.com
Customer Service hours are Monday to Friday, 10am - 10pm EST. "

Hmm, looks like a US number and a US timezone there. May be UK based, but they are definitely targeting business to the US

Re:I dont see the logic in this (2, Informative)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062345)

He's being arrested for crimes having to do with wiring money to/from the US for gambling, not something he did in UK.

Re:I dont see the logic in this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062359)

Online gambling might be illegal in u.s. This guy is an u.k. citizen, and set up a site IN u.k.
I happen to know the legal side of such cases since I had to implement a web service for which the company didn't have permission yet to offer it in countries outside of the USA.
The address with which the user signs-up (e.g. billing address) is what counts. In this case, Mr Dicks just shouldn't have accepted US addresses during signup.

Re:I dont see the logic in this (1)

Bamafan77 (565893) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062426)

Online gambling might be illegal in u.s. This guy is an u.k. citizen, and set up a site IN u.k. Are americans SO moron that they can conclude they have the right to arrest someone according to their own laws, WHEREAS ALL they NEED to do and HAD to do is to bar all access from u.s. to that u.k. site ? Huh ?
Well your plan for solving this is almost certainly unworkable in the real world. A US version of The Great Wall of China would immediately turn into a fight between the "We-Should-Have-Complete Access-to-the-Net!" vs the "This-Doesn't-Go-Far-Enough!" camps.

These guys are being arrested because billions of untaxed dollars are flowing out of the US and probably because the casino lobby has paid key people in the government to have their foreign competition arrested.

So the second guy is a moron... (2, Interesting)

b0r1s (170449) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062248)

First one gets arrested, that's unfortunate for him.

Second one gets arrested - man, how dumb to you have to be to fly through the US when you know you're likely to get arrested? It's not like international flight lists are ignored these days. Passengers that may pass on domestic flights aren't going to escape scrutiny on international (especially incoming) flights.

Re:So the second guy is a moron... (2, Interesting)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062363)

I think he might have believed in international law and customs that state a country's laws don't extend beyond their borders or citizens. How foolish of him eh? The USA is hell bent in the last few years (for the more history-savvy, for the last few decades) to ignore international law.

Re:So the second guy is a moron... (2, Interesting)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062455)

Second one gets arrested - man, how dumb to you have to be to fly through the US when you know you're likely to get arrested?
It does sound dumb. But, given the UK/US extradition treaty that is highly biased in favor of the US, perhaps he felt the risk was no greater than he was exposed to by living in the UK.

Our laws, your country... (5, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062249)

Its another great example of the US deciding that its perfectly okay to have their laws apply to people from other countries, but the idea of an international criminal court that might try CIA and US Soldiers for torture and crimes against humanity then the answer is no.

Remind me again why people think the US is imperialist?

Re:Our laws, your country... (4, Informative)

b0r1s (170449) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062265)

They applied it in the US - if he didn't want to be subject to US laws, all he had to do was not fly into the US. Problem solved.

Re:Our laws, your country... (4, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062297)

So you're saying the server hosting the site somehow flew into the USA?

The only way they could have arrested him legally, if he broke a law in the USA WHILE in the USA.

You cannot break US laws outside the USA, so in the UK what he does is perfectly legal.

Why isn't the british diplomacy concerned about the kidnapping of a UK citizen? In the 18th century they would have sent the gunboats already.

Re:Our laws, your country... (3, Insightful)

wiggles (30088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062464)

Not to defend this action, but the guy did commit a crime on US soil from the UK. I'm sure the US government's reasoning is something along these lines: By setting up a server in the UK to allow gambling in the US, the crime (slob in his underwear betting on cockroach races at 4am or whatever) was committed on US soil. The crime was only facilitated by offshore people and servers. They can use the same rationale to arrest and try South American drug lords, sea pirates (Avast!), money launderers who use offshore accounts, etc. They even have arrest warrants waiting to be served for the members of the DeBeers cartel for antitrust violations and contempt.

Here's an analogy. Say I'm in Mexico with a trebuchet and tons of pot. Let's say for the sake of argument that we paid off the federales, and we can operate with impunity. Let's say you're in Texas with a catapult. If you send me money via your catapult and I send you bales of dope via my trebuchet, I'm guilty of selling drugs in the US, even though I never set foot on US soil.

