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British gambling company faces US music

Don't bet on it winning
Fri May 25 2007, 10:05
FOUR HUNDRED YEARS after the puritans were kicked out of the UK, it seems that they have come back to impose their high-minded laws on gambling upon us.

US prosecutors say that the UK gambling website operator BetOnSports has pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges and is going to be shut down.

In fact, the company refused to send lawyers to defend itself claiming that the US had no authority to charge a foreign company with any sort of shenanigans.

Prosecutors say that not showing up was all part of a plea bargain arrangement where the company agreed to testify against BetOnSports founder Stephen Kaplan and chief executive David Carruthers and wind itself down to avoid further prosecution. Kaplan and Carruthers are under arrest in the US.

The charges were filed using a 1960s law known as the Wire Act, which prohibits placing bets on sports events over the phone. Originally designed to crack down on mobsters, the law has become a big stick for US prosecutors to wave at offshore Internet gambling operations.

The US has an obsession with online gambling which it considers immoral. Gambling is better conducted through casinos in Vegas where owners make substantial donations to political coffers.

There's more of this daftness here. µ


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