Radical conversion


RIP Brian
Feb 22, 2001

US politician's url turns to Italian gambling

The Plains Dealer newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio published an intriguing story this week on the radical change of direction of a domain and website formerly held by a local politician, which overnight morphed into an Internet gambling information portal without the politician's knowledge.

Longtime Republican congressman David Hobson of Springfield, Ohio isn't rolling the dice on another congressional run, and it appears that his website Hobsonforcongress.com has been tranformed into an Italian-language online gambling portal, perhaps because his staff failed to renew the domain.

The catchy new headline on the congressman's old website is: "Casino Migliori Premi Online!" Keno, craps, baccarat, blackjack and video poker are advertised underneath a photographic montage of a man (not Hobson) surrounded by women, cards, dice and alcohol. The site is a gambling information portal, with links to an actual Internet gambling website - Golden Casino.com, reputed to be connected to the Golden Palace online casino group.

Golden Casino may not be the best destination for carefree entertainment, having been recently accused on several player forums of slow or no pay conduct.

When asked about the bizarre transformation of Hobson's website, his press secretary, Sara Perkins, agreed it was "strange," but said that the campaign had not received a renewal notice on the domain name.

Pursuing the issue did not take the newspaper much further forward; the man listed as registrant for Hobson's domain did not reply to an e-mail seeking comment, and the address and phone number listed in his registration appeared to be fake.