See?

Re:Our laws, your country... (1)

flooey (695860) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062467)

The only way they could have arrested him legally, if he broke a law in the USA WHILE in the USA.

You cannot break US laws outside the USA, so in the UK what he does is perfectly legal.


It doesn't matter where the person happens to be standing when the illegal act is carried out, it matters where the illegal act happened. If I throw an explosive across the US border, I still committed a crime in the US, despite not being within the border when the crime happened. In this case, it was a financial transaction with an American, which means that it happened (in part) in the United States.

Re:Our laws, your country... (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062298)

but did he commit a crime while on US soil.. if he isn't a US citizen and he didn't commit crime on US soil then what does the US have to get him on..

on another note.. i thought they where supposed to use that flight list stuff the stop terror peps not online poker..

Re:Our laws, your country... (1)

sponga (739683) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062407)

He accepted U.S. money; end of story.
They have been stopping felons/mentally unstable and people with warrants all the time from flying for ages. 'Flight Risk' might be a new term for you.

Old news and no need to fear monger with the terrorist and privacy.

Re:Our laws, your country... (5, Informative)

slarabee (184347) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062395)

And the reason he wasn't arrested during the previous ten years of the gambling site's existence? He has passed through the United States multiple times in the past decade while participating in this orgy of criminal vice. He has even held press conferences in the United States during this time. Officials in the federal government were well aware Carruthers was in their jurisdiction yet have done nothing.

Could it have something to do with a vote dealing with a ban on Internet gambling coming up in the legislature in the next couple weeks? Could it have something to do with the fact Carruthers has been a vocal opponent of the upcoming bill. Strange that. The man is arrested based on his involvement in running an Internet gambling company. Yet referencing the vote on banning Internet gambling requires using the future tense.

Perhaps using a 1961 law that only questionably relates to the Internet and even more questionably relates to an individual operating out of a different country is not quite so sound...

http://www.reason.com/sullum/072606.shtml [reason.com]

http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2006/09/sullum_ on_internet_gambling_ar.php [scienceblogs.com]

Re:Our laws, your country... (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062404)

no, because HIS business was in the foriegn country... he did not come here and personally break the law here. That's where the legal fallacy comes into play.. imagine for instance driving from Michigan (speed limit 70) to Ohio (speed limit 60) driving legally in Ohio, but getting a ticket because you were "speeding" in Michigan... consider the effect if you were an Ohio citizen.. Can Ohio control your actions in another state? Consider if you are a citizen of Michigan? Or in another more charged case, consider a porn star moved to the "bible belt" and registered as a sex offender because they committed "gross sexual acts" on film legally in another STATE.

Of course that would be silly, but why is it different in this case which is International?

Re:Our laws, your country... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062276)

Its another great example of the US deciding that its perfectly okay to have their laws apply to people from other countries

Well, maybe we should use laws based on Nationality; Americans on European soil will be trailed under American law. This might get very fascinating for immigrants as well :)

Re:Our laws, your country... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062351)

As a US citizen I do think the US is imperialist, but not for this particular case AND you are way off here.

If US people are going to blowing away their money then the government should be damned concerned that it stays in the US as much as possible. one: You can't tax money anymore if it leaves the country. We have plenty of leagal gambling in this country. two: like the other guy said, "if they are going to be breaking our laws then they sure as hell shouldn't be stopping in ocassionally." I'll bet they didn't make any attempt to stop US citizens from gambling through them, IP filtering or something would have at least shown an attempt to abide by our laws when involving US citizens while they are still in the US.

Re:Our laws, your country... (1)

pizpot (622748) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062374)

Technically, he was running the site, while he was in Housten. Maybe if he closed it while he travelled perhaps?

Re:Our laws, your country... (2)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062466)

Its another great example of the US deciding that its perfectly okay to have their laws apply to people from other countries

You have it exactly backwards. The guy is providing services to Americans that are illegal in America. What difference does it make where he's doing it from? Columbian drug runners are also regularly thrown in jail for selling services in the US.

What you're really saying is that you think UK laws should be forced upon the USA. Sorry, but that's not how it works. If the guy breaks US laws with US citizens, and he comes here, then he's going to get his ass picked up.

