Online gambling

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Posted by pompos 04/02/2009 @ 17:15

Tags : online gambling, gambling, leisure

News headlines
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Bill To Legalize Online Gambling Unveiled - WebProNews
By Mike Sachoff - Mon, 05/11/2009 - 11:47 Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) has introduced legislation that would allow Americans to bet online and end a 3-year-old ban on Internet gambling. The Internet Gambling Regulation,...
Online Gambling's Cryptologic Changes Directors - Online-Casinos.com
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Overcoming Online Gambling Addictions - KFYR-TV
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Online gambling

Online gambling is a general term for gambling using the Internet. This article provides a brief introduction to some of the forms of online gambling, as well as discussing general issues.

Online poker tables commonly offer Texas hold 'em, Omaha, Seven-card stud, razz, HORSE and other game types in both tournament and ring game structures. Players play against each other rather than the "house", with the card room making its money through "rake" and through tournament fees.

There are a large number of online casinos, in which people can play casino games such as roulette, blackjack, pachinko, baccarat and many others. These games are played against the "house", which makes money due to the fact that the odds are in its favor.

Bookmakers and betting exchanges offer fixed-odds gambling over the Internet on the results of sporting events.

There are a number of online bingo rooms offering games on the Internet.

Developments in the use of wireless, mobile devices to gamble follow in the wake of mainstream online gambling.

Typically, gamblers upload funds to the online gambling company, make bets or play the games that it offers, and then cash out any winnings. European gamblers can often fund gambling accounts by credit card or debit card, and cash out winnings directly back to the card. However, most US banks prohibit the use of their cards for the purpose of internet gambling, and attempts by Americans to use credit cards at internet gambling sites are usually rejected. A number of electronic money services offer accounts with which online gambling can be funded. However, many top fund-transfer sites such as FirePay, Neteller & Moneybookers have discontinued service for U.S. residents.

Payment by check and wire transfer is also common.

Some states have specific laws against online gambling of any kind. Also, owning an online gaming operation without proper licensing would be illegal, and no states are currently granting online gaming licenses.

In March 2003, Deputy Assistant Attorney General John G. Malcolm testified before the Senate Banking Committee regarding the special problems presented by online gambling. A major concern of the United States Department of Justice is online money laundering. The anonymous nature of the Internet and the use of encryption make it especially difficult to trace online money laundering transactions.

In April 2004 Google and Yahoo!, the two largest internet search engines, announced that they were removing online gambling advertising from their sites. The move followed a United States Department of Justice announcement that, in what some say is a contradiction of the Appeals Court ruling, the Wire Act relating to telephone betting applies to all forms of Internet gambling, and that any advertising of such gambling "may" be deemed as aiding and abetting. Critics of the Justice Department's move say that it has no legal basis for pressuring companies to remove advertisements and that the advertisements are protected by the First Amendment. As of April 2005, Yahoo! has instigated a restrictive policy about gambling ads.

In August 2004, Casino City, an online portal for internet gambling sites, sued the US Department of Justice. The complaint alleged, inter alia, that the website's business—promoting internet gambling—was legal, and requested a declaration from the court that its business was protected by the First Amendment. The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana dismissed the case in February 2005.

The US Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, dismissed Casino City's appeal in January, 2006.

In February 2005 the North Dakota House of Representatives passed a bill to legalize and regulate online poker and online poker cardroom operators in the State. Testifying before the State Senate, Nigel Payne, CEO of Paradise Poker, pledged to relocate to the state if the bill became law. However, the measure was defeated by the State Senate in March 2005. Rep. Jim Kasper, who sponsored the 2005 legislation, plans to introduce similar bills in the 2007 North Dakota legislative session.

In July 2006, David Carruthers, the CEO of BetonSports, a company publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange was detained in Texas while changing planes on his way from London to Costa Rica. He and ten other individuals had been previously charged in a sealed indictment with violations of US Federal laws relating to illegal gambling. While as noted above, a United States Appeals court has stated that the Wire Act does not apply to non-sports betting, the Supreme Court of the United States previously refused to hear an appeal of the conviction of Jay Cohen, where lower courts held that the Wire Act does make it illegal to own a sports betting operation that offers such betting to United States citizens.

The BetOnSports indictment alleged violations of at least 9 different Federal statutes, including 18 USC Sec. 1953 (Operation of an Illegal Gambling Business). Carruthers is currently under house arrest on a one million dollar bail bond.

