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In Light of a Bill to Regulate Online Gambling, Another Internet Bookie Goes Down

29 July 2010 by Devon Chappell

In light of the positive developments regarding the Internet Gaming Regulation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (HR 2267, otherwise known simply as IGREA), which after successfully passing through the U.S. House of Representatives is to go under the knife in the Senate (I have an in-dept article about this in the works), it’s cases like the one below that reiterate why online gambling needs to be regulated in the United States.

Meet James L. Dicapo – a fifty-seven year old “businessman” from the Heart of America’s West, err, Kansas. Dicapo, whom I’m assuming is Italian, recently pleaded guilty to operating an online gambling business. Bringing in more than $3.6 million spanning approximately three years (2006-2009), this was no skimpy business either. Basically, it was your standard bookmaker getup offering phone lines for, well, betting one’s lines on a range of sports events.

These days, phone-in bookies like this are also often inclined to go the way of the Web, if you will. Sports betting online is big business, and the internet is simply helping it become bigger. But rather broadcast their services for all to see, this operation consisted of handing out toll-free digits and a website to sign up. Dicapo and three other men (also charged in the investigation) would simply handle the money, and from what I can understand, actually do the rounds and deal with customers face to face.

Dicapo has attested that the customers for whom he specifically dealt with wagered approximately $1.2 million between 2006-2009. All of this money would then be routed to an offshore business in Costa Rica (where many a sports betting business is set up, I might add). The actual wagers would go through here, and all winning bets would be paid out accordingly.

On that note, while everything Dicapo was doing was deemed illegal, this does not necessarily mean there was shady business taking place internally. In other words, Dicapo and his operation was, for all intensive purposes, a legitimate sports betting service with a base of satisfied customers. I suppose you could say satisfied “clients”, if DiCapo was dealing with a small handful of whales. That hasn’t yet been determined yet, but I’m sure it will be brought to light if that’s indeed what happened.

In relation to what’s going on with the aforementioned IGREA, you might wonder if cases like this will continue happening in the U.S. Well, to make a long story short, the answer is yes. One small provision in the IGREA is that sports betting will not be included with online poker, bingo and online casino games in having the possibility to be regulated on a State level. Online sports betting simply is illegal and will remain illegal even if the IGREA is passed into law.

But that won’t stop operations like Dicapo’s from sprouting up, many of which may not even be caught. The fact of the matter – and this is one reason why sports betting was left out of the bill – is that most sports fans love to wager. And for the millions of these folks who do not have the luxury of making trips to Vegas every time they want to make a wager, the telephone and online bookies serve as a very convenient option for placing the bets on one’s behalf

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