So does this mean... (1)

nso (825449) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062257)

that Steve Jobs has to stay away from Scandinavia or he will be arrested because his company does not comply to the countries IP-laws?
I wonder what odds you could get on that on the gamblingsites

Prohibition (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062258)

>Is online gambling the Alcohol Prohibition of the 21st century?"

How about drug prohibition or pornography prohibition? Anytime the governement gets in the way of people and what they want to do, someone will find a way around it.

Oh that's good... (2, Insightful)

bziman (223162) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062259)

So it's okay for the United States to arrest foreign nationals because they run a business in their own country that is (sort of) illegal in the States.

And yet the American government complains loudly when Freedom Fighters in the Middle East capture and detain members of the American invasion force who are obviously breaking the law by invading those countries?

It would be really nifty if the American government spent as much time trying to provide health-care to its citizens, teaching science in its schools, and waging peace, as it spends on enforcing fear driven puritanical laws at home and waging unjust ideological wars abroad.

--brian

Re:Oh that's good... (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062315)

Let's try this to the extreme:

Year 2032: San Angeles State Court decrees that the United Kingdom is acting in contravention of US law by allowing online gambling. Two months later, the United States declares war on United Kingdom.

Year 2033: President Tony Blair surrenders to President George W. Bush III and apologises profusely. The United Kingdom is dissolved and is now a province of the United States of America.

(But... the future refused to change)

Re:Oh that's good... (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062367)

I think Lavos popping out of the earth wound really help humans to get their priorities straight for a little while again.

Re:Oh that's good... (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062481)

Are you serious?

They'd probably just try and sue him!

Re:Oh that's good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062353)

Any one can be arrested in any country, this includes US soldiers, CIA agents or the president himself. Generally the country where they are a citizen will want them back and will probably get them back. We arrest him here and send him back to the UK.

We can't go into the UK and arrest him, we can arrest him in the U.S. Which part doesn't make sense to you? He broke US laws, he was in the US, we arrested him for breaking the law. Being foreign doesn't give you the ability to break the law and not be arrested. I'm not sure where you got that idea.

At least think for a few seconds before posting your anti-US bologna. K? Thanks..

U.S. a no go zone (5, Insightful)

ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062263)

In the near future, the United States of America may be a country that non-Americans fear to travel to. With the DMCA, the Patriot Act, association with gambling sites, corporate deals with Iran, corporate deals with Cuba ... you just simply do not know whether or not you will be arrested when entering the United States. If your non-American company did business with Cuba, could you be arrested? If you engaged in fair use of media in your country, could you be arrested for DMCA violations?

You won't know until you are on American soil.

Re:U.S. a no go zone (1)

pizpot (622748) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062398)

It has already happened for many Canadians. I for one don't want to roll the gitmo bay dice and get abducted by mistake. It is easy to travel around the states.

Re:U.S. a no go zone (4, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062425)

I stopped wanting to go to the US a long time ago. My last name is Yousef and I'm very arabic looking. Never mind that my family's background is Christian not Muslim, that I don't believe in God, or that the work I do required security checks and clearance before I was employed. Last nail in the coffin was when they started fingerprinting everyone. I don't want to be treated like a criminal and randomly finger printed and searched all the way there and back. That's not something I want to do for a good job let alone for a holiday.

In 1998 I went to the US to do training and none of this was a concern. The programmers boot camp I went to sucked by on one of my two weekends off in the 10 week hell I went to the Kennedy Space Center and I loved it! I always wanted to go back and take a look at the Grand Canyon. Now I wouldn't go if they paid me.

Fuck 9/11. Fuck the terrorists. Fuck the people who've used it as a power grab. Fuck the blind sheep who'll let them until its too late. I've had a gut full of this bad behaviour from all sides. ...And if anyone wants to mod this as flamebait, that's fine be my guest, but before you do read the definition of a flame. I'm not saying these things just to piss people off. This is genuinely how I feel, and I'm not alone.

Re:U.S. a no go zone (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062445)

In the near future, the United States of America may be a country that non-Americans fear to travel to.

Yeah, because every non-American is running services TO AMERICANS that are illegal in AMERICA. ::rolls eyes:: None of your examples fit that criteria.

Guess what? If you sell cocaine in the USA that happens to be legal in your country, you'll be arrested as well.