In September 2006, Sportingbet reported that its chairman, Peter Dicks, was detained in New York City on a Louisiana warrant while traveling in the United States on business unrelated to online gaming. Louisiana is one of the few states that has a specific law prohibiting gambling online. At the end of the month, New York dismissed the Louisiana warrant.

Also in September 2006, just before adjourning for the midterm elections, both the House of Representatives and Senate passed legislation (as an amendment to the unrelated SAFE Port Act) that would make transactions from banks or similar institutions to online gambling sites illegal. This differed from a previous bill passed only by the House that expanded the scope of the Wire Act. The passed bill only addressed banking issues. The Act was signed into law on October 13, 2006 by President George W. Bush. At the UIGEA bill-signing ceremony, Bush did not mention the Internet gambling measure, which was supported by the National Football League but opposed by banking groups.

In response to SAFE Port Act, a number of online gambling operators including PartyGaming, Bwin, Cassava Enterprises, and Sportingbet announced that real-money gambling operations would be suspended for U.S. customers. PartyGaming's stock dropped by 60% following its announcement. Other operators such as PokerStars, Bodog, and World Sports Exchange announced their intention to continue serving customers in the U.S.

On April 26, 2007, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced HR 2046, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act, which would modify UIGEA by providing a provision for licensing of Internet gambling facilities by the Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

On June 7, 2007, Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) introduced HR 2610, the Skill Game Protection Act, which would legalize Internet poker, bridge, chess, and other games of skill. Also on June 7, Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) introduced H.R. 2607, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act. IGRTEA would legislate Internet gambling tax collection requirements.

On June 8, 2007, the House Financial Services Committee, chaired by Barney Frank, held a hearing entitled, "Can Internet Gambling Be Effectively Regulated to Protect Consumers and the Payments System?". Expert witnesses at the hearing testified that Internet gambling can be effectively regulated for age verification, money laundering issues, facilitation of state and federal tax collection, and for issues relating to compulsive gambling.

On September 26, 2008, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced S.3616, the Internet Skill Game Licensing and Control Act. This bill would amend title 31, United States Code, to provide for the licensing of Internet skill game facilities, and for other purposes. This is the first bill related to online skill games that has been introduced in the Senate.

On the 28th of June 2001 the Australian Government passed the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA). The government said that the IGA was important to protect Australians from the harmful effects of gambling.

The IGA targets the providers of interactive gambling services, not their potential or actual customers. The IGA makes it an offence to provide an interactive gambling service to a customer physically present in Australia, but it is not an offence for Australian residents to play poker or casino games online. In stark contrast to the USA, sports betting online is also completely legal in Australia, with many state government licensed sportsbooks in operation, such as Centrebet, Sportingbet & Betfair.

The offence applies to all interactive gambling service providers, whether based in Australia or offshore, whether Australian or foreign owned.

Various forms of online gambling are legal and regulated in many countries, including most members of the European Union and several nations in and around the Caribbean Sea.

The Indian federal government does not prohibit online gambling, but in the state of Maharashtra it is a banned offense under the "Bombay Wager Act". Russian legislation, enacted in December 2006, prohibits online gambling altogether (as well as any gambling relying on telecommunications technology).

The government of the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, which licenses Internet gambling entities, made a complaint to the World Trade Organization about the U.S. government's actions to impede online gaming. The Caribbean country won the preliminary ruling but WTO's appeals body somewhat narrowed that favorable ruling in April 2005. The appeals decision held that various state laws argued by Antigua and Barbuda to be contrary to WTO agreements were not sufficiently discussed during the course of the proceedings to be properly assessed by the panel. However, the appeals panel also ruled that the Wire Act and two other federal statutes prohibiting the provision of gambling services from Antigua to the United States violated the WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services, or "GATS". Although the United States convinced the appeals panel that these laws were "necessary" to protect public health and morals, the asserted United States defense on these grounds was ultimately rejected because its laws relating to remote gambling on horse-racing were not applied equally to foreign and domestic online betting companies, and thus the United States could not establish that its laws were non-discriminatory.

On June 19, 2007, Antigua filed a claim with the WTO for USD $3.4 billion in trade sanctions against the United States, along with a request for authorization to ignore U.S. patent and copyright laws. This followed by a day similar demands for compensation made by the European Union.

On March 5, 2009 France proposed new laws to regulate and tax internet gambling. Budget minister Eric Woerth stated the French gambling market would expand to adapte to "Internet reality." He further stated "Rather than banning 25,000 Web sites, we'd rather give licenses to those who will respect public and social order." The new regulations are expected to take effect January 1, 2010.

