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Most Recent Online Casino News

Online Casinos Industry Can Only Meet Overseas

Toronto’s tourism Web site promises warm spring weather and hundreds of great restaurants. But for a group of Internet gambling executives gathering today in Toronto, the absence of American law enforcement authorities may also be a big draw.

Operators of overseas online casinos – an industry with millions of American customers- are under threat of prosecution because much of what they do is illegal in the United States. According to legal experts and the organizers of the conference, called the Global Interactive Gaming Summit and Expo, the operators could face arrest if they entered the United States.

"They’re exiles," I. Nelson Rose, a professor at Whittier Law School in California, said of Americans who have moved overseas to run Internet gambling sites. Although there may not be warrants for their arrest, Mr. Rose said, "they can’t be sure." The Justice Department did not respond to questions about the legal status of operators of overseas online casinos.

That the conference is being held outside the United States – even though nearly half of all online bets are placed by people in the United States – shows the legal tangle the industry faces.

The federal government contends that under the Wire Wager Act it is illegal to offer sports wagering over the Internet. And the Interactive Gaming Council, a trade association for online casinos, has in the last several months asked five online sports betting sites to resign their memberships.

Legal experts said that while it is not clear whether federal law forbids forms of gambling other than sports betting, many states make all online gambling illegal.

Keith Furlong, deputy director of the council, said lawmakers might be more flexible on the issue of legalizing online casino gambling than sports betting, given the federal law.

"This was a political decision dictated by the U.S. market," Mr. Furlong said of the move to drop sports sites from the organization. He added that the council’s members felt "they would have more success advocating for" licensing of casino gambling without being hampered by the question of sports wagering.

Online casinos are legal in some countries, among them Britain and Costa Rica, where many sports betting operations are based. Indeed, the World Trade Organization ruled in March that the United States was in violation of its free trade obligations by prohibiting Internet gambling.

Read the entire article at: The Wilmington Star 

2004 Online Casino News Archive


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