I won't go. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062448)

In the near future, the United States of America may be a country that non-Americans fear to travel to. With the DMCA, the Patriot Act, association with gambling sites, corporate deals with Iran, corporate deals with Cuba ... you just simply do not know whether or not you will be arrested when entering the United States. If your non-American company did business with Cuba, could you be arrested? If you engaged in fair use of media in your country, could you be arrested for DMCA violations?

You won't know until you are on American soil.


I'm Canadian. Some of my friends still live in the US. But I'm never crossing that border again; I swore it long ago, when Dmitry Skylrov was arrested on DMCA charges, and when Alan Cox pointed out that he could be arrested for working on Linux.

Since the passing of the PATRIOT act, I'm all the more glad of my vow. And the more I study US law, the more glad I am. The laws in the US are striking puritanical; and while they have free speech rights on paper, they often don't mean much in practice. Television broadcasts, for example, don't count as free speech: but political campaign contributions do. Gambling is illegal. Not conforming to the local dress code can be illegal! I'm no constitutional legal scholar, but I can tell that a TV show is closer to "speech" than a wad of money is. The KKK has it's right to hate speech; but people who protest war get walled off in "free speech zones". A reputable scientist is terrorized into halting brain research because he's afraid of the religious wingnuts firebombing his house. Gun toting maniacs wander the streets, and the police are powerless to stop them. No thanks!

Besides, I've found out that I'm accidentally a criminal in the US; I actually had sex in a state where sex is illegal. That's right: "fornication" is (or was) still illegal in Oklahoma, unless you happen to be married to the woman at the time. Admittedly, the statute isn't enforced much anymore: when I left, it was mostly being used to persecute homosexuals, who weren't granted the right to marry, and now were being threatened with jail time for being actively gay.

I wouldn't set foot on that country's soil if you paid me. There's too much corruption, too little freedom and too little safety.

No, online gambling is 3rd (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062264)

Smoking bans are the new prohibition.

Second is alcohol prohibition -- lowering the drunk driving standards until you're gulty of drunk driving even though you're not even impaired.

Online gambling is 3rd.

In other news... (1)

TheWoozle (984500) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062270)

Richard Knob, John Thomas, and Wang Dong were all released from custody today after a mixup leading to their arrest. A police spokesperson was quoted as saying that it was "...a simple clerical error."

Um... (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062274)

British people. British companies. Americans charging them with crimes as soon as they set foot on US soil.

What a load of bullshit.

The real terrorists?? (2, Funny)

PinkPanther (42194) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062280)

And Lou Dobbs says that Canada harbours terrorists.

Take a look at your so-called friend, Britain!

hogwash (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062282)

the US has no right to arrest foreign citizens following the laws of their respective country. none of this could possibly stand up in court.

still wonder how this is illegal for a non-residen (4, Insightful)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062284)

I still wonder how this is illegal for a non-resident, hosted off shore, with no servers in the US at all. Now it should probably be illegal for US citizens.. many individual states have laws against gambling in any form...but that would be a state issue to their citizens. I sort of understand how the Federal Wire laws make state crimes illegal because you "used" a federal regulated wire service, but I can't understand how they can arrest citizens of other countries for running the service legally in their own country.


Of course, were the USA we can do what ever we want... I often wonder how we'd react if say Bill Gates was arrested in Communist China for being an "obscenely rich capitalist".. .I'm sure that's still illegal over there, and Microsoft sells to China.. so why should the reds take a chance at getting him? It's the same basic principle.

Re:still wonder how this is illegal for a non-resi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062342)

Duh! That's why he doesn't travel to China

So I guess if I set up a boat off-shore and (2, Insightful)

bryz (730558) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062383)

Started up a website serving up good old kiddy porn, started charging US users to download those images I should be safe then.

I think another person suggested that the US should have censured illegal sites.

How about if you're going to conduct business in a country, you follow and obey all local rules and regulations? If you can't comply, then about making it so that you block access yourself so you don't violate those laws and regulations.

Second, I can't believe this Dicks decided to go through the US even though the other guy went in a couple months earlier and got arrested. It's either arrogence or stupidity.

WHO CARES HOW IDIOTS PART WITH THEIR MONEY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062350)

SERIOUSLY UGGH THIS CRAP IS SO ANNOYING IF ITS NOT ONLINE GAMBLING ITS GOING TO BE MOONSHINE OR SOME OTHER PATHETIC VENTURE.

