Louisiana issues fresh warning to gambling industry

Casinomeister

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Louisiana police have issued a stark warning to the online gambling community saying that it was investigating a number of companies, and their executives and directors were at risk of arrest. Captain Joe Lentini, head of the Police Gaming Enforcement division's casino section, declined to name which companies but acknowledged that the state was continuing with its gambling clampdown.

Lentini told the UK's Financial Times newspaper that his department had 'agents all over the state working daily on the investigations'. It is thought that sealed warrants for over 50 people working or connected in the gambling industry and at least a dozen companies have been issued.

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silcnlayc

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This has gotten a bit out of hand IMO. You would think that the police,FBI, government would have more pressing things to do with rapists, murderers, ONLINE child predators, etc etc, than trying to stop a pastime that hurts no one outside of oneself (if they have a problem) than online gambling.. Geezes....

I would think they have too much time on their hands to think of this idiotic frenzy they have gotten into over this mild pastime of people who would rather stay home (together if one has a partner) instead of going to the movies, dinner or whatever and enjoy themselves this way.

Time to really get the attention of these people and start WRITING, EMAILING, ETC to the big guys... and tell them to get a life and get on with the stuff the really bad guys are doing such as smuggling, drugs etc...geezes..:mad: :mad: :mad: Cmon people...let them hear our voices!!!
 

Westland Bowl

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Louisiana presecutors ought to be slapped with frivolous lawsiuit fines. Can they be counter-sued for loss of stock value? Does Louisiana think they are going to get money out of this? Did Katrina do something to the water there? They need to keep the voodoo to themselves!
 
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jetset

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Here's the latest - looks like we will have to wait until tomorrow (Friday) to learn Peter Dicks's fate.

A U.S. criminal court in New York on Thursday postponed until Friday a hearing on the extradition of the former chairman of online bookmaker Sportingbet to Louisiana.

Peter Dicks, who resigned as chairman of Sportingbet two weeks ago, was arrested in New York on September 7. Louisiana authorities want him extradited to the state to face charges related to Internet gambling.

The Louisiana governor, Kate Blanco had earlier insisted that the extradition to her state go ahead.
 

The Watchdog

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I believe is just to create gossip..

Here is the thing... How I see it.

So the Louisiana Police Department is going to investigate companies related to online gambling... What is he going to do? Send his agents over seas to knock on buildings where gambilng sites are located? Yeah Chief, thats going to work buddy!! :)

Probably what he could do is spot companies issuing payments from Louisiana, if there are any.

What he is doing is simply playing the government's game and supporting them by placing non sense statements like this one.

I am positive he won't find an established online gambling business in Louisiana, and if he does, good for him. It will be the 100% the operation's fault for doing such a moronic move as doing business directly from US territory.

:notworthy ONLINE GAMBLING :notworthy

My adivise to the ones in the online gambling industry: Don't place a step on US territory... plus there isn't much to do there...
 

tennis_balls

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this one doesn't pass the sniff test.

time to develop a conspiracy theory here. isn't it possible that B&M money is flowing into Louisiana to drive such an initiative? it just seems too convenient that a backwater state is suddenly at the tip of the spear in America's war against Thunderstruck.
 
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webber286

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There is quite a history of seedy real-world gambling companies in the state of Louisiana, so maybe the conspiracy theory has some legs.

The thing I find aweful confusing is why a single state is taking it upon themselves to police the world of online gambling. It's bad enough the way the U.S. is asserting themselves these days. Here's to hoping that Sportingbet or Dicks is hiring some great lawyers to set some precedence.
 

jetset

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According to Captain Joe Lentini of the Louisiana state Police Gaming Enforcement division this all emanated from a routine operational meeting where he told his guys to go out and prosecute companies offering gambling services online to Louisiana citizens.

He says it was a random sort of thing and that his people then surfed the 'Web, picked out online companies like Sportingbet and then tried to place 'sting' bets from out-of-the-way bucolic places like St Landrey's Parish.

"It was the luck of the draw," says Chief Lentini. "That was the first one that came up on the screen and it was one of the easiest ones to find information about." The warrant against senior execs like Dicks was issued in St Landry parish, a largely rural part of Louisiana's Cajun region, because that was where the enforcement agents were when they placed their bet with the British company.

Louisiana just happens to make big money from land gambling interests.

When the bets were accepted, sealed warrants were issued against executives of the targeted companies (which Lentini is still not prepared to identify) Sooner or later one of those executives would set foot in the States, and that stealth warrant could be activated.

