of Online Casinos in US Magazines Still Illegal
Playing in online casinos is licensed in over 80
countries around the world, but in the United States, it's still
considered an illegal activity, even though almost 80% of all
online casinos players play from the United States. This is why
almost all online casinos, located their operations offshore,
which makes it harder for the US Justice Department to 'catch'
them. Despite the fact that these offshore online casinos fall
outside the US laws, it is still illegal for them to advertise
in media in the United States.
This doesn’t seem to stop many online casinos from still trying
to run their ads in US magazines and papers. The US is trying to
stop this from happening by making the magazines realize that
they are participating in the illegal activities of the online
casinos if they place any ads, which makes them responsible and
liable for punishment.
To set an example, the US Justice Department, decided to punish
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. It leaked in the press that
Allen's Sporting News, made a $7.2 million settlement with the
feds to be able to promote offshore online casinos by running
advertisements in its magazine, radio network and website.
According to the Justice Department, this agreement ran for
three years. In the dubious settlement, Sporting News didn't
admitted or denied to be legally liable.
The US Attorney's office in St. Louis, Missouri, has been trying
to win the battle against the advertisement of online casinos in
the US for the past several years, with some small successes. In
June 2003, The Justice Department sent letters to individual
magazines plus a letter to the Magazine Publishers of America,
reminding them, once again, that publishing ads of online
casinos is illegal. This action was reasonably successful, and
many media companies got scared, and stopped the advertisements.
Sporting News is not the first media company that has been
seriously inspected on grounds of publishing illegal ads of
online casinos, but it is the first magazine that was fined on
these grounds. The Sporting News paid a $4.2 million fine
Thursday and will make up for the remaining $3 million with a
three-year series of public service ads.
A unit of Hearst, Esquire, places many ads of offshore online
casinos in April, May and June last year. However, after the
pressure of the FBI, Esquire decided to stop running any more
ads. Another media company that ran adds for online casinos for
a while is Trader Monthly. The spokesperson of the US Attorney's
office didn't want to confirm or deny if there were any other
media companies under investigation.
A spokesperson from Esquire stated that the company is no longer
under investigation, because it hasn't run any advertisements of
online casinos, since June last year.
The US Attorney Catherine Hanaway from St. Louis, claims that
the media companies who keep placing ads of online casinos,
despite the illegality of the issue, need to be taught a lesson.