BUSINESS

Turning point reached in US law enforcement stance on online gambling

TAGs: America, Antigua, New Jersey Online Gambling, US Department of Justice

turning-point-us-attitude-smallStudents of history are accustomed to the notion of wars ending with dramatic peace treaties; victor and vanquished signing on the dotted line to mark the official cessation of hostilities. Nowadays, formal declarations of peace are rare. More often than not, one side does an honest cost/benefit analysis, concludes there’s little value in pressing the action any further, so it pitches its tents and heads for home. Years pass, memories fade, and the two warring parties eventually resume normal diplomatic relations like the whole thing never happened.

And so… While we cannot name our sources, we can tell you that senior US law enforcement officials have conducted such a cost/benefit analysis of their long campaign against online gambling. And while this conflict is not yet officially over, we’re thrilled to bring you word that things appear to have reached a decisive turning point.

According to our sources, international online gaming executives need no longer fear being plucked off an airplane and charged with ‘being David Carruthers.’ While there’s always the chance that some local county mountie will try something clever to get his name on the national stage, he won’t find anyone at the federal level willing to run with that ball. All active files are being closed.

For the feds, whatever interest they retain is purely monetary. The US devoted a sizable bankroll to prosecuting online gambling over the past five years and they’d like to recoup some of that outlay before their operations completely wind down. So for the time being, they’ll continue to confiscate all the online poker cash they can identify in US bank accounts and they’ll continue to press gaming companies that have yet to reach a financial settlement to ‘make things right.’

But few companies are likely to take the US up on that offer now. They too have read the tea leaves. Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Harry Reid may have fallen short with their most recent attempts to change federal online gambling laws, but everyone now believes that change is inevitable. New Jersey is just a governor’s signature away from making America a little bit pregnant, and other states will not be far behind. State gaming bodies are striking up relationships with their counterparts in white-listed jurisdictions. The US is even expected to settle its long-running WTO dispute with Antigua shortly.

In other words, check your taps, America. Someone seems to have spiked the water supply with a heavy dose of sanity.

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