Affiliate indictment - what does this mean?

jstrike

Dormant account
I'm trying to get a handle on what actually happened here and what it means to...well, everybody in the free world:

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Can any legal experts or webmasters weigh in on this? Does this basically mean the government wants to jail people for posting a link to any casino or sportsbook on any website, if you might be sponsored for it??
 

Mousey

Ueber Meister Mouse
Personally, I've wondered how affiliates in the USA get by with promoting online gambling to USA players. Let's face it where there's money, there's our gov and the DOJ's noses.....
 

jstrike

Dormant account
Personally, I've wondered how affiliates in the USA get by with promoting online gambling to USA players. Let's face it where there's money, there's our gov and the DOJ's noses.....
Well up til now I assumed it was the First Amendment -- I mean, I'm allowed to say I like to smoke pot, or I like playing at XYZ casino -- heck, even neonazis are allowed to wave their flags in America. I really want to know what this is about. What if you recommend a sportsbook but you aren't an affiliate, just a happy player? Can you be jailed for that?
 

anniemac

Ueber Meister
PABnoaccred
MM
There is nothing that happens in the US now that surprises me one bit.

If just mentioning something will make you a criminal, then everytime I post "XYZ is a good casino" I am breaking the law.

What a giant crock of h**ses**t!
 

dionysus

can turn wine into water
CAG
MM
Well, I was rummaging online, and only that one link so far that I saw mentions the charge is based just on 'recommendations'.
Granted, it may be just that, the US govt trying to find a way to nail and shut down affiliates and send a message

or

there's yet more to it we aren't aware of.

But come on, really, who's surprised....we see every day people trying to find ways of how to gamble online and circumvent US restrictions.
 

bigjohn

Dormant account
Probably has to do with the taxation end of it. Affiliate earning money and maybe not reporting it properly as income. That is the catch-all for the US Federal Gov't, after all, "that's what they got Capone for."
 

jetset

RIP Brian
CAG
Well American enforcement authorities last year tried their luck with prosecuting a sports betting software provider - a case that as far as I can see has not yet been finalised - so why not have a go at affiliate marketers as well?

This guy has been indicted as part of the Legendz Sports sweep last week and is specifically accused of using his websites to refer players to the operator, and of travelling to Panama City to engage with said operator.

The key words here are "sports betting", which the DoJ still contends is an offence under the Wire Act (as opposed to their policy reversal on other forms of online gambling which set the wires alight back in December 2011 and has been the impetus for individual states to start considering legalisation moves of their own in the absence of a federal solution.)

However, the feds have emphasised that an indictment is an accusation, not a conviction - they are seeing how far they can go before the courts stop them, imo. And in the meantime the poor bugger they have targeted may just make a deal, hand over all his dosh and cease and desist. It's the DoJ way....
 

P.V.

Senior Member
webmeister
I think you'll see more of this as legal online gaming enters the U.S. market.

I live in a state that prohibits any kind of gambling promotion, so I would assume it's online too but it's not stated within the law. I laugh every time I travel the interstate around the city and see ads of land based casino's located out of state advertising on billboards and digital signs.

Isn't that gambling promotion? Sure it is!

Go figure. :)
 

Casinomeister

Forum Cheermeister
Staff member
Like Jetset mentioned, the key words are "sports betting". This is specifically mentioned in the wire act as opposed to casino games - and then there is nothing but convolution from there. Casino City tried to take on the DoJ some years ago claiming that advertising was protected speech. That case didn't go anywhere because of some judge not thinking it had merit or something or other. It's buried in the forum somewhere. I'm sure Jetset is up to speed on that one. :D

But most DoJ actions are politically motivated - someone shooting for a promotion and trying to impress one's boss.
 

jstrike

Dormant account
Seems a little unfair to try to prosecute something that's never been successfully prosecuted before, and not start with a "cease and desist" before issuing an indictment. But yeah, I guess that's the DOJ way huh? I'm interested to find out more -- like, how important is it that the guy visited Panama City? Does that change anything, like proving he's an "employee" vs. someone who just runs an ad on their website?

My bro and I used to run a sports handicapping site in the US, and were eventually blocked from Google searches (in 2006 or something) because we were running sportsbook ads on the side. But the official reason was that Google was just trying to stay out of trouble. We were told we weren't breaking any laws. We actually removed the ads to get back on Google, but then they changed their policy again and still wouldn't let us in because they said just talking about sports betting (like, showing the lines and picking teams) was a "gateway to gambling". Well that was just total BS because it was just a subscription blog site, and we weren't even linking to any sportsbooks! I mean, you don't need a government license to print a newspaper or a racing form that mentions the morning line, so WTF? But in any case, that didn't seem to be actually illegal. Persecuting affiliates really is going too far... it's not like they're the ones taking the bets, or running the sportsbook. It's insane.
 
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