According to U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway and in a move that stunned the online gambling sector, BetOnSports PLC pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges. The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette carried the details of the bargain in which Hanaway agreed to drop any further criminal prosecution of the company in return for BetOnSports cooperation in supplying witnesses and evidence in the pending cases against Carruthers, Kaplan and other lower-level defendants.
“…Now that the legal case is settled and access to the U.S. market is banned, BetOnSports is going out of business, Demerath said. “It is going to be wound up and closed down,” Demerath said.”
“”This plea constitutes a submission by the company to the U.S. justice system,” Hanaway said in a statement. “This plea, combined with the terms of the civil junction, should put an end to the BetonSports illegal gambling empire.”
“…faces a fine up to $500,000 and possible forfeitures. The company also is subject to a permanent injunction that requires it to repay wagers received from U.S. gamblers held by the company as of June 1, 2006.”
Sentencing for BetOnSports is set for Oct. 19. In the meantime, Carruthers and Kaplan remain under arrest since this deal in no way ends their prosecution.
Raymond Bitar, Full Tilt Poker’s founder, pleaded guilty to accusations of taking online poker player funds to finance his once dominant online poker room. Part of a plea agreement between Bitar and prosecutors, Bitar pleaded guilty to two felonies, violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and conspiring to commit bank and wire fraud, that normally carry a 35-year prison sentence as maximum punishment.
A comprehensive federal bill that legalizes online poker for any state wishing to include it might still have some strength left in it, at least that is what Frank Fahrenkopf believes. Fahrenkopf is the current president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, a lobbying agency that supports the gaming entertainment industry.At the age of 73, Fahrenkopf is scheduled to step down from his position on June 30th of this year after nearly 20 years at the helm.
Legalized gambling is regulated in 85 countries around the world and pulls in almost $35 billion in wagers, some of that from US players. With a market expected to grow to $10 billion a year in the US alone, some states are anxious to get a piece of the action, or rather, a slice of the profits.
Those interested states, so far, include Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey.