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Affiliates warned to keep one eye on TVShack.net case

TAGs: Affiliates, tvshack.net, uk gambling act

richard o dwyer tv shack owner

TVShack owner Richard O'Dwyer

A legal expert on the gaming industry warned that legal precedent in the US in terms of Internet-related extraditions could have a small effect on the affiliate industry. A presentation by Peter Wilson, an expert in iGaming litigation, formed the second part of a session at today’s London Affiliate Conference looking at UK Gambling Law.

Wilson looked at the legal side of the table and laid out the two main changes that will occur should the national licensing method be reintroduced. The first is that anyone wanting to carry out transactions with British customers will have to have a licence. The second involves advertising and makes it an offence to advertise non UK-regulated services to UK customers – wherever you’re based.

Wilson had the same lack of optimism as the first speaker Steve Donoghue. The exorbitant tax is their main gripe and one that will put operators off obtaining a licence. There’s also the long-winded testing process and plethora of different licences present that would put licensees off, according to Wilson.

It was the part involving affiliates that will have seen many of those in attendance with pricked up ears. Wilson used the case of Richard O’Dwyer to illustrate just how easy it can be for US authorities to seek extradition. The Englishman ran TVShack.net, which linked through to sites offering pirated content. The US went after the domain as it was owned by Virginia company, Verisign, and as it was a dot.net domain they claimed it came under their jurisdiction. Wilson recognized that something this drastic is unlikely in the gambling or affiliate it’s “worth keeping an eye on.”

Michael Caselli, chair of the session, added that affiliates could be considered too hard to target by US authorities if they’re doing anything wrong as the one thing the DoJ is more often than not after is easy access to funds. In terms of the UK, Caselli ended the session by stating the British market could soon be too saturated and that it could signal a bleak future for a little while at least. Will anything happen at all? It’s too early to say.

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