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Online Casino Probe Extending

Online casino sites and those directly involved in online gambling operations are not the only ones targeted by the ongoing investigation conducted by the United States Department of Justice. Following the ban on online casino sites, which includes all financial institutions who supply transaction services to gamblers at the sites, the probe continues and now includes some of the biggest investment banks in the world. The move comes at the same time that the arrests of NETeller shareholder founders were arrested by the US authorities for supplying online casino gamblers with a payment method.

The Department of Justice has demanded information from the online casino companies and investment banks under the law signed by President Bush in September 2006. The inquiry, once again, steps up. It now includes formal requests to hand over all e-mail correspondents, telephone records and other related documents from the financial institutions. Reports have it that the requests were issued to no less than 16 banks, including some of the largest international banks HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse. Payment method suppliers and financial institutions, as well as accountants, law firms and many on the outskirts of the online casino gambling sites are in the line of fire of this probe.

In their defense, at least for the moment and at least from what the companies have commented as of now, the subpoenaed companies state that the new online casino law did not apply in the past and even in its current state is ambiguous, leaving a large gray area to be argues legally. Besides, European gambling companies that serve American gamblers are not convinced that the US law that bans online casinos applies to them. The subpoenas were issues early in January 2007.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.