Partners of US Online Casino Sites Targeted
Online casino sites in the United States have had to deal with the new legal reality in the country since the ban on online casino gambling was passed and signed into the law books by the President back in September 2006. It hasn’t been easy for them, as the Act (the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) was both unclear in its scope and effect, and was naturally resisted as it undercut the entire business viability of the industry. But now, in January 2007, not only does the picture not get any clearer, it even extends worldwide to include legal actions against partners of US online casino companies.
The US Department of Justice has issued subpoenas three weeks ago to investment banks, accountant companies and law firm in Wall Street and elsewhere around the world. Whereas previous arrests and legal actions were directed at US companies and companies directly involved with the online casino sites (most of NETeller’s activities involve online casino gambling), this time the list of companies includes investment banks such as Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and HSBC, to name a few. Investors, marketing arms and other aspects of the online casino industry are the target of the prosecution as the online casino companies themselves are located out of reach of the US authorities, in international and protected countries.
What are the companies to do? Besides what the subpoenas ask them to do, which is hand over emails, letters, phone logs and other online casino activity-related paperwork and files, they will likely cut any contact and involvement with the US online casino market. This is especially harmful to the US market and to these international companies in the hot gambling days of January and early February, which traditionally see activity in Super Bowl scores gambling and Oscar night winners gambling.