The Israel gambling law (Israeli Penal Law 5737 - 1977) does not refer specifically to online gambling (land based gambling and playing games of chances is prohibited except in the cases of the Israel Lottery and the Israeli Commission for Sports Gambling). In December 2005, the Attorney General ordered all online gambling operations, online backgammon included, to close their businesses and at the same time commanded credit card companies to cease cooperating with online gambling websites. In May 2007, the Attorney General had excluded the online backgammon website Play65 of the ruling, due to "the unique circumstances of the site activity", allowing to return to full activity in Israel.

In the United States in 1999 the National Gambling Impact Study stated "the high-speed instant gratification of Internet games and the high level of privacy they offer may exacerbate problem and pathological gambling". A UK government-funded review of previous research noted a small scale patient survey leading to press reports claiming that 75% of people who gamble online are "problem" or "pathological" gamblers, compared to just 20% of people who visit legitimate land-based casinos.

A study by the UK Gambling Commission, the "British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2007", found that approximately 0.6% of the adult population had problem gambling issues, the same percentage as in 1999. The highest prevalence of problem gambling was found among those who participated in spread betting (14.7%), fixed odds betting terminals (11.2%) and betting exchanges (9.8%). Additionally the report noted a 4% drop in overall gambling in the prior year, from a rate of 62% in 1999 to 58% in 2007. Significantly the 2007 prevalence survey combined with the 1999 prevalence survey suggest that despite the rapid growth of Internet gambling there has been no associated increase in the number of problem gamblers.

It has also been alleged that the largely unsupervised electronic funds transfers inherent in online gambling are being exploited by criminal interests to launder large amounts of money.

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Betcris

BetCRIS is a company offering online gambling services, including sports betting, online casino games, online bingo and mobile gambling.

The company currently operates in the Republic of Costa Rica with satellite offices in Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Argentina, Spain ,Mexico, Panama ,Brasil and 12 other countries.The company opened the first sportsbook in the Dominican Republic in 1985. Betcris is one of the most important sportbooks in the world.It is also the point of reference for other sportbooks,because its where the lines for the various sports originates.

Besides betting on worldwide sports, the company offers the ability to bet on events like public appearances by Fidel Castro.

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BetonSports

BetonSports plc is a British online gambling company founded by Gary Kaplan in 1995. The company was one of the biggest players in the United States online gaming market, drawing in several billion US dollars in wagers in the early 2000s. In June 2006 US authorities indicted the company and a number of its executives on RICO, mail fraud, and tax evasion charges arising from its supplying online betting to customers in the United States (the alleged crimes took place before the adoption of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006). No date for trial has been set; several of those indicted remain in US custody or on bond.

In July 2004 the company was floated on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange with the ticker symbol BSS.LN. Although listed in London, the majority of its operations were in several Caribbean locations (principally Aruba, Antigua, and later Costa Rica) and almost all of its customers were within the United States.

In July 2006 the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri issued a sealed indictment of the company and a number of people related to its operations. The indictment was unsealed later that month when CEO David Carruthers was arrested in Dallas while returning to Costa Rica after attending the company's annual general meeting in London; Carruthers is under house arrest in Missouri awaiting trial - he and his co-accused have entered "not guilty" pleas. Shortly after Carruthers' arrest trading in the company's stock was suspended. At that time BetonSports employed around 2000 workers in Costa Rica. The company later terminated Carruthers and agreed to discontinue its US business.

In March 2007 founder Gary Kaplan was arrested in the Dominican Republic and was extradited to the US.

The criminal trial for BetonSports is scheduled for September 2009.

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Jay Cohen

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Jay Cohen (born 1968) was the cofounder and CEO of World Sports Exchange (WSEX), an online gambling company from 1996 until July 24, 2000, when he was the first United States citizen to be convicted in US Federal Court for violation of the Federal Wire Act for operating an online gambling company from a jurisdiction where it was legal and regulated.

As of August 2006, Cohen remains the only executive of a legally licensed (in Cohen's case, Antigua) Internet gambling company that has been convicted of violating United States law. David Carruthers of BetonSports and Peter Dicks of Sportingbet PLC are each awaiting separate trials on similar charges, although both men are citizens of the United Kingdom while Cohen is an American citizen.

Cohen's case was appealed to the United States Supreme Court, but it refused to hear the appeal. He was released in March 2004.

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Source : Wikipedia