casinos remain in turmoil due to one company
Online casinos remain in
turmoil recently because of a top betting firm’s troubles with
the law. One of the top online casinos is at the center of a
criminal prosecution in the United States, and other online
casinos are taking notice. What should other online casinos do?
Should they back the Untied States Department of Justice and go
against one of their own online casinos or should they stick
with the online casinos industry and hope to fight the charges?
Should online casinos interfere altogether?
Whatever online casinos decide to do, it is clear that the
gambling firm has made some recent moves. As one of the top
online casinos, it does not want to lose its valuable consumer
base and hopes to re open its website as soon as possible.
The board of the firm, including its three British non-executive
directors, is still meeting in Costa Rica, with much of its
energy spent negotiating with the United States authorities.
The DoJ last week issued a restraining order stopping the online
casinos company from taking bets from US citizens. Since then
its website has been closed not just to Americans but also to
punters logging in to play at online casinos from Europe or
Asia. However, a source close to the company said: "We're
getting our ducks in a row, both legally and commercially. We're
going to be back on-line within the next few days, I hope."
His comments came just a day after the company sensationally
sacked David Carruthers as he languishes in a Texan jail, a move
that has been widely criticized by online casinos industry
players and lawyers.
How much of the website would be opened is still being
negotiated and it is uncertain whether the company will be
successful. The 22-charge indictment issued by US attorneys in
Missouri lists the firm alongside Mr. Carruthers and the
company's controversial founder, Gary Kaplan. The indictment
makes clear that the firm "operated illegally in the US".
However, the company source said: "There is a major matter of
jurisdiction here. Who says the DoJ has jurisdiction over a
company that is listed in London, with licenses in both Costa
Rica and Antigua?" He said one of the options for the company
was to ignore the DoJ's restraining order and open the site
regardless. "Let's see the DoJ come and try to stop us."
A more likely scenario is that the company will close down its
telephone betting service, unequivocally illegal under the US
Wire Act, and possibly some of its sports betting website, but
keep up its poker and casino side.
Even if the sacking of Mr. Carruthers is enough to win over the
DoJ, the move has shocked the online casinos industry. A source
close to the firm’s main rival, said: "He's been hung out to
dry. It's just extraordinary."
One of the largest online casinos, said that all its directors
were fully indemnified even after they left the company.