tables on online gambling
chief executive of one of the top online casinos was arrested
last week and his arrest came out of the blue while he was
changing planes en route from the UK to his home in Costa Rica,
where his business is based.
What does this mean for the future of online casinos? Online
casinos are still popular throughout the world, but is the
United States now finally cracking down on the legality of
online casinos? Is the future bright for the online casinos
industry or will online casinos soon be a past memory? Many
investors are worried, and thus stocks in online casinos have
plummeted recently since the arrest was made of one of the CEO
of one of the top online casinos in the world.
The CEO was charged along with another online casinos industry
founder Gary Kaplan (who is still at large) and nine other
former executives with racketeering conspiracy, transmission of
wagers, tax evasion and other charges in a 22-count indictment.
It was the beginning of a week of hell for the online casinos
industry mogul that would culminate with the CEO’s lawyer Tim
Evans waiving a bail hearing in Texas on Friday in the hopes
that his client would have a better chance of gaining the small
measure of freedom in the state of Missouri, where a trial could
ultimately be held. As of Friday evening, a new date had yet to
Prosecutors from Missouri allege that the online casinos
industry leading firm and its chief executive has taken illegal
sporting bets from US citizens over the telephone and the
The news of such an indictment against the CEO, a vocal
campaigner for the “legitimisation” of online casinos in the US,
sent shockwaves around the online casinos industry.
A major online casinos industry conference to be held in Las
Vegas this week was cancelled as internet gambling executives
around the world reviewed whether any one of them could safely
set foot on US soil. And legal teams from gaming companies
worldwide have been following the proceedings carefully
searching for any news that might shed light on the case that
the US Department of Justice would bring.
It was the first time such an action had been taken against an
online betting company listed on the London Stock Exchange and
the firm suspended its shares in light of the crisis. The events
would send the markets into a tailspin, knocking £900 million
off UK gaming stocks by Tuesday.
By Wednesday, the firm had succumbed to a US restraining order
demanding it halt taking bets from US citizens and closed down
85% of its online gambling business. Its lawyers swung into
action, filing an appeal against the punitive move. But
investors and customers alike were left with very few answers on
the potential financial repercussions.
The question still remains: was this a one time thing or the
start of a concerted campaign by the US?