IDIOTS AND MONEY ALWAYS PART WAYS. ALWAYS. BAN THE STOCK MARKET IF YOU DONT LIKE GAMBLING. JESUS.

KARMA HIT AHOY.

Seriously. Who the hell cares. I don't care. Do you care? No? Me neither.
Seriously. Who the hell cares. I don't care. Do you care? No? Me neither.
Seriously. Who the hell cares. I don't care. Do you care? No? Me neither.
Seriously. Who the hell cares. I don't care. Do you care? No? Me neither.
Seriously. Who the hell cares. I don't care. Do you care? No? Me neither.

Land of the free? (1)

toxickiwi (799307) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062360)

There are a few things I don't understand about the States and this is one of them, all the talk about freedom and democracy and you can't even place a bet with your own money on the internet. Somehow this just doesn't seem free to me...

Don't panic, the liberators are on the way :)

Re:Land of the free? (1)

DaveWick79 (939388) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062478)

Part of the problem is not placing bets on the internet with your own money, it's placing bets with someone else's money; e.g. stolen credit cards or bank account info. Also there are practices in place in casinos to keep people from gambling too much. You don't have even that thin safeguard when someone is sitting at home spending their wages on gambling sites when their wife and kids are starving.

By Any Other Name (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062377)

With a name like that, I would have expected him to be in the p0rn industry instead.

21st Century Prohibition (4, Insightful)

subreality (157447) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062379)

Is online gambling the Alcohol Prohibition of the 21st century?


No. Marijuana is the Alcohol Prohibition of the 21st century.

Another reason why... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16062393)

The yanks are the biggest fucking tossers on this planet

Gambling is here to stay (2, Informative)

dougman (908) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062399)

First off, the link says, "Dicks was arrested in New York late on Wednesday at JFK Airport on a warrant from Louisiana" nothing about Dallas. What's up with the warrant from Louisiana? Sounds like some small-timer that wants to stir things up. There's got to be more to the story.

I'm a big-time outspoken conservative and I love to play no-limit hold 'em (and hi/lo omaha). I'd like to state that I am very diappointed that republicans are backing this and I believe this really is just for votes this fall. There are democrat supporters on this as well, so it isn't completely one-sided. Everyone interested in keeping internet gambling alive needs to talk to their representative.

The good news is that this was tried in the late 90's and failed. It passed the house in 2003 but the senate didn't take up the issue. With the rate at which poker in particular is gaining popularity, this should be an issue that can be defeated. I see the senate again not taking up this issue in 2006. Post 2006 elections, it should disappear for a while again. Apparently big money doesn't buy all the votes as online gambling is worth bilions of dollars. AFIAK, as long as we have state lottos and Indian casinos, I don't want to hear anything from the state about why online gambling should be illegal.

Now as for the gentlemen who have been arested... the only good thing is that maybe they can sue and further clarify the law. The fifth circuit says the law only applies to sports. It would be great to see additional courts back this up as I believe they would.

Nope (2, Interesting)

static0verdrive (776495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062411)

Marijuana Prohibition is the Alcohol Prohibition of the 21st Century.

Fucking US Federal Government (1)

The Last Gunslinger (827632) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062415)

I despise the government of this country on so many levels, I'm not even going to begin enumerating them. We waste more time and money doing stupid shit that serves no more practical purpose than to piss everyone off than I care to think about. This is just par for the fucking course.

And people wonder why the RIAA/MPAA think it's a sensible business model to strongarm everyone and their mother to force everything through established channels which they maintain a stranglehold on...look what they're using for their example. Disgusting.

Arrested on sketchy premises (1)

DaveWick79 (939388) | more than 7 years ago | (#16062443)

It seems that arresting and holding these men is being done on very sketchy premises. It's probably illegal, since no precedent has been set in court that makes these men guilty of a crime. Why don't they go after the people who are placing the bets? You can't just arrest a person and then go about creating a law to make him guilty. In comparison, the RIAA goes after people sharing files illegally in the US. Then again, I don't see anyone who runs Pirate Bay in the news travelling across the United States. Maybe the folks running the online betting sites should take a hint.
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