Posts Tagged ‘sportingbet’

U.S. Government Regulates Internet Betting With Get out of Jail Cards

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

Dethroned U.S. powerhouse sportsbook, Sportingbet has settled with the U.S. Department of Justice, agreeing to pay $33 million in exchange for not facing prosecution charges. Well lookie here Mama! Money can buy justice after all! Yippie!!!!

Well, good for Sportingbet. But you know what? It’s cases like this that cause me to believe the United States is never going to regulate online gambling. Maybe it will trickle in on a State level, i.e., online poker in California and Flordia, but when you look at what the feds are doing to “enforce” the UIGEA, it definitely makes me go hmmmmmm.

Just to fill you in, Sportingbet is a long-running online sportsbook that used to do lots of business with United States citizens. In fact, like most other internet betting sites before the passing of the UIGEA, Sportingbet did the bulk of its business with Sportingbet. However, that came to a screaching hault when some of Sportingbet’s top brass were detained after stepping foot on U.S. soil.

In actuality, this was before the passing of the UIGEA, which goes to show that nothing has really changed other than a lot more reputable online casinos dropping out of the U.S. market, only to have their stead filled by rogue operators in the business of cheating players, or at least not paying out when times get rough – if you catch my drift. 🙂

What’s most interesting is the fact that the (former) charges looming over Sportingbet applied to before the passing of the UIGEA (before 2006). Apparently this all falls under the Wire Act (passed in the late sixties, I believe), which in itself, is said to be a very grey piece of legislation in regards to online gambling.

If you really stop to think about it, the federal government has been making a killing with cases like this. Not too long ago, Party Gaming agreed to dish out a whopping $105 million for uncollected gambling taxes. But wait, online gambling is illegal in the U.S. There is no tax. And why should there be with seizures like this. At this rate, the U.S. government stands to reap way more than they would letting State governments tax gaming revenue.

Then again, perhaps this is all just a precursor to regulation in the States. Says the feds: Let’s get all the money we can on “illegal” activity from the past, THEN we will regulate. It’s their way of admitting they should have been taxing gaming revenues all along, in a way. If they were just to make it illegal right now, all the past stuff could potentially become null and void. Okay, no I’m confused. Just regulate for Christ’s sake!