The United States Government and Online Gambling
The recent arrest of David Carruthers, the CEO of BetOnSports in Dallas Texas while changing planes on his way to Costa Rica by US authorities raises some serious questions between gamblers who use offshore sportsbooks, and professional gaming advisors who recommend offshore books like myself. This happened on Sunday the 16th of July, and not only shut down a series of sportsbooks owned by his organization, it prompted the highly touted Bo Dog Sports and Gaming Convention to be cancelled in Las Vegas, which I was attending the following week. Oh how Uncle Sam loves to stick his nose into something that he does not control, simply because the US Government has no way to tax proceeds coming into the States from offshore books and Poker rooms, that is the KEY in this entire scenario, have NO doubts about it.
There were 10 others arrested under “conspiracy to take money on sports bets.” To my knowledge, and research, Mr. Carruthers is not a US citizen, and he is the highest profile arrested, as I cannot speak of the citizenship of the other 10 arrested parties. There was also charges against the advertising of his books and gamming properties in the United States by a federal grand jury. This raises serious concerns for many of us in the industry as a whole, and to sports bettors whose accounts are currently frozen, tied up in legal proceedings for the long term I would assume with this situation.
The bottom line is simple here. The US Government who has more than enough problems on their hands, driving the economy into the ground, escalating gas prices, a War in Iraq costing billions daily, not to mention American lives, and they have no business digging another hole that will cause more harm than good. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars will it take to prosecute a non-US citizen with an industry with more money and backing than most small 3rd world countries fighting them?
The US Government turns a blind eye to gambling when it benefits them. Revenues from State and National lotteries in the tens of millions of dollars, revenues from the State of Nevada and Atlantic City in the tens of millions of dollars. All of a sudden, they realize that they are missing the boat on a multi-billion dollar gambling industry offshore, fueled by Americans for the most part, so instead of devising a way to work with authorities offshore to track and tax winnings coming into the states as unclaimed income, to get their piece of the pie, they’ll just call them criminals and arrest them. Another colossal blunder by a government fueled on greed and corruption at the highest levels. Go do some good in world, feed the homeless, give the VA hospitals the money you would use to fight this trumped up charge to help war veterans in a war we should have been out of months ago.
Am a patriotic? Hell yes I am, however infringements on the rights of individual US citizens who CHOOSE to gamble offshore in a country where it is licensed and legal to gamble in no way is the government’s business in my opinion. Even worse, to arrest a non-US citizen, who is a CEO of an international company, on the stock exchange in London, is an extreme measure by right winged policies that need to be changed. Did you know it is legal to call a bookie and bet $100 on the Packers? You cannot get arrested for that, BUT the guy taking the bet can get arrested. When that same guy calls an offshore sportsbook to make the same bet, it is LEGAL for that book to take that bet as action, since that book is offshore and licensed and regulated by the government of that country to do so. A fine line that needs to be determined, and this case may very well affect the way things are dome in the near future.
Have NO doubts, gambling on sports drives ALL sports in this country with TV ratings, Direct TV sales, Las Vegas Sportsbooks, and many other tangible items to numerous to mention. I suggest a call to arms in the fight to eliminate offshore books, Poker Rooms, and casino’s by the US Government. I have contacted all my State Senators and Congressmen, and I suggest you all do the same to address this very important issue and right we all have in jeopardy.