Online Casino Owner Convicted in New Jersey
In a case which could have far-reaching consequences for the online casinos industry’s future in the U.S., a New Jersey judge passed a guilty verdict on a case involving an online casino operator. Nicholas Drakos was accused of promoting online casino gambling through his website and other means of advertising. Judge Salem Vincent Ahto convicted Drakos of all charges and sentenced the online casino operator to 90 days of manual labor.
A further punishment of three years probation for promoting online casino gambling for the purpose of attracting sports betting fans and college poker fans was also handed down. The case was first heard in October 2005 after Drakos was arrested by undercover police. Drakos’ defense claimed that the online casino operator had never tried to hide his business activities, stating that online gambling “is not a crime that offends the sense of morality.”
Drakos had tried unsuccessfully in October to have the charges dropped based on the grounds that he could not have committed a crime because New Jersey state has no law expressly forbidding gambling at an online casino. However, prosecution lawyers argued that unlicensed gambling of all forms is banned in New Jersey, even if online casino gambling is not expressly mentioned in state legislation. Drakos is not expected to appeal his sentence.