For people who were wondering in this thread how a crackdown on Internet gambling might come about, today saw an interesting development: Betonsports Plc’s announcement that Chief Executive David Carruthers was detained by federal authorities while changing planes in the U.S. en route to Costa Rica from the U.K. No word yet as to whether he’s been charged with anything, but I saw a report on one gaming website that he would be charged with violating RICO statutes. Coming in the context of last week’s passage by the House of an anti-Web-gambling measure, I find it hard to believe he was called in to discuss overdue parking tickets.
As the company’s name implies, Betonsports gets most of its revenue from acting as a sports bookmaker, although it also offers Web casino games and poker. For those who may not be aware, sports betting triggered what AIUI is to date the only case in which someone has been tried and jailed in the U.S. for running an illegal Internet gambling business. Jay Cohen, the former president of World Sports Exchange, was among people charged in 1998 and was convicted in 2000; he served a 21-month sentence after appealing all the way to the Supreme Court.