And along came Peter Dicks, not even on Sportingbet business, and he hasn't set foot in Louisiana in 20 years or more, so it's going to be difficult to hang a case on him imo. That didn't stop them from depriving him of his liberty - a very serious and fundamental act against the rights of anyone.

But I don't think that's the core of this prosecution anyway - like the advertising threats made by the DoJ last year and the persecution of Carruthers these are moves designed more to intimidate than cases where there is a real criminal case imo.

They smack of commercial protectionism, but the fact is that in practical terms these tactics seem to be working - billions have been lost in advertising and from the value of listed companies; international online outfits are turning away from American players just to be prudent and corporates are telling their executives to stay the hell away from the USA. And the media are having a field day with negative news like falling share prices and corporate concern.

I think that's the real and practical score for the federal and state authorities...they're damaging the industry and depriving US players of their right of choice without having to go through the tedious process of proving guilt in court, at least for now.

The Europeans seem to be catching on that this may be unorthodox but it works - look at the Bwin arrests earlier this month.

I am cynical enough to suspect that the same big commercial money or state monopolies that gets exceptions carved out of anti-online gaming law proposals is at work behind the scenes.

But sooner or later these issues will have to come to court, and that is going to be interesting to say the least.
 
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OddJack

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It's probably going to be mostly publicly traded and listed companies that will be or are already indicted by Louisiana (BOS & Sportingbet - not so novel thought there). One of the statements I read quoted the cops as saying it was so easy to find information on Sportingbet PLC's site - and indeed it is - from annual reports to strategy and management personnel. Those companies that stayed private are now enjoying a certain peace of mind knowing they remain unnamed and under the radar.
 

Westland Bowl

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It is the nature of the Internet to be accessible worldwide, including places where gambling is illegal, without having a physical presence there. Just because it is possible, sting or not, to place bets with an online sportsbooks/casino does not make that sportsbook/casino guilty because.....WHO INTIATED THE BET? The Louisiana citizen did the actual illegal act. Louisiana can only prosecute gambling entities that have PHYSICAL servers, offices, etc. WITHIN THEIR BORDERS!!!

WELCOME TO THE INTERNET AGE !!!

Hmmmmm....I think I'll start a chain of online-gambling ice cream parlors in other states bordering around Lousiana for Lousiana citizens to come and have some fun!! (Probably Riverbelle online casino would be the most popular one with their Deep South theme!)
 

GrandMaster

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IWHO INTIATED THE BET? The Louisiana citizen did the actual illegal act. Louisiana can only prosecute gambling entities that have PHYSICAL servers, offices, etc. WITHIN THEIR BORDERS!!!
Sportingbet clearly initiated the bet by offering odds on various sporting events or making the casino or poker room available. It wasn't the case of Louisiana residents asking Peter Dicks to set up a company to take their bets. Louisiana law makes it illegal to manage a company that offers online gambling to Louisiana residents, to operate the servers, or even to write gambling software. Enforcement may be difficult, but that does not make the law invalid. Compare the situation to someone operating a mail order company selling cannabis (marijuana) to Americans from Amsterdam. The US would not be able to touch him as long as he stays in Amsterdam, but he might expect interest from law enforcement if he sets foot on US soil.
 

jetset

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Quote:Those companies that stayed private are now enjoying a certain peace of mind knowing they remain unnamed and under the radar. Unquote

There is a certain irony in this isn't there? Big companies that are publicly quoted, upfront and have asked for regulation and taxation, with corporate and management details upfront on their sites are the ones that the law enforcers single out, ignoring the "flying under the radar" outfits!

Such is life.
 

Westland Bowl

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Sportingbet clearly initiated the bet by offering odds on various sporting events or making the casino or poker room available.

Yes, that can be true....however, they offered it to everyone in the world that came to their website. Just because a Louisiana citizen may *take* the bet doesn't mean that they can't offer it to the rest of the world.

It wasn't the case of Louisiana residents asking Peter Dicks to set up a company to take their bets. Louisiana law makes it illegal to manage a company that offers online gambling to Louisiana residents, to operate the servers, or even to write gambling software.

SportingBet can't help that Louisiana citizens come to their website. What they CAN help is to deny completing the bets to Lousiana citizens once Sportingbet (and hence any sportsbook/casino) verifies the citizen's residency. Then again, there are thousands of jurisdictions in hundreds of countries around the world. How can they be expected to keep up with all of them especially those written in other languages?

Enforcement may be difficult, but that does not make the law invalid. Compare the situation to someone operating a mail order company selling cannabis (marijuana) to Americans from Amsterdam. The US would not be able to touch him as long as he stays in Amsterdam, but he might expect interest from law enforcement if he sets foot on US soil.

Yeah, if the person knew he was shipping to USA where he can get punished for it if he travels to US. I agree. But despite the laws against cannabis, it is widely available to anyone who wants it. If a Louisiana resident wants to gamble online, he will find a way. It can't be helped regardless.
 

cipher

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Louisiana police have issued a stark warning to the online gambling community saying that it was investigating a number of companies, and their executives and directors were at risk of arrest. Captain Joe Lentini, head of the Police Gaming Enforcement division's casino section, declined to name which companies but acknowledged that the state was continuing with its gambling clampdown.

Lentini told the UK's Financial Times newspaper that his department had 'agents all over the state working daily on the investigations'. It is thought that sealed warrants for over 50 people working or connected in the gambling industry and at least a dozen companies have been issued.

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With none of the aforementioned warrants having any more clout than a diaper full of dodo.

Have a good one.
 

cipher

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Sportingbet clearly initiated the bet by offering odds on various sporting events or making the casino or poker room available. It wasn't the case of Louisiana residents asking Peter Dicks to set up a company to take their bets. Louisiana law makes it illegal to manage a company that offers online gambling to Louisiana residents, to operate the servers, or even to write gambling software. Enforcement may be difficult, but that does not make the law invalid. Compare the situation to someone operating a mail order company selling cannabis (marijuana) to Americans from Amsterdam. The US would not be able to touch him as long as he stays in Amsterdam, but he might expect interest from law enforcement if he sets foot on US soil.

I'll tell you for sure the fur is going to fly when and if that Judge in New Yorfk declares that fugitive warrant issued out of Louisiana NULL & VOID. With SPORTING BET seeking to recover the billion dollars that SPORTINGBET's stock suffered. Rest assured no one and I do mean NO ONE is going to be there to bail the state of Louisiana out of that mess.

Have a good one.
 

jetset

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Peter Dicks has been released by the New York court. According to his lawyer, New York governor George Pataki refused to sign his extradition warrant to Louisiana and he was released Friday.

Dicks's legal team is quoted as saying: “We gave the court sufficient reason to free him,” adding that Dicks will return to London tomorrow and he “will have a party in New York tonight”.

As far as is understood the Louisiana state authorities have kept their warrants active despite the refusal of New York to honour same.

Dicks’ legal team will presumably continue the fight in that state to lift the state warrant on grounds of no offence committed by the accused.

Dicks is quoted as saying his experience in prison had been “interesting and colourful".

Edited to add that I think Cipher is right - perhaps the time has come for big companies to take legal action themselves against individual law enforcers who treat the sanctity of personal liberty in such a casual fashion.
 

spearmaster

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Sportingbet clearly initiated the bet by offering odds on various sporting events or making the casino or poker room available. It wasn't the case of Louisiana residents asking Peter Dicks to set up a company to take their bets. Louisiana law makes it illegal to manage a company that offers online gambling to Louisiana residents, to operate the servers, or even to write gambling software. Enforcement may be difficult, but that does not make the law invalid. Compare the situation to someone operating a mail order company selling cannabis (marijuana) to Americans from Amsterdam. The US would not be able to touch him as long as he stays in Amsterdam, but he might expect interest from law enforcement if he sets foot on US soil.

I think you missed a notable difference in making your comparison.

Peter Dicks and Sportingbet did not initiate a bet - they offered one. They are legally allowed to offer this bet and cannot be expected to automatically shut their doors to Americans who aren't supposed to walk in, given the UNCLEAR status of internet gambling in the US. The type of bet was not described - it could have been a sports bet, casino wager or even poker game.

And - Peter Dicks did not actively take part in accepting this bet, nor would he probably have even know of the bet taking place. He is passively involved only by association.

The mail order company, on the other hand, should have known it was selling a substance illegal in most states in the US under most circumstances and would have had to actively ship the marijuana, thus actively breaking the law.

Had Sportingbet, or Mr. Dicks, actively sought to take bets from Louisiana citizens, perhaps through marketing, then the situation might be a bit different - but all the Louisiana officials could pin on Mr Dicks was a charge of "gambling by computer" which he did not actively take part in.

It's no wonder George Pataki refused to sign the warrant, even though he is governor of a state actively fighting the growth of online gambling. The charge was flimsy at